Previous research of service failures has focused on negative reactions such as retaliation, complaining, and switching behavior. This study is of customer forgiveness that reflects goodwill. Study 1, exploring manifestations of forgiveness in the service context, consisted of interviews with 52 customers. The results suggest that forgiveness is reflected in positive reframing, perspective taking, and tolerance. In Study 2, designed to explore the antecedents of forgiveness, respondents (N = 286, 55.4 % women) were presented with scenarios manipulating strength of relationship and blame, and measuring forgiveness. The results show that the effect of blame on the expected outcomes of forgiveness and loyalty intentions is stronger under strong customer-service provider relationships. Additionally, relationship strength has a stronger effect on forgiveness among women, even under high levels of blame. The results thus offer profiles for forgiving and unforgiving customers.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management