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Providing feedback to service customers: The effect of the presentation order and repetition of feedback types

Shinyoung Kim (School of Business, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea)
Sunmee Choi (School of Business, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea)
Rohit Verma (School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

In services, customers’ successful performance of expected roles is critical to ensuring successful service outcomes. To help customers perform their roles better, service providers offer them feedback on their performance. To improve the design of customer feedback that contains both positive and negative messages, the purpose of this paper is to examine the order and the repetition effect of feedback message types on customer feedback satisfaction, motivation, and compliance intention, focusing on the moderating effect of customer involvement level. This paper also examines whether feedback satisfaction and motivation mediate the moderation effect of the order or repetition of feedback message type and customer involvement level on compliance intention.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs two between-subject quasi-experimental designs: 2 (feedback message order: positive message first vs negative message first) × 2 (involvement level: high vs low) and a 2 (repeated feedback type: positive vs negative) × 2 (involvement level: high vs low). Data collection occurred through an online survey using eight health checkup scenarios. Hypotheses were tested by using MANOVA and PROCESS.

Findings

The customer involvement level moderated the effect of the presentation order of feedback message type on customer responses. With highly involved customers, offering positive feedback initially produced responses that were more favorable. With customers with low involvement, the order did not matter. The effects of feedback satisfaction and motivation as mediators in the effect of order on compliance intention were significant only with highly involved customers. The mediation effect of motivation was much stronger than that of feedback satisfaction. The repetition of a particular feedback type took effect only with customers with low-involvement level. Compared to the no-repetition condition (positive-negative), when positive feedback was repeated (positive-negative-positive), motivation increased. Compared to the no-repetition condition (negative-positive), when negative feedback was repeated (negative-positive-negative), feedback satisfaction and compliance intention decreased. In terms of mediating effect, only feedback satisfaction was a meaningful mediator and only when negative feedback was repeated to low-involvement customers.

Originality/value

This study contributes to research by extending feedback studies in services to include a consideration of the order and repetition of feedback message types as design variables; it contributes practically by suggesting how to design feedback for better customer responses such as feedback satisfaction, motivation, and compliance intention.

Keywords

Citation

Kim, S., Choi, S. and Verma, R. (2017), "Providing feedback to service customers: The effect of the presentation order and repetition of feedback types", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 389-416. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-11-2015-0368

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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