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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2021

Aaron D. Arndt, Juliet F. Poujol and Béatrice Siadou-Martin

The customer retail experience is frequently interrupted by disturbances such as ringing phones and other people. Employees must be able to respond to retail disturbances…

Abstract

Purpose

The customer retail experience is frequently interrupted by disturbances such as ringing phones and other people. Employees must be able to respond to retail disturbances effectively to ensure that customers have a satisfactory experience in the retailer. Using Affective Events Theory as a framework, the purpose of this paper is to develop and test a model for understanding how retail disturbances affect customers outcomes and how retail employee response mitigates the negative impact of retail disturbances.

Design/methodology/approach

The model was tested using a pre-study of retail managers and consumers, a survey study and four experimental studies.

Findings

Retail disturbances reduce interactional justice and customer positive emotions. Customers pay attention to how employees address retail disturbances, even when they are not directly involved.

Research limitations/implications

The research experiments focus on sound-based disturbances. Other stimuli (e.g. olfactory or visual) should be examined in more detail.

Practical implications

Employees can mitigate the negative effects of retail disturbances on customers with a positive response to the disturbance and to customers. Employee responses influence customers currently receiving service and nearby shoppers.

Social implications

The findings demonstrate the deleterious effect of solicitation calls on small retailers and provide recommendations for reducing solicitation calls.

Originality/value

This research shows that retail disturbances reduce customer outcomes, employee response becomes part of the disturbance event, and that it is possible for employees to address a group of nearby customers indirectly through unintentional observation.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Juliet F. Poujol

Although experts agree on the importance of service quality, sales force management practices are often far from conforming to their recommendations. The current use of…

Abstract

Purpose

Although experts agree on the importance of service quality, sales force management practices are often far from conforming to their recommendations. The current use of sales contests with quantitative objectives on turnover or profit margin is evidence of this divergence. Sharma notes the need for a better understanding of the impact of such incentives on quality of service. In response to this call, the concept of “service climate” as an internal indicator of customer perception of service quality is studied. More specifically, the purpose of this paper is to consider which type of sales contest best preserves service climate.

Design/methodology/approach

Four characteristics of sales contests are examined through an experimental approach. Salespeople's perception of service climate are measured. Hypotheses are tested with ANOVA.

Findings

The study shows that sales contest can have a negative impact on the service climate. The results give indications as to which incentives are optimal in terms of service climate. Surprisingly, selective contests, with a ranked competition and few winners, would affect service climate to a lesser extent.

Practical implications

The findings of this study are unexpected and indicate that sales managers need to pay attention not only to sales contest's characteristics but also their interaction. The sales contest is not an addition to but a combination of modalities.

Originality/value

This study has both managerial and research implications for design and implementation of sales contest.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2008

John F. Tanner, Christophe Fournier, Jorge A. Wise, Sandrine Hollet and Juliet Poujol

This paper aims to present perceptions of sales executives from three countries regarding expectations for the future of the sales profession and sales position.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present perceptions of sales executives from three countries regarding expectations for the future of the sales profession and sales position.

Design/methodology/approach

Results of a thematic interpretation of in‐depth interviews are presented, using several agenda‐setting articles as a foundation.

Findings

Executives struggle with how salespeople should add value, especially in today's multi‐channel environment. Greater professionalization is needed in countries where the state of the profession is less developed. Emergent strategy is practiced but not universally. Sales executives generally believe that little incremental value in technology can be gained, though it is apparent that technology is not being fully utilized. Other findings are also discussed.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers should consider classifying sales research by sales strategy rather than industry or country unless those aspects are factors being studied; further, questions such as how do salespeople create value and when is human intervention in the sales process required are offered.

Practical implications

Executives should re‐examine sales technology, particularly in managing and transferring knowledge. Emergent strategy requires processes for identifying and transferring effective adaptation. Sales organizations must develop, at the salesperson level, greater business acumen, to be gained through training, experience or selection.

Originality/value

This study identifies issues and factors that will influence sales practice and should influence sales research into the future. Particularly, the study is the first to highlight the use of emergent strategy, as well as the issue of identifying and creating value.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Sylvie Llosa, Kiane Goudarzi and Chiara Orsingher

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

Michel Klein

The concept of emotional labor refers to the management of emotions in interaction with customers. This study aims to suggest an integrative definition of emotional labor…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of emotional labor refers to the management of emotions in interaction with customers. This study aims to suggest an integrative definition of emotional labor. It develops a conceptual framework that helps organize and synthesize key insights from the literature, in an interactional and multi-level perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

This integrated framework consists in a mapping of key research themes resulting from a systematic literature review, which includes research in sales and marketing. As critical affective processes in sales have not been studied sufficiently, both in business-to-business and business-to-customer selling, this review also incorporates works in other research fields.

Findings

Sales representatives’ emotional labor must be considered as a bi-directional interaction with the customer in a multi-level perspective. Moreover, emotional labor has rather negative consequences for the salesperson (e.g. burnout and job stress), but may have positive sales and customer outcomes. Findings suggest that the expression of genuine emotions should be used during sales interactions. In addition, organizations should prevent customers’ negative behaviors (e.g. mistreatment).

Practical implications

Emotional labor key practical implications with regard to several management functions such as the recruitment, performance management and training (Ashkanasy and Daus, 2002) of the sales representatives.

Originality/value

Research on emotional labor in a sales ecosystem is scarce. It has largely covered service industry employees in contact with customers, but has not paid enough attention to sales representatives (Mikeska et al., 2015). The proposed integrated framework concerning emotional labor focuses on the bi-directional interaction between the sales representatives and their customers.

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