Is high recovery more effective than expected recovery in addressing service failure? — A moral judgment perspective

In the context of two distinctive consumer categories and two different product settings, this research examines the effects of recovery on recovery performance as a function of consumer moral judgment of service failure. The findings of two studies reveal that consumers' response to recovery anchors on the magnitude of recovery but these responses are adjusted according to consumers' moral judgment of service failure. Specifically, consumers react more positively toward expected recovery than high recovery and these effects are pronounced when consumers are low in moral judgment of service failure. In contrast, when consumers are high in moral judgment of service failure, although high recovery (compared with expected recovery) lessens the likelihood of negative word of mouth this effect does not transfer to repurchase tendency. Product involvement does not provide alternative explanations for the findings. The findings of this research have important and meaningful implications for business providers.