The impact of customer compassion on face-to-face and online complaints

Yoohee Hwang, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Customer complaints play an important role in firm performance as complaints enable service recovery and provide feedback for new product development. This study is among the first to investigate the impact of customer compassion on face-to-face complaints and online review posting behaviors following a service failure. Using an experimental design, either compassion or neutral emotion was primed. In an ostensibly unrelated task, individuals read a service failure scenario in the restaurant (Study 1) and hotel setting (Study 2). In Study 1, results show that individuals primed with compassion (vs. neutral emotion) were less likely to lodge a direct complaint. In Study 2, results show that participants were equally likely to post a negative online review regardless of the emotion prime. Practitioners might want to consider diversifying their customer complaint channels to deter compassionate customers from turning to social media to voice their dissatisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-868
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of customer compassion on face-to-face and online complaints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this