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Going the Extra Mile, Now or After a While: The Impact of Employee Proactivity in Retail Service Encounters on Customers’ Shopping Responses
University of Agder, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0283-8777
Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0582-3324
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8520-0006
Strategic Marketing Area, MICA, India.
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2023 (English)In: British Journal of Management, ISSN 1045-3172, E-ISSN 1467-8551Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Employee proactivity has been discussed as a key predictor of firm success and organi-zational performance. However, previous proactivity research has rarely focused on cus-tomers, and the few available proactivity studies from retail settings are either cross-sectional, solely based on subjective outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction) or restricted toaggregateddata of objective outcomes (e.g. profits per store). We investigate the causaleffect of employee proactivity in retail service encounters on customers’ actual purchasebehaviour and satisfaction ratings at the fine-grained level ofindividualcustomers. Byintegrating theories on social perception with prior proactivity findings, we find that em-ployee proactivity positively predicts customers’ shopping responses. This finding extendsfrom correlational to experimental designs across sample types and paradigms, is repli-cated in actual retail settings, and is mediated by customers’ perceptions of employeewarmth and competence. Furthermore, the effect generalizes across several focal out-comes, including behavioural variables (spending and purchase likelihood), and is moder-ated by the time to employee-initiated contact in a way that goes against customers’ ownbeliefs. In sum, the present research quantifies the financial consequences of employeeproactivity and indicates that in ordinary retail service encounters, high proactivity cancompensate for delays, thus counteracting the aversive aspects of waiting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85981DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12765Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85173544406OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-85981DiVA, id: diva2:1595408
Note

This paper was included as a manuscript entitled "Going the Extra Mile, Now or After a While: The Impact of Employee Proactivity on Customers’ Responses and the Moderating Role of Time to Contact" in the doctoral thesis "Proactivity in Service Failure and Service Recovery" KUS 2021:25.

Available from: 2021-09-19 Created: 2021-09-19 Last updated: 2023-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Proactivity in Service Failure and Service Recovery
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Proactivity in Service Failure and Service Recovery
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although service failure and service recovery have been extensively researched, service employees struggle to recover an increasing number of customer complaints. The overall aim of this thesis is to explain the role of customer and employee proactivity in service failure and service recovery. Through a series of studies, this thesis examines how employee and customer proactivity influence customer responses after a service failure and in service recovery. In doing so, this thesis contributes to the service recovery literature in two ways.

First, by reconceptualizing service failure to include failures not necessarily linked to the core-service offering, this research contributes to the theory formation stressing the importance of seemingly “small details”. Doing so makes it possible to examine how seemingly minor interpersonal interaction can influence customer responses in the service environment and provide managers with a set of tools to manage failures of such seemingly minor interpersonal interaction. Introducing employee proactivity as a recovery tactic, this thesis demonstrates that when an employee shows a high level of proactivity during a service encounter, they can reduce the adverse effects that stem from the absence of expected interpersonal “small details” from earlier in the service encounter. As such, potentially serve to address a portion of the “silent mass” of customers who choose to stay silent.

Second, findings contrast lay belief that customers prefer the service providers to deal with service failures while they sit back and relax. Introducing service recovery collaboration as a potential service recovery response made it possible to document the benefits of including the customer as a proactive collaborator in the service recovery. Findings reveal that proactive customer behaviors in service recovery are particularly critical for customers with established relationships and in situations where compensation is the primary means of recovery.

Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explain the role of customer and employee proactivity in service failure and service recovery. Through a series of studies, this thesis examines how employee and customer proactivity influence customer responses after a service failure and in service recovery. In doing so, this thesis contributes to the service recovery literature in two ways. First, by reconceptualizing service failure, this research supports the theory formation stressing the importance of seemingly “small details”. However, by introducing employee proactivity as a recovery tactic, this thesis demonstrates how employee proactivity can reduce the adverse effects which stem from the absence of expected interpersonal “small details” which can potentially serve to address a portion of the “silent mass” of customers who choose to stay silent. Second, findings contrast lay belief that customers prefer the service providers to deal with service failures while they sit back and relax. In fact, this thesis documents the benefits of including the customer as a proactive collaborator in the service recovery. Findings reveal that customer inclusion is particularly critical for customers with established relationships and in situations where compensation is the primary means of recovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2021. p. 90
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2021:25
Keywords
service failure, service recovery, complaint management, customer proactivity, employee proactivity, collaboration, customer responses
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85983 (URN)978-91-7867-230-1 (ISBN)978-91-7867-241-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2021-10-29, 11D227, Erlandersalen; Zoom, Karlstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Article 4 part of thesis as manuscript, now published.

Available from: 2021-10-07 Created: 2021-09-19 Last updated: 2022-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Samuelsson, Peter

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