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EMAC 2022 Annual


Humorous response to consumer complaints: an ally or an enemy?
(A2022-107293)

Published: May 24, 2022

AUTHORS

SHYNAR DYUSSEMBAYEVA, UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH; Marta Nieto García, University of Portsmouth; ALI SELCUK CAN, UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH

ABSTRACT

Using humor to respond to customers’ complaints on social media has become a widespread practice. However, is this an effective form of communication? How do humorous responses affect potential customers’ (onlookers’) perceptions about the company? With a focus on travel and tourism services, the current paper suggests that humorous responses may have a negative effect on onlooker’s willingness to engage with the company. This is particularly true for individuals with a deontological (vs teleological) mindset, that is, for those that perceive humorous responses as inappropriate in service failure recoveries. Moreover, we test the psychological mechanism behind this relationship, i.e., the mediating effect of anger. The findings of this work will offer relevant implications for managing customers' complaints in service settings.