The Forgiveness Processes of Very Dissatisfied Customers

47 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2008 Last revised: 15 Jul 2008

See all articles by Michael J. Howley

Michael J. Howley

Drexel University

Stephen W. Brown

Arizona State University (ASU) - Marketing Department

James Ward

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 1, 2008

Abstract

In this paper, we draw on forgiveness theory to explain the long-term reactions of customers to service failures. We find that service failures trigger significant avoidance and revenge. Over time, however, these negative motivations gradually decrease. Time has complex effects. Even though avoidance and revenge decrease with time, probing the time interactions demonstrates that time has a 'hardening' effect. That is, over time, the link between a given level of avoidance and revenge and customer revenues strengthens. As a result, we demonstrate a 'forgiveness window of opportunity.' Early on, avoidant and vengeful customers will not likely be amenable to extended service recovery or winback efforts. If these negative motivations are not resolved, however, they will harden to have signficant effects on customer revenues.

Keywords: Forgiveness, Service Failure, Recovery

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Howley, Michael J. and Brown, Stephen W. and Ward, James, The Forgiveness Processes of Very Dissatisfied Customers (July 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1153972 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1153972

Michael J. Howley (Contact Author)

Drexel University ( email )

3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-895-2091 (Phone)

Stephen W. Brown

Arizona State University (ASU) - Marketing Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-4106
United States

James Ward

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
143
Abstract Views
1,085
rank
207,896
PlumX Metrics