Online Consumer Reviews and Management Responses: Intercultural Service Encounters in the Digital World


Tilman Schröder

Year: 2024

In R. Lietz, M. Mendes de Oliveira, L. Conti, & F. Lenehan (Eds.), Sprache und Interkulturalität in der digitalen Welt / Language and interculturality in the digital world (pp. 155–181). Forum Angewandte Linguistik (F.A.L.): Vol. 70. Peter Lang.

Keywords: ntercultural communication, tourism, service encounter, online reviews, complaints, genre analysis
Language(s): English

Service encounters between customers and staff members with different cultural backgrounds are susceptible to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction on both sides. After problematic encounters, some customers vent their frustration by publishing complaints in online review portals. Such negative online reviews can thus be considered written records of intercultural conflict between customers and staff members. In review portals, service providers can publicly respond to negative reviews, with the objective of clarifying the complaint, repairing the relationship with the customer, or conveying a positive public image. The present paper analyzes culture-related complaints written by hotel guests in online review portals and management responses to these complaints. First, the study identifies the reasons for intercultural conflict that become apparent in the reviews. Next, it discusses speech act structures in the management responses to negative culture-related reviews. Based on the analysis, an initial typology of steps in management responses to culture-related complaints is developed. The paper finishes with a summary and implications for future research.

Post created by: Lymor Wolf Goldstein

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