IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jbrese/v107y2020icp315-323.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Customer responses to frontline employee complaining in retail service environments: The role of perceived impropriety

Author

Listed:
  • Locander, Jennifer A.
  • White, Allyn
  • Newman, Christopher L.

Abstract

Substantial research recognizes the importance of understanding employee-customer interactions in order to optimize the customer experience. While most retailing and services research focuses on frontline employees' handling of customer complaints, the present studies take an inverse approach by examining a relatively unexplored phenomenon: customers' perceptions of frontline employee complaining. First, a pilot study confirms two commonly overheard types of employee complaints - complaints about the company and customers. Next, Study 1 provides empirical support for the effects of overhearing employee complaining on relevant customer outcomes and identifies perceived impropriety as the mediating mechanism underlying these effects. The results of Study 2 indicate that soliciting customers' feedback about their experience attenuates the indirect effects of one type of employee complaint - complaints about the company. We conclude with a discussion of our findings and provide practical suggestions to retailers and service providers for reducing the harmful effects of overheard employee complaints.

Suggested Citation

  • Locander, Jennifer A. & White, Allyn & Newman, Christopher L., 2020. "Customer responses to frontline employee complaining in retail service environments: The role of perceived impropriety," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 315-323.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:107:y:2020:i:c:p:315-323
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.10.036
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296318305174
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.10.036?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ashford, Susan J. & Northcraft, Gregory B., 1992. "Conveying more (or less) than we realize: The role of impression-management in feedback-seeking," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 310-334, December.
    2. Christine Porath & Debbie Macinnis & Valerie Folkes, 2010. "Witnessing Incivility among Employees: Effects on Consumer Anger and Negative Inferences about Companies," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 292-303, August.
    3. Aiken, Kirk Damon & Bee, Colleen & Walker, Nefertiti, 2018. "From passion to obsession: Development and validation of a scale to measure compulsive sport consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 69-79.
    4. Zeelenberg, M. & Pieters, R., 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction : A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Other publications TiSEM 7bfb4aa9-cba7-4786-850d-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Ashley, Christy & Noble, Stephanie M., 2014. "It's Closing Time: Territorial Behaviors from Customers in Response to Front Line Employees," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 74-92.
    6. Kalamas, Maria & Laroche, Michel & Makdessian, Lucy, 2008. "Reaching the boiling point: Consumers' negative affective reactions to firm-attributed service failures," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 813-824, August.
    7. Roggeveen, Anne L. & Goodstein, Ronald C. & Grewal, Dhruv, 2014. "Improving the Effect of Guarantees: The Role of a Retailer's Reputation," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 27-39.
    8. Mukherjee, Amaradri & Jha, Subhash & Smith, Ronn J., 2017. "Regular Price $299; Pre-order Price $199: Price Promotion for a Pre-ordered Product and the Moderating Role of Temporal Orientation," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 201-211.
    9. White, Allyn & Breazeale, Michael & Collier, Joel E., 2012. "The Effects of Perceived Fairness on Customer Responses to Retailer SST Push Policies," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 250-261.
    10. Rapp, Adam & Trainor, Kevin J. & Agnihotri, Raj, 2010. "Performance implications of customer-linking capabilities: Examining the complementary role of customer orientation and CRM technology," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 1229-1236, November.
    11. Morwitz, Vicki G & Johnson, Eric J & Schmittlein, David C, 1993. "Does Measuring Intent Change Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 46-61, June.
    12. Flie[ss], Sabine & Kleinaltenkamp, Michael, 2004. "Blueprinting the service company: Managing service processes efficiently," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 392-404, April.
    13. Xinshu Zhao & John G. Lynch & Qimei Chen, 2010. "Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and Truths about Mediation Analysis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 197-206, August.
    14. Yilmaz, Cengiz & Varnali, Kaan & Kasnakoglu, Berna Tari, 2016. "How do firms benefit from customer complaints?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 944-955.
    15. Reynolds, Kate L. & Harris, Lloyd C., 2009. "Dysfunctional Customer Behavior Severity: An Empirical Examination," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 321-335.
