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How psychologically entitled shoppers respond to service recovery apologies

Martin, Brett, Strong, Carolyn and O'Connor, Peter 2018. How psychologically entitled shoppers respond to service recovery apologies. European Journal of Marketing 52 (9/10) , pp. 2173-2190.

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Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to examine how a shopper’s level of psychological entitlement influences how consumers respond to different types of apology by a service provider. Design/methodology/approach Two experiments were performed. Study 1 tests the hypotheses that entitled shoppers prefer empathy apologies to norm violation apologies and that this effect is mediated by disgust and anger. Study 2 tests whether relative superiority apologies are more effective. Findings Study 1 shows that entitled shoppers prefer empathy apologies. Mediation analysis shows that entitled people feel disgust for norm violation apologies. Study 2 shows that entitled shoppers prefer relative superiority apologies. A standard apology results in negative perceptions of interactional justice, disgust and negative employee evaluations. Research limitations/implications Limitations include the scenario method. Implications include entitlement as a moderator of service recovery effectiveness, examining different types of apology and mediators which contribute to the marketing and entitlement literature. Practical implications The findings have implications for training employees in service recovery. Employees should not use a standard apology or an apology that treats entitled consumers as similar to other shoppers. Employees should express empathy or make them feel that they are a more valued customer than other store customers. Originality/value This research shows how entitlement moderates consumer responses to service recovery. The research answers calls to study different types of apology rather than studying a standard apology (vs no apology). The research is the first to relate entitlement to apologies and to show how disgust and justice perceptions underlie an entitled person’s judgments in service recovery.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0309-0566
Date of Acceptance: 26 May 2018
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 14:10
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/112680

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