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Does the employee-customer satisfaction link hold for all employee groups?

Van Wangenheim, F. and Evanschitzky, H. and Wunderlich, M. (2007) Does the employee-customer satisfaction link hold for all employee groups? Journal of Business Research, 60 (7). pp. 690-697. ISSN 0148-2963

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Abstract

Increasingly, retailers nowadays have to focus on service marketing strategies and tactics to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Delivering high levels of service quality becomes crucial for long-term success. Since customers' perception of service quality depends very much on the interaction between the customer and the employee, this study analyzes the link between employee and customer satisfaction in more detail. Moreover, based on three different theories that prior research has used, it investigates whether or not the level of customer contact is a determinant of the existence or the intensity of the employee-customer satisfaction link. Analysis of dyadic data from 53,645 customers and 1659 employees across 99 outlets of a large German Do-It-Yourself (DIY)-retailer shows that employee job satisfaction affects customer satisfaction even for employee groups that are not in direct interaction with customers, although effects seem to be slightly stronger for high interaction groups. Implications for research and management are discussed.