Does delaying service-failure resolution ever make sense?

Yuanyuan Zhou*, Alex S L TSANG, Minxue Huang, Nan Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Conventional wisdom suggests that service providers should respond to their failures as quickly as possible. Some research, however, points out that delaying resolutions may produce highly desirable results. The study here investigates these competing views by examining under which conditions an immediate or a delaying resolution produces more positive consumer responses in term of re-patronage and negative word-of-mouth intentions. Based on the concept of service separation, this research identifies an interaction effect between service separation (separated service, non-separated service) and response timing (immediate response, delaying response) on consumers' post-consumption intention. This research also finds that the relationship between service separation-response timing interaction and consumer response is mediated by consumers' negative emotions. This study contributes to refining our understanding of consumer psychology in service recovery. Practically, the studies also enable service providers to better allocate their resources to recover different types of services' failure.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-166
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Delaying resolution
    • Immediate resolution
    • Service failure
    • Service marketing
    • Service recovery
    • Service separation


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