Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the service responses of service providers to the affective states of business clients and to test whether they have a positive effect on the client's job performance, as well as their satisfaction and bonding to the service provider. Design/methodology/approach – The results are based on a survey of 240 business travellers in Taiwan. Ordinary least square regression is applied to test the relationships. Findings – Statistical tests confirm that service responses to emotional states have a positive effect on customer satisfaction, job performance and bonding. While service responses aimed at easing customers’ emotional problems increase satisfaction and job performance, true bonding is only facilitated through service responses that are centred on affection and social‐emotional support. Research limitations/implications – The authors investigate the personal service encounter with business customers who are using the service to perform a task. The findings are applicable to services that deal with customers in a similar way. Practical implications – The paper shows that appropriate service responses to emotional states of customers, including business customers, can lead to higher satisfaction and bonding to the service provider. Service responses enable business customers to perform better. Originality/value – The authors apply the concept of pre‐consumption emotions of customers to business clients. While pre‐consumption emotional states of customers have been studied much less that the elicitation of customer emotions, in the business‐to‐business sector emotions are seldom addressed. However, the study demonstrates that emotions are an important input factor that clients bring into the service encounter, which service providers can deal with to their competitive advantage.
Managing Service Quality – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 18, 2013
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Consumer psychology; Affective psychology; Pre‐consumption mood; Emotion; Loyalty; Emotional branding; Taiwan