Whereas the performance cues of tangible goods have been studied extensively, very little research has examined performance cues within service environments. Performance cues play an important role within the service encounter, because they serve as signs of quality and value to consumers. One particularly important cue is the performance of customer-contact employees as they create and deliver service quality. The study reported here was designed to investigate employee performance cues within a hotel service environment. The results indicate that front desk, housekeeping, and parking employee performance have significant effects on perceived quality, whereas front desk and room service employee performance have significant effects on perceived value. The only performance cue having a direct effect on word-of-mouth intentions is the performance of housekeeping employees. Both quality and value increase word-of-mouth intentions; however, the effect of value is large relative to the effect of quality. The findings are discussed with respect to two conditions that may affect the relative importance of each performance cue: (1) the frequency of employee-customer interaction and (2) the tangibility of each performance cue. The authors also discuss managerial implications and directions for future research.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 1996
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