The purpose of this paper is to examine when (i.e. after a shorter or longer length of time) organizations should offer an apology or a promise of non-recurrence of a failure to recover trust following a failed service recovery (a double deviation).
This paper reports the results of a pilot study with a convenience sample and two experiments with samples from different populations, students and employees of a financial institution in one study and workers recruited through Mechanical Turk in the other.
An apology was most effective to recover trust when offered shortly after the double deviation (e.g. Study 1: after two days; Study 2: immediately and after two days), while making a promise was most effective when offered at a later time after the double deviation (e.g. Study 1: after 30 days; Study 2: after 15 days). Consumers consider an apology offered shortly after the double deviation as a sign of integrity and a promise communicated sometime after the double deviation as a sign of competence.
This paper complements prior research that demonstrates the effectiveness of apology and promise as trust recovery tactics. The findings show that managers should carefully consider the time at which they use these tactics to recover trust following a double deviation.
This research was supported by the Brazilian Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) under Grant Nos 448553/2014-7 and 310880/2015-7, and the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) through a PNPD grant to the first author.
Pacheco, N.A., Pizzutti, C., Basso, K. and Van Vaerenbergh, Y. (2019), "Trust recovery tactics after double deviation: better sooner than later?", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 2-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-02-2017-0056Download as .RIS
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