Ying Fan, International Journal of Operations and Production Management


Fan, Y., Niu, R.
The purpose of this paper is to explore influencing factors that affect the effectiveness of service recovery strategies using social network from operations management perspective. Specifically, the authors study the relationships between social media agent responses to customer complaints, customer emotion changes and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the authors investigate the roles of recovery speed and failure severity in the service recovery process using social network platform.

To tweet or not to tweet? Exploring the effectiveness of service recovery strategies using social media

When service failures occur, customers expect effective responses and recovery from the service provider in a timely manner. Customers recovered from unsatisfied service experience tend to spread positive word of mouth, maintain loyalty to the business and repurchase the service in the future (de Matos et al., 2009; Eccles and Durand, 1998). Furthermore, effective recovery efforts may lead to service recovery paradox, where customers' post recovery satisfaction becomes greater than the satisfaction before the failure (Karande et al., 2007). In contrast, inadequate responses to customers' complaints on service failures can pose detrimental effects on a company's bottom line.

Recognizing the critical role of service recovery in winning customer satisfaction, service organizations are exploring innovative approaches to improve recovery outcomes. The increasing popularity of social media has provided rich opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers in real time (Grégoire et al., 2015). Service industries including airlines (McCartney, 2010), hotels (Kessler, 2010) and retail chains (Stambor, 2013; Barry et al., 2011) have started to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to manage service recovery. Under the pressure of improving low level of customer satisfaction (www.theacsi.org/, 2012), Airlines including Delta, JetBlue and American Airlines have been reportedly using Twitter to respond to customer complaints (McCartney, 2010).