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The balance of the impact of quality and recovery on satisfaction: the case of e-travel

The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of a service failure on customer satisfaction in the online context. Specifically, the objectives are to examine the impact of e-service quality and recovery on satisfaction, and to analyse the impact of satisfaction on loyalty in the services of e-travel agencies. A questionnaire conducted by telephone was used to study the services offered by online travel agencies in Spain. A total of 1201 valid responses were obtained and 91 participants declared that they had experienced quality failures during a particular service. The findings show that providing e-quality has a greater influence on satisfaction (and, therefore, on loyalty) than responding well when a failure has occurred (recovery), thus confirming that providing quality service the first time around is a better strategy than applying recovery strategies. E-retailers should take into account this finding in order to improve the service offered and gain loyal customers.

Merce Bernardo

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