In the service sector, customer-related social stressors may weaken employees’ well-being, impairing job-related outcomes. Drawing on the Conservation of Resources theory and on the psychology of sustainability, fostering personal resources become critical to encourage service providers who can effectively manage such job demands. This study investigated how customer-related social stressors and customer orientation influence service recovery performance and whether resilience buffers the negative effects of customer incivility on service recovery performance. One hundred and fifty-seven Italian customer-contact employees completed a questionnaire analyzing customer incivility, customer-related social stressors, resilience, customer orientation, and service recovery performance. Regression analyses and SEMs were conducted. Although all customer-related social stressors indirectly and negatively influenced service recovery performance by increasing burnout symptoms, customer incivility only exerted a direct and detrimental impact on service recovery performance. Customer orientation was directly and positively associated with service recovery performance. Highly resilient employees were less affected by variations in service recovery performance across customer incivility levels. Within the psychology of sustainability framework, promoting resilient workplaces is crucial to foster healthy and sustainable work settings. Service organizations can greatly benefit from providing their employees with psychological resilience training programs, cultivating high customer-oriented attitudes through mentoring sessions, and hiring highly customer-oriented and resilient employees for customer-contact occupations.
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