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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Katherine Braun Galvão Bueno Sresnewsky, Angela Satiko Yojo, Andres Rodriguez Veloso and Laura Torresi

Luxury companies have expanded globally, but little attention is given to the difficulties associated with expansion to culturally different countries, especially when…

Abstract

Purpose

Luxury companies have expanded globally, but little attention is given to the difficulties associated with expansion to culturally different countries, especially when focusing on training salespeople in rapport-building behaviors. To address this discussion, we answer these research questions: (1) Does the luxury fashion brand country of origin affect the rapport-building strategies of salespeople?; (2) How do luxury fashion employees classify customers from collectivistic cultures with emerging economies, such as that in Brazil?; and (3) What are the rapport-building strategies used by these salespeople for each of these luxury fashion customer segments?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted in-depth interviews with salespeople, managers and team supervisors from four global luxury retailers from Britain, France and Italy that operate in Brazil. In total, the authors interviewed 20 employees with an average of greater than 7 years of experience in luxury sales. The authors based their analysis on a theoretically generated coding guide and content analysis theories.

Findings

When expanding to culturally different countries, retail companies should adopt glocal strategies, especially when luxury is involved and when customers demand exclusive attention from companies. Additionally, the authors suggest that the effectiveness of rapport building strategies is culturally dependent and should be adapted to the microlevel, especially for continental countries that are culturally diverse.

Research limitations/implications

This is employee-view research, with no inputs from customers or corporate managers. Luxury fashion brand stores did not grant permission for official research within their employees nor the observation of their customers during in-store interactions. Researchers interviewed employees as individual professionals, and their identities will remain anonymous.

Practical implications

When expanding to culturally different countries, luxury retailers should give special attention to the adaption of sales strategies, training and sales guidelines.

Originality/value

This study focuses on customer-employee rapport from the company's perspective.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Johra Kayeser Fatima, Rita Di Mascio, Ali Quazi and Raechel Johns

This study aims to capture the mediation role of customer–frontline employee rapport on customer satisfaction and affective, calculative and normative commitment by using…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to capture the mediation role of customer–frontline employee rapport on customer satisfaction and affective, calculative and normative commitment by using three alternative models. It also verifies the moderation effect of relationship age on the rapport-satisfaction link in each alternative model.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey data collected from bank customers were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) with the partial least square (PLS) method.

Findings

Results confirmed rapport as a significant mediator between satisfaction and each of the three types of commitment. Relationship age significantly moderates the links between rapport to affective and normative commitment but not to calculative commitment.

Research limitations/implications

Additional findings from “importance–performance analysis” suggest that satisfaction is more import to customers than rapport for developing commitment, so further investigations can reveal the underlying reasons. Also, complementary mediation shows one or more missing mediators, which calls for future research.

Practical implications

Managers need to use rapport strategically with customers in different relationship ages to build different types of commitment. Specific tactics to build rapport and possible long run implications for developing affective, calculative and normative commitment have been discussed in the “note to practitioner” section.

Originality/value

Using “broaden-and-build” theory, the study extends the literature by confirming the mediation influence of rapport on satisfaction and three types of commitment relationships.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Gerrard Macintosh

This research seeks to test a model examining the antecedents and outcomes of interpersonal rapport in a professional service context. The four antecedents examined are…

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3879

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to test a model examining the antecedents and outcomes of interpersonal rapport in a professional service context. The four antecedents examined are familiarity, mutual self‐disclosure, extras, and common grounding, and the outcomes examined are trust, satisfaction, and word‐of‐mouth communication.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs a survey methodology to obtain the opinions of 121 dental patients regarding their relationships with dental professionals. The hypothesized relationships in the model were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

The research findings indicated that all four antecedents were positively related to rapport. Rapport was also found to be related to customer satisfaction and word‐of‐mouth communication, but rapport was not found to be related to trust. Post hoc analysis suggests that rapport appears to be related to trust early in relationships, then becomes less important, but re‐emerges as a driver of trust in very mature relationships.

Practical implications

Since rapport appears to be important to generating word‐of‐mouth, managers should foster and reward rapport‐building behavior.

