The emergence of social media stimulates electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and makes consumers’ service encounter experiences ‘visible’ to a wide range of information receivers. In the existing literature, eWOM is mostly studied as the consequences of service failure and service recovery. This study extends prior research by bridging the service recovery experiences of eWOM communicators and the attitudes and behaviors of eWOM receivers. Using scenario-based experiments, this study tests eWOM receiver’s responses to the communicator’s experience and compares the impacts of different service recovery strategies. The results confirm that, for eWOM receivers, vicarious distributive, procedural and interactional justices influence their brand attitudes, which further affect their purchase intentions. Moreover, results support that the relationship between brand attitude and purchase intention is moderated by the perceived information credibility. It is also found that, compared to observing apology, eWOM receivers tend to have more positive justice perceptions and brand attitudes and stronger purchase intentions when they observe compensation. However, whether the recovery is conducted at the service failure scene or after eWOM are not significantly different. This study contributes to the previous literature on service recovery by incorporating vicarious justice in understanding how eWOM receivers develop attitudes and behavioral intentions from others’ service recovery experiences in social media. The findings can be used by service providers to guide their recovery strategies.
Li, Boying and Liu, Martin, "When Service Recovery Becomes Visible: Effects Of Recovery Strategies On Electronic Word-of-mouth Receiver" (2018). CONF-IRM 2018 Proceedings. 44.