Service Recovery for Severe Crises in The Cruise Industry
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This experimental study examined what are the effects of expertise, blame, and service recovery on both purchase intentions and brand image after severe service failures. A 2x2x2 experimental design was conducted to measure the participants’ attitude toward communicators’ expertise, blame attribution, and distributive justice. This experiment was set within the cruise industry and was conducted on-line via Qualtrics. Participants were randomly assigned into eight treatment conditions. Written scenarios messages were employed to convey the different treatment conditions. In these scenarios, a fictitious spokesperson recalled an accident that had occurred while vacationing on a cruise ship. The level of expertise varied based on the past-experience of the spokesperson. This spokesperson was as either a first time or a long time cruiser. In terms of blame attribution, the accident was attributed either to a staff member or to a passenger. For the condition of service recovery, the cruise line offered a 20% discount on a future cruise and fully reimbursed the passengers or only a 20% discount. The main effect for recovery was significant (p<.05) for both brand image and intentions. There was also a significant interaction between expertise and blame attribution (p<.05) in terms of both intentions and brand image. Results offer both theoretical and practical insights in terms of advertising strategies and crisis management for cruise lines.
Soulard, Joelle (2015). Service Recovery for Severe Crises in The Cruise Industry. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from