Tit For Tat – Is Customer Retaliation in a Service Recovery Context Predictable?

Customer retaliation to service failure can have detrimental consequences for companies (e.g. revenue losses). Nevertheless in the extant literature on retaliatory behavior there exists no study which can predict customer retaliation after a failed service recovery. In this paper we attempt to close this research gap by introducing and testing the concept of negative reciprocity to predict any kind of retaliatory intentions. Furthermore we test the ability of different service recovery strategies to reduce retaliatory intentions. The results of our scenario-based online experiment (n=381) show that the negative reciprocity can be used as an early warning system to predict customer retaliation.


Matthias Handrich and Sven Heidenreich (2011) ,"Tit For Tat – Is Customer Retaliation in a Service Recovery Context Predictable?", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 34-36.


Matthias Handrich, EBS University for Business and Law
Sven Heidenreich, EBS University for Business and Law


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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