Recovery Paradox



It is suggested that customers who are dissatisfied, but experience a high level of excellent service recovery, may be more satisfied and more likely to repurchase than are those who are satisfied at the first place.

For example:-

A hotel customer who arrives & finds there is no room available. In an effort to recover, the front-desk person immediately upgrades this guest to a better room at the same price. The customer is so thrilled with this compensation that he is extremely satisfied with this experience, is even more impressed with the hotel than he was never before, and vows to be loyal into future. The logical, but not very rational, conclusion is that companies should plan to disappoint customers so they can recover &gain even greater loyalty from them as a result. This idea is known to be as Recovery Paradox.

The recovery paradox is more complex than it seem. First of all it is expensive to fix mistakes and would appear ridiculous to encourage service failure-as reliability is the most important aspect of service quality. According to a research it is observed that a customer weight their recent experiences heavily in their decision to buy again. If the experience is negative, overall feelings about the company will decrease and repurchase intentions will also reduce. If the recovery effort is absolutely superlative then the negative impression can be overcome.

Then there is a recent study which shows no support to recovery paradox. It shows the overall satisfaction was consistently lower for those customers who had experienced a service failure than for those who had experienced no failure, no matter what the recovery effort is. The explanation for why no recovery paradox is suggested by the magnitude of the service failure in this study it is-a three hour airplane flight delay. This type of failure may be too much to be overcome by any recovery effort.

Considering mixed opinions on if recovery paradox exists it is safe to say “doing it right the first time” is the best and safest strategy. When a failure does occur then every effort at superior recovery should be made. In cases where the failure can be fully overcome the failure is less critical, or the recovery effort is clearly superlative, it may be possible to observe evidence of the recovery paradox.    

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