An Analysis of the Interaction Effect between Employee Technical and Emotional Competencies in Emotionally Charged Service Encounters
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SourceJournal of Service Management, 28, 1, (2017), pp. 85-106
20 maart 2017
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Service Management
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
PURPOSE - Customers often experience negative emotions during service experiences. The ways that employees manage customers’ emotions and impressions about whether the service provider is concerned for them in such emotionally charged service encounters (ECSEs) is crucial, considering the criticality of the encounter. Drawing on cognitive appraisal theory, this study proposes that two key competencies – employee emotional competence (EEC) and employee technical competence (ETC) – affect negative customer emotions and customer satisfaction with employee response in ECSEs. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH - This study relies on a video-based experiment that depicts a customer involved in an ECSE as a service provider delivers bad news to him. The hypothesis tests use a two-way independent analysis of covariance. FINDINGS - Both emotional and technical competencies must be displayed to improve the customer experience in an ECSE. When EEC is low, ETC does not decrease negative customer emotions or increase customer satisfaction with employee response. When EEC is high, ETC instead has a significant impact on both customer outcomes. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS - Managers must train employees to develop both technical and emotional competencies. Employees who demonstrate only one type cannot temper customers’ emotions or enhance their perceptions of the employees’ response as well as can those strong in both competencies. ORIGINALITY/VALUE - Using a video-based experiment, this study examines the moderating role of EEC in the relationship between ETC and two key aspects of the customers’ experience in an ECSE (negative customer emotions and customer satisfaction with employee responses) following the delivery of bad news.
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