In an industry characterised by fierce competition, cell phone network providers find it increasingly difficult to
retain their customers after service failure. It is therefore essential for cell phone network providers to offer
effective service recovery when they attempt to restore customer satisfaction following service failure. As it
has been argued that relationships between customers and service providers should be considered a key
determinant of the service recovery required to restore post-recovery attitudes and behavioural intentions,
the purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between South African cell phone customers’
relationship intentions, their perceptions of service recovery and their satisfaction following service recovery.
Personal in-home interviews were conducted to collect data from 605 cell phone customers residing in the
Johannesburg metropolitan area. In addition to the significant positive relationships found between cell
phone users’ relationship intentions, perceived service recovery and satisfaction after service recovery, this
study found that perceived service recovery played a mediating role in the relationship between relationship
intention and satisfaction following service recovery. The study concludes that, although a direct relationship
exists between relationship intention and satisfaction following service recovery, perceived service recovery
plays an additional indirect complementary role in this relationship. It is recommended that, in addition to
focusing their relationship efforts on customers with relationship intentions, cell phone network providers
also offer positively perceived service recovery to these customers, as this would lead to greater satisfaction
following service recovery.
This article was co-written by P.G. Mostert before he joined the University of Pretoria.
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Steyn, T.F.J.; Mostert, P.G. (Pierre); De Meyer, C.F.; Van Rensburg, L.R.J.(North American Business Press, 2011)
South African airline passengers’ relationship length with airlines as well as their satisfaction with
airlines’ service recovery efforts was used to determine the effect of a service failure on their relationship