EMAC 2018


Wolfgang Weitzl presented his research on social influences during online service recovery episodes at the 2018 annual conference of the European Marketing Academy at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK).

Title: "Service recovery via social media: Normative social influences on complaint bystanders' brand image evaluations" authored by Wolfgang Weitzl and Clemens Hutzinger.

Abstract: Past research demonstrates that service recovery processes apparent on social media can influence a brand’s potential customers. This research examines the role of recovery bystanders’ susceptibility to normative social influence (SNI) as a key moderator of recovery efforts on brand image evaluations. In 3 experiments we systematically manipulate response source (marketers vs. advocates), response types (defensive recovery strategies) and interactive virtual presence (positive vs. negative) of others. Our results show that low-SNI and high-SNI bystanders use different normative cues and react differently to them. Additionally, high-SNI bystanders are particularly influenced by advocates’ brand love stories that are confirmed with positive comments or socially approved (i.e., ‘liked’) by many others. This research draws attention to the opportunities and limits of customer co-creation during the online service recovery process.