    16. Voorhees, Clay M. & Fombelle, Paul W. & Gregoire, Yany & Bone, Sterling & Gustafsson, Anders & Sousa, Rui & Walkowiak, Travis, 2017. "Service encounters, experiences and the customer journey: Defining the field and a call to expand our lens," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 269-280.
    17. Zeelenberg, Marcel & Pieters, Rik, 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction: A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 445-455, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Padgett, Daniel & Hopkins, Christopher D. & Williams, Zac, 2020. "Buyer dependence in B2B relationships: The role of supplier investments, commitment form, and trust," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 13-24.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Demoulin, Nathalie & Willems, Kim, 2019. "Servicescape irritants and customer satisfaction: The moderating role of shopping motives and involvement," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 295-306.
    2. Seung Hyun Lee & Jaeyong Lee, 2018. "Nickel and dime guests for amenities: exploring guests’ perceptions of resort fees," Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 17(1), pages 20-31, February.
    3. Faullant, Rita & Matzler, Kurt & Mooradian, Todd A., 2011. "Personality, basic emotions, and satisfaction: Primary emotions in the mountaineering experience," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1423-1430.
    4. Tari Kasnakoglu, Berna & Yilmaz, Cengiz & Varnali, Kaan, 2016. "An asymmetric configural model approach for understanding complainer emotions and loyalty," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3659-3672.
    5. Romani, Simona & Grappi, Silvia & Dalli, Daniele, 2012. "Emotions that drive consumers away from brands: Measuring negative emotions toward brands and their behavioral effects," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 55-67.
    6. Arne K. Albrecht & Gianfranco Walsh & Simon Brach & Dwayne D. Gremler & Erica Herpen, 2017. "The influence of service employees and other customers on customer unfriendliness: a social norms perspective," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 45(6), pages 827-847, November.
    7. Cambra-Fierro, Jesus & Melero, Iguacel & Sese, F. Javier, 2015. "Managing Complaints to Improve Customer Profitability," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 109-124.
    8. Ivan Barreda-Tarrazona & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutierrez & Daniel Navarro-Martinez & Gerardo Sabater-Grande, 2014. "The role of forgone opportunities in decision making under risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 167-188, October.
    9. Lee, K.M.C. & Kraussl, R.G.W. & Paas, L.J., 2009. "The effect of anticipated and experienced regret and pride on investors' future selling decisions," Serie Research Memoranda 0057, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    10. McColl-Kennedy, Janet R. & Patterson, Paul G. & Smith, Amy K. & Brady, Michael K., 2009. "Customer Rage Episodes: Emotions, Expressions and Behaviors," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 222-237.
    11. Mandl, Leonhard & Hogreve, Jens, 2020. "Buffering effects of brand community identification in service failures: The role of customer citizenship behaviors," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 130-137.
    12. Haithem Zourrig & Jean-Charles Chebat & Roy Toffoli & Alexandra Medina-Borja, 2014. "Customers’ coping with interpersonal conflicts in intra and inter-cultural service encounters," AMS Review, Springer;Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 4(1), pages 21-31, June.
    13. Anna Kukla-Gryz & Joanna Tyrowicz & Michał Krawczyk, 2021. "Digital piracy and the perception of price fairness: evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 45(1), pages 105-131, March.
    14. Wang, Saerom & Kirillova, Ksenia & Lehto, Xinran, 2017. "Reconciling unsatisfying tourism experiences: Message type effectiveness and the role of counterfactual thinking," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 233-243.
    15. Wedel, Michel & Bigné, Enrique & Zhang, Jie, 2020. "Virtual and augmented reality: Advancing research in consumer marketing," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 443-465.
    16. White, Allyn & Breazeale, Michael & Collier, Joel E., 2012. "The Effects of Perceived Fairness on Customer Responses to Retailer SST Push Policies," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 250-261.
    17. Tom Joonhwan Kim & Youjae Yi & Jongan Choi, 2020. "The boomerang effect of brand personality congruency in a product-harm crisis," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 45(4), pages 645-661, November.
    18. Florian Teleaba & Sorin Popescu & Marieta Olaru & Diana Pitic, 2021. "Risks of Observable and Unobservable Biases in Artificial Intelligence Predicting Consumer Choice," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 23(56), pages 102-102, February.
    19. Davvetas, Vasileios & Diamantopoulos, Adamantios, 2017. "“Regretting your brand-self?” The moderating role of consumer-brand identification on consumer responses to purchase regret," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 218-227.
    20. Ayoung Suh & Mengjun Li, 2021. "Digital Tracing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: User Appraisal, Emotion, and Continuance Intention," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(2), pages 1-17, January.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:107:y:2020:i:c:p:315-323. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.