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Hotel Guests' Responses to Service Recovery: How Loyalty Influences Guest Behavior

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Published online on


Contrary to conventional wisdom, loyalty may be a driver of hotel guests’ favorable behavior when they are satisfied with a hotel’s service recovery effort. Instead of having satisfaction with service recovery directly influencing guests’ supportive actions, loyalty acts as a precondition to consumers’ positive citizenship behavior. Moreover, the factors that drive such favorable behavior may be independent of those that cause guests to offer favorable word of mouth after a hotel stay. Based on a study of 288 guests in seven high-end hotels in Spain’s Canary Islands, satisfaction with service recovery has a direct effect on loyalty, which in turn has a strong effect on customer citizenship behaviors. However, loyalty plays its mediating role only on the effects of satisfaction with service recovery on favorable citizenship behavior. That is, the fact that a guest is loyal helps to explain why a guest decides to help the hotel after satisfactory service recovery. On the other hand, loyalty does not enter into the equation when a guest is not happy with the service recovery and elects to behave dysfunctionally, including trashing the room.