Originality/value

The study empirically verified four antecedents of interpersonal rapport in services, and supports the role of rapport as an important mediating variable in relationship development. The research also supported prior findings on the unique contribution of rapport to positive word‐of‐mouth communication.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Siti Haryati Shaikh Ali and Nelson Oly Ndubisi

Consequent upon the intense competitive nature of today's business environment, service businesses are seeking for the most creative but effective means of attracting and…

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3087

Abstract

Purpose

Consequent upon the intense competitive nature of today's business environment, service businesses are seeking for the most creative but effective means of attracting and retaining customers. One of the ways is to build quality relationship via interpersonal relationship with customers. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two ways of building interpersonal relationship with customers – respect and rapport, and their impact on overall customer perceived relationship quality, as well as the role of context/environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This preliminary study reports on empirical results from a survey of customers of dental clinics in Malaysia. Data from a questionnaire survey of 563 respondents were analysed using factor analysis, Pearson correlation and hierarchical multiple regression analysis. The authors estimated the direct effect of respect and rapport on relationship quality as well as the moderating effect of context (cosmopolitan vs traditional milieu).

Findings

The results show that both rapport and respect are important in building quality relationship with customers. Environment/context has a direct effect on relationship quality. Context moderates the relationship between rapport and relationship quality but does not moderate the relationship between respect and relationship quality.

Practical implications

This research is of practical use to service companies (especially healthcare service providers) interested in developing effective strategies for building quality relationship with customers. Building good rapport and respecting customers are useful relational strategies to pursue.

Originality/value

The effect of rapport and respect on relationship quality in the Asian context has not been studied before. The paper sheds light on the overlooked dimensions of respect and service sector (small healthcare businesses) and also highlights the contextual implications of the findings.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Cheng-Yu Lin and Jiun-Sheng Chris Lin

Rapport between service employees and customers has been suggested to be an important determinant of customer relationship management, yet existing marketing literature…

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3335

Abstract

Purpose

Rapport between service employees and customers has been suggested to be an important determinant of customer relationship management, yet existing marketing literature still lacks a sufficient understanding of how service employees’ nonverbal communication affects customer-employee rapport development in service encounters. The purpose of this paper is to fill this research gap by proposing and testing a model that explores how service employees’ nonverbal communication (employee affective delivery and behavioral mimicry) influences customer positive emotions and customer-employee rapport. The mediating role of customer positive emotions and the moderating role of store atmosphere in the process of customer-employee rapport development were also assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an observational methodology in conjunction with a customer survey, multi-source survey data collected from 303 customer-employee pairs in the apparel retailing industry was examined through structural equation modeling and regression analysis.

Findings

Results showed that employee nonverbal communication positively influenced customer positive emotions and customer-employee rapport. The partial mediating role of customer positive emotions and the moderating role of store atmosphere in the process of rapport development were also confirmed.

Practical implications

Service firms should train and motivate employees to use nonverbal communication to develop and strengthen customer-employee rapport. The importance of customer positive emotions in the service process should be addressed in the customer-employee rapport development process. Moreover, service managers should also allocate firm resources to create a well-designed store atmosphere for target customers.

Originality/value

This research represents one of the earliest studies to explore and empirically test the influence of employee nonverbal communication on customer-employee rapport development in service encounters. The partial mediating role of customer positive emotions and the moderating role of store atmosphere on the relationship between employee nonverbal communication and customer-employee rapport were also proposed and confirmed.

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Johra Kayeser Fatima, Mohammed Abdur Razzaque and Rita Di Mascio

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of calculative, affective and normative commitment on bank employee-customer rapport and customer satisfaction. The…

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1020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of calculative, affective and normative commitment on bank employee-customer rapport and customer satisfaction. The mediating effect of rapport between each of the three types of commitment and customer satisfaction is also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modelling by Partial Least Square method is used for analysing the data on 212 bank customers in Bangladesh.

Findings

Results indicate that affective and normative commitment of customers has strong influence in developing rapport, whereas the impact of customers’ calculative commitment on rapport was found to be non-significant. The study also found that rapport has a complementary mediation effect between the three types of commitment and customer satisfaction.

