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The impact of internal service quality on customer service behaviour: Evidence from the banking sector

Victoria Bellou (University of Thessaly, Argonafton & Filellinon, Volos, Greece)
Andreas Andronikidis (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 10 October 2008




The increasing importance of customer satisfaction is uncontested. Yet, banks are currently facing another major challenge, meeting the changing needs of customers. For this reason, the present study aims to examine the effect that internal service quality has on employees' prosocial customer behaviour displayed, which is crucial for customers' perception of service quality. This effect was examined both for publicly and for privately held banks.


Out of 19 banks that operate in a major Greek city, 16 agreed to cooperate. The researchers personally administered 10 questionnaires to front‐line employees of every branch, on a random basis, and gathered 113 usable questionnaires. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistics, and regression analyses.


The findings indicate that employees are more likely to improve their general performance and are more cooperative when internal service quality exists. Despite the fact that employees in both sectors agree to the fact that reliability and access are critical for displaying role‐prescribed customer behaviour, there are significant difference with regards to cooperation and extra‐role customer behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

Since, the study took place in only one Greek city, increasing the sample base both in terms of the number of cities and respondents could provide safer generalizations of findings.

Practical implications

Quality circles, employee involvement and human resource management policies designed to stress internal service quality can enhance employees' willingness to serve customers, and in turn increase service quality provided to external customers.


The paper assesses the impact of internal service quality on customer service behaviour, focusing on the Greek banking sector.



Bellou, V. and Andronikidis, A. (2008), "The impact of internal service quality on customer service behaviour: Evidence from the banking sector", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 25 No. 9, pp. 943-954.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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