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 journalArticlepeer-review

18 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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