Relationship intention and satisfaction following service recovery: the mediating role of perceptions of service recovery in the cell phone industry
De Beer, Leon Tielman
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In an industry characterised by fierce competition, cell phone network providers find it increasingly difficult to retain their customers after service failure. It is therefore essential for cell phone network providers to offer effective service recovery when they attempt to restore customer satisfaction following service failure. As it has been argued that relationships between customers and service providers should be considered a key determinant of the service recovery required to restore post-recovery attitudes and behavioural intentions, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between South African cell phone customers’ relationship intentions, their perceptions of service recovery and their satisfaction following service recovery. Personal in-home interviews were conducted to collect data from 605 cell phone customers residing in the Johannesburg metropolitan area. In addition to the significant positive relationships found between cell phone users’ relationship intentions, perceived service recovery and satisfaction after service recovery, this study found that perceived service recovery played a mediating role in the relationship between relationship intention and satisfaction following service recovery. The study concludes that, although a direct relationship exists between relationship intention and satisfaction following service recovery, perceived service recovery plays an additional indirect complementary role in this relationship. It is recommended that, in addition to focusing their relationship efforts on customers with relationship intentions, cell phone network providers also offer positively perceived service recovery to these customers, as this would lead to greater satisfaction following service recovery.
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