Practical implications

While providing training to front line employees, bank management should make them aware that not all customers may have the same level of positive attitude or cooperation for the rapport-building procedure. Employees should understand that different customers will respond differently to their efforts for building rapport due to their pre-existing commitment levels towards banks. Bank management should acknowledge that customers’ current level of commitment may be further strengthened or weakened by successful or unsuccessful rapport building with banks’ employees and thereby re-evaluate their satisfaction level with the bank.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the relationship literature by exploring the mediating role of rapport between commitment and customer satisfaction, and by considering the influence of normative commitment on customer-employee rapport in financial services.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Jinsoo Hwang and JungHoon (Jay) Lee

As the elderly population in Korea grows, sales of travel packages for elderly people are also increasing. Senior tourists should spend much time with other tourists…

Abstract

Purpose

As the elderly population in Korea grows, sales of travel packages for elderly people are also increasing. Senior tourists should spend much time with other tourists because of the nature of package travel. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the significance of rapport with other tourists in the elderly tourist context. Specifically, the current study examined the relationship between other customer perceptions and rapport with other tourists. In addition, this study investigated the influences of rapport with other tourists on tour quality, tour satisfaction and word-of-mouth.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper collected data from 411 elderly tourists in Korea and conducted a structural equation modeling analysis to test nine hypotheses.

Findings

Physical appearance and suitable behavior positively affect rapport with other tourists and thus aid in increasing tour quality, tour satisfaction and word-of-mouth.

Originality/value

In service marketing, there is a general consensus that customers are influenced by other customers who use the same service facility because they recognize other customers as the environment of the service facility. The concept of other customer perceptions was applied to tourism marketing in this study in combination with another understudied concept, rapport. This study is one of the first, as per the authors’ knowledge, to apply those important concepts to the tourism industry in particular, although there has been a considerable body of research in the service marketing field. Consequently, the findings of this paper would be meaningful and useful for travel agencies when developing a marketing strategy to enhance rapport between tourists.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Kamisha Guthrie and Julie Beadle‐Brown

The aim of the research presented here was to identify behavioural cues of rapport and warmth, in order to enable the construction of a valid measurement tool that would…

Abstract

The aim of the research presented here was to identify behavioural cues of rapport and warmth, in order to enable the construction of a valid measurement tool that would support existing methods of behavioural analysis. A number of general research questions were put to six focus groups. Participants were individuals with learning disabilities, professionals working for the NHS or a local authority, and support workers. Data obtained was qualitative in nature and was examined using content analysis and comparisons between participants' experiences. Methods of interaction and communication with people who were either liked or disliked were generally similar across groups, although this varied by specific category. Behavioural cues of rapport were identified and categorised. Most of these would be of use in the creation of an assessment tool, although some adjustment is required so that they can be measured. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

Clive Nancarrow and Sally Penn

Examines the hypothesis that the UK population has not yet fully developed a telemarketing culture and that there is, therefore, a particular need for telemarketers to…

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2133

Abstract

Examines the hypothesis that the UK population has not yet fully developed a telemarketing culture and that there is, therefore, a particular need for telemarketers to understand how rapport might be developed on the telephone. Relevant literature from the fields of social psychology, applied psychology and marketing are reviewed and a programme of research was carried out, comprising an Omnibus to measure the extent of telemarketing experience in the UK population and a study among organisations with in‐house telemarketing facilities to explore the types of practices that might foster rapport. It concludes that a telemarketing culture still has some way to develop and that, while many organisations used a number of seemingly relevant techniques, in particular NLP mirroring and matching, there are a number of issues still to be resolved regarding measurement of rapport as well as the theory and “measuring instruments” associated with NLP. Other factors affecting the development of rapport in a telemarketing environment are also considered

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2019

Johra Kayeser Fatima, Rita di Mascio, Raechel Johns and Ali Quazi

The purpose of this paper is to explore the mediation impacts of core, relational and tangible service-quality features on the relationship between customer–frontline…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the mediation impacts of core, relational and tangible service-quality features on the relationship between customer–frontline employee rapport and customer dependency in an emerging market context. The study examines the moderating effects of relationship age and frequency of customers’ physical visits.

Design/methodology/approach

Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling was used to analyse data from a survey of 290 financial services customers in Dhaka, Bangladesh using the convenience sampling technique.

Findings

Results show that relational service-quality features had the largest mediation impact on the rapport–dependency relationship, followed by core and tangible service-quality features. Relationship age was not found to be a significant moderator for any relationship. However, the moderation effect of the frequency of customers’ physical visits to the service premises was significant, but only for the link between relational service-quality features and customer dependency and not for the other two types of service-quality features.

Research limitations/implications

Data collected from several other emerging markets would provide more rigorous findings: this is recommended as an avenue for further research.

Practical implications

Practitioners can manipulate specific relational or tangible service-quality features to increase customer dependency on their firms, thus ensuring longer-term customer retention.

Originality/value

This study is the first one to examine the relative significance of the impacts of relational features vs tangible features of services on customer dependency in the emerging market context, with rapport serving as an antecedent.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 29 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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