Online Service Recovery

Complaining online is a digital cultural phenomenon. Many of the tenets associated with offline service recovery are, in theory, relevant to online recoveries. However, how does a recovery and the perceived justice framework change when a customer complains on a firm's social media page? This is a more public and interative form of a recovery opportunity that I investigate in my research.

For example, offline service recovery and the corresponding justice framework is a dyadic perspective. Moreover, the fairness perceptions are grounded between the consumer-side (i.e., the complainant) and the firm-side (i.e., the firm's service rep). Complaining on social media now enables multiple fellow consumers to see and join in the convesation. How these other consumers affect justice perceptions is unexplored.

It is common to read a complaint from a consumer on a firm's Facebook page, which then receives replies from other consumers. And some of these replies may state that the complainant is wrong. Furthermore, due to the anonymity of the Internet, some of these consumer-to-consumer exchanges may be extremely rude and include inappropriate comments. How do these interactions affect a complainant's view of the firm? Extant research has no answer.

My work with fellow researchers is attempting to build upon the perceived justice framework by recognizing how other customers are now impacting fairness perceptions of a complainant in these online situations. By recognizing newer realities in our digitally-connected business world, we are building theory to aid managers and theorists within the domain of online service recovery.