The relationship between hotel service failures and customer complaints boils down to the issue of “social context.” This research finds that those with high moral identity centrality do not tend to engage in social disengaging negative emotions, specifically of the self-serving variety, when their ethical moral judgment of the client’s behavior is stronger. Yet even these people may engage in social disengaging negative emotions, particularly of the self-serving variety, when their personal moral judgment of the service failure is relatively weak. This pattern of “asymmetry” found in the relationship between the two issues provides a useful framework for understanding this relationship.
One possibility is that because individuals with high moral identity are emotionally stable in the sense that their judgements about right and wrong come from deeply held ethical principles and values, they are more stable in the face of vicissitudes like these. They would be less likely to experience the vicissitude of seeing a poor hotel service failure as a moment of social disintegration and distress. However, even when they do experience such a failure as a result of bad service, they may still feel relatively immune to the distress generated by this event, even when it is experienced as part of a much larger series of negative events.
In other words, they may view this as a one-off fluke, something that will never happen again. They would thus be more resilient to the overall negative social impacts of witnessing bad service performance than are those people with lower moral identity centrality. Yet the fact that they can be more resilient to these negative social impacts does not mean that they experience fewer negative emotions. They may simply differently perceive the event as an isolated fluke. Or they may in fact be more aware of the negative social impacts of witnessing a bad hotel service failure as part of a much larger and disturbing trend.
Those who experience higher levels of social separation will then become much more attuned to and capable of experiencing more intense negative emotions. More acute negative reactions to the event then come to dominate their thoughts and feelings. They may even feel as if the whole event has been contrived to make them feel as angry and upset as possible. This then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the emotional response that they have already had causes them to feel even more so in the future, as they anticipate having another similar reaction to the event happening again.
This then exacerbates the problem of negative women’s judgements about service failure. If they are already filled with negative emotions from the previous incident, then the event will only fuel their increased negativity even more. This makes the whole event seem to be much bigger and more stressful than it really is, driving their feelings even further down than they already are. The more they dwell on the negative events, the angrier they become, until they become driven to distraction and a potential eruption which could lead to them causing a negative women’s judgements about the whole hotel service operation. This process seems to occur over again with different people at different stages of life.
This can be avoided by applying the correct methods of change once the negative womens judgements have taken hold. The first step is to identify negative comments and reactions that they are experiencing and confront them directly. The next step is to divert these thoughts and energies away from the negativity and towards more positive thoughts and emotions. It is very difficult to fight negative women’s judgements when they are already so full of negativity, but there is a way of combating this that will help to neutralise the effect of their negativity. You need to change the way you think about what has happened, but more importantly, you need to change the way you react to what is happening.