Research Recaps

When Should You Apologize for a Service Failure?

Key Takeway

With digital technologies such as GPS, companies can anticipate even small service failures and proactively apologize to consumers in real time. This can backfire, however, by making customers more likely to encode a service experience as a failure, decreasing customer satisfaction, trust, recommendations and patronage.  Understanding customers’ perceptions of service failures will help managers decide whether, when and how to apologize.

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