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What is the Service Recovery Paradox?

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The service recovery paradox is when a customer ends up having a greater opinion of a firm after a problem occurs. This is based on the idea that customers may be more impressed by a service recovery than they are unimpressed by the initial problem itself. The following are factors that may contribute to improved customer relationships after a failure.


Customers have typically had experiences with firms, products and brands that attempt to downplay or hide failures. Quickly admitting to failures is often appreciated.


When there is a problem, customers want information as to the cause of the problem and what steps are being taken to address it. An airline that explains delays in detail may gain higher ratings than an airline that keeps customers in the dark.

Speed of Fixes

Issues such as software bugs that get fixed promptly as opposed to festering for long periods of time.


Apologies for failures big and small are typically expected by customers.

Customer is Always Right

Recognizing that perceived problems are problems.


Compensating the customer for inconveniences or losses.
Overview: Service Recovery Paradox
When customer satisfaction improves after a service failure due to the diligence demonstrated in handling the failure.
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