“My bad”: investigating service failure effects in self-service and full-service settings

Sören Köcher*, Stefanie Paluch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Companies in diverse branches offer a variety of service alternatives that typically differ in terms of the degree to which customers are actively involved in service delivery processes. The purpose of this paper is to explore potential differences in consumers’ reactions to service failures across services provided by a service employee (i.e. full-services) and services that require customers’ active involvement (i.e. self-services). Design/methodology/approach: Two 2 (full-service vs self-service) × 2 (no service failure vs service failure) scenario-based experiments in technological and non-technological contexts (i.e. ticket purchase and furniture assembly) were conducted. Findings: Study results reveal that although service failures have a similar negative impact on satisfaction across both full-services and self-services, in the self-service context, the negative effect on the willingness to use the same service delivery mode again is attenuated. Research limitations/implications: By emphasizing the role of customers’ active involvement in the service delivery process, the study extends previous knowledge regarding customer response to service failures in different service settings. Practical implications: By highlighting that self-service customers’ future behavioral intentions are less severely affected by service failures, the authors present an additional feature of customer involvement in service delivery processes that goes beyond the previously recognized advantages. Originality/value: Despite the abundance of research on the effects of failure attributions, previous studies have predominantly examined main effects of attributions on customer responses, such that insights into potential moderating effects of failure attributions on established relationships – as investigated in this study – are still scarce.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 08.04.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Internal attribution
  • Self-services
  • Service failure
  • Service reusage intention
  • Service satisfaction


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