To investigate customer satisfaction with service encounters characterized by an over‐attentive level of service, and the contextual and individual factors moderating the resulting satisfaction scores.
The first of three formal experiments tests the prediction that consumer reactions vary with the margin between actual and expected levels of service. The second examines the influence of the tendency to psychological reactance on participants’ responses to excessive service. The third assesses the effect of a predisposition to suspiciousness on satisfaction scores, in scenarios which, respectively, specify that extremely over‐attentive service or “normal” service are directed at participants personally or is offered to all customers unselectively.
The first experiment found moderately excessive service to be acceptable to most participants but unexpectedly over‐attentive service to affect satisfaction negatively. The second found the negative impact of extremely over‐attentive service to be limited to participants with a greater tendency to psychological reactance. The third found that a high predisposition to suspicion resulted in lower satisfaction levels whether the scenario specified extremely over‐attentive service that was personal or on offer to all, whereas the satisfaction scores of participants with a lower predisposition to suspicion were not affected in those scenarios.
Whereas the relevant literature has focussed on customer reactions to service that falls below expectations, this paper studies service encounters in which it surpasses them. It hypothesizes a counterproductive effect on customer satisfaction and identifies contextual and individual factors that explain and predict that outcome.
Ku, H., Kuo, C. and Chen, M. (2013), "Is maximum customer service always a good thing? Customer satisfaction in response to over‐attentive service", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 437-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/MSQ-10-2012-0142Download as .RIS
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