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International Journal of Innovation Science ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1281934


Purpose: Banking industry has no option but to remain observant and redraft the contagion playbook as per the situation evolves owing to COVID-19. Therefore, this study aims to develop a model to examine empirically how effectively complaints are handled to control customer retaliation and negative e-word of mouth (eWOM) in such a pandemic situation, where banking institutions are using social media as a key platform. Design/methodology/approach: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among 309 participants who had encountered service failure and experienced complaint handling on Facebook. This study draws upon prevailing literature to test a series of hypotheses through structural equation modeling. Findings: The findings show that effective complaint handling has a negative influence on customer retaliation in the social media environment. As a result, customer retaliation was found to have a positive association with negative eWOM. Therefore, this study has revealed that effective complaint handling will lead to decrease in customer retaliation and negative eWOM. Practical implications: This study carries an understanding of effective complaint handling efforts by leading banks in the social media environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study recommends that customized and effective efforts by the banks can influence customer retaliation and negative e-WOM. Originality/value: The study is conducted during COVID-19 pandemic considering the impact of COVID-19 on banking sector, which is a new phenomenon. This study has highlighted how banks have modified their working methodology during pandemic situation by using Facebook as a prominent platform to redress customers’ issues and complaints. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.