When customers experience a service failure (e.g. an overcooked meal or a flight delay), they try to seek redress. Organisations may use different service recovery tools such as monetary or psychological compensation (Roschk & Gelbrich, 2014) to address customers’ complaints. Prior research shows that such measures can improve customers’ fairness perception and satisfaction (Tax, Brown, & Chandrashekaran, 1998), and also reduce customers’ anger and negative word of mouth behaviours (Gelbrich, 2010).
A large body of research on service failure and recovery has often focused on the effectiveness of conventional tools such as compensation. But despite recent technological advancements, the service recovery literature has still not looked beyond traditional recovery tools. Gamification has gained increased popularity in the marketing domain over the past few years (Larivière et al., 2017). Specifically, Van Vaerenbergh, Varga, De Keyser, and Orsingher (2018) call for research on the role of gamification in service recovery. Accordingly, the aim of this research is to examine the effects of gamification as an alternative recovery tool. Further, this research will shed light on the mechanism that explains customers’ reactions to a gamified service recovery and will also explore different boundary conditions. The research ultimately offers insights to managers on how to deal with service failures more efficiently by capitalising on modern technologies to deliver a gamified recovery.