The power of sophistication: How service design cues help in service failures

Mellina da Silva Terres, Márcia Maurer Herter, Diego Costa Pinto, José A. Mazzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


By analyzing three experimental studies, this research tests how and when sophisticated service environment designs (compared to modest service designs) can minimize consumers' negative emotions and increase repurchase intentions after a failure. Drawing on part-list cueing literature, this research proposes that when a service failure occurs in a sophisticated (vs. modest) environment, consumers will rely on the sophisticated style of design as cues for service quality. We argue that sophisticated (vs. modest) service designs work as strong cues for quality that restrict the retrieval of negative information by consumers and can minimize the negative impacts of service failure, reducing consumers' negative emotions and increasing repurchase intentions. We further advance our theorizing by showing how choice failure consequences (i.e., the risk or consequence related to the service choice) moderate the effects via associative pathways of retrieval. The findings contribute to theory and practice by revealing how service designs can serve as cues to mitigate adverse consequences of service failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-290
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour
Issue number3
Early online date10 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Service designs
  • Consumers
  • Service failures
  • Negative emotions


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