|Reference : Effects of perceived employee emotional competence on customer satisfaction and loyalty:...|
|Scientific journals : Article|
|Business & economic sciences : Marketing|
|Effects of perceived employee emotional competence on customer satisfaction and loyalty: The mediating role of rapport|
|Delcourt, Cécile [Université de Liège - ULg > HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'ULg : UER > UER Management >]|
|Gremler, Dwayne [> >]|
|van Riel, Allard [> >]|
|van Birgelen, Marcel [> >]|
|Journal of Service Management|
|[en] Employee emotional competence, Rapport, Customer satisfaction, Loyalty, Service encounter|
|[en] Purpose – During service encounters, emotionally competent employees are likely to succeed in building rapport with their customers, which in turn leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, the relationship between emotional competence and rapport has not been empirically examined. In the present study, we investigate effects of customer perceived employee emotional competence (EEC) on satisfaction and loyalty. We also examine how and to what extent rapport mediates these effects.
Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the theory of affect-as-information, suggesting that emotions inform human behavior, we develop a structural model and test it on a sample of 247 customers in a personal service setting.
Findings – Customer perceptions of EEC positively influence customer satisfaction and loyalty. Rapport partially mediates both effects.
Practical implications – The extent to which customers perceive employees as emotionally competent is strongly correlated with the development of rapport, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. Managers of high-contact services should therefore pay attention to emotional competence when hiring new employees, and/or encourage and train existing employees to develop this type of competence.
Originality/value – Previous studies have used employee self-reports or supervisor reports of EEC, essentially capturing an employee’s potential to behave in an emotionally competent way. We extend emotional competence theories with a customer perspective: the present study is the first to capture customer perceptions of employees’ emotional competence.
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