The negative effects of expecting to evaluate: Reexamination and extension in the context of service failure

Lane, Vicki R. and Keaveney, Susan M.
Psychology & Marketing Vol. 22 Issue 11, pp. 857-885

Service managers implement customer satisfaction evaluation cards (CSECs) to help them better understand and serve their customers. Yet a robust finding from recent research is that consumers who expect to evaluate provide lower satisfaction ratings than customers who are asked to evaluate without prior notice. This article reports results of two experiments that examine the effects of expecting to evaluate (here, the CSEC effect) in the negative context of service failure. The experiments utilize thought-listing protocols to differentiate between vigilant processing (VPT) and negativity bias (NBT) theories and reinforce the internal validity of the CSEC effect. The studies also extend prior research by separating CSEC effects on evaluations of the service employee from CSEC effects on the service firm overall. Study 2 examines consequences of the CSEC effect not previously studied (switching, complaining, and negative word-of-mouth intentions) and extends external validity through an international replication.