The impact of customers’
perception of varying degrees
of customer service
on commitment and perceived
Tor W. Andreassen
Department of Marketing, BI Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway, and
Line L. Olsen
BI Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway
Purpose – The study is motivated by business’ mixed response to increasing demand for customer
service, leaving the question as to its impact on performance open. The study is concerned with the
impact of customers’ perception of customer service (bad/good) on variables that are known to drive
revenue, i.e. customer satisfaction, perceived relative attractiveness, and commitment.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a survey among bank customers.
Two groups were sampled: customers who have experienced good or bad customer service. The
hypotheses were tested by applying structural equation modeling and running two group analysis
using the PLS and LISREL softwares.
Findings – Customers that experience bad customer service do take into account the same variables
in their evaluation as do customers that experience good customer service. They do however, put
different weights on every factor in the evaluation process. Also the strength of the relationships
between the variables seems to differ. Typically, analyses showed that customers experiencing bad
customer service tend to consider more thoroughly all aspects of the service; the relationships between
the variables were stronger and the explained variance of each construct higher, than in the group of
customers experiencing good customer service. However, the paths are not different across the groups.
Research limitations/implications – The paper has only tested the model and hypotheses in one
industry. Future research should test the same model using different industries reﬂecting different
customer involvement levels.
Practical implications – From this study, service managers can learn that investing in customer
service in ongoing customer relations is “the right thing to do” as it is linked to customer equity
through customers’ commitment to the ﬁrm. Second, as customer service in such relationships drives
perceived relative attractiveness, saving the bottom line by cutting back on the human side of the
customer interaction, may harm the ﬁrm’s competitive position in the marketplace.
Originality/value – The impact of customer service on key performance variables in ongoing
relations has to the knowledge never been studied before.
Keywords Customer services quality, Consumer behaviour, Banking, Customer relations, Norway
Paper type Research paper
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
The authors acknowledge data provided by the Norwegian Customer Satisfaction Barometer.
Valuable comments provided by members of NSM’s Marketing Faculty are recognized. Both
authors have contributed equally to the paper.
Managing Service Quality
Vol. 18 No. 4, 2008
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited