What Makes Good Frontline Employees? How They Look, Think and/or Serve?
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Frontline employees (FLEs) play a crucial role in face-to-face sales and service encounters as they not only sell products and services (Levy and Sharma 1993) as well as deliver service quality, satisfaction and value to their customers (Brady and Cronin 2001) but also act as a buffer between the customers and the organization (Singh 2000), help customize the service experience (Bettencourt and Gwinner 1996) and implement service innovations (Cadwallader et al. 2010) and improvements (Lages and Piercy 2012). However, there are many research gaps in this area, which we address in this paper. First, we investigate the combined influence of personal characteristics and service behaviors (perceived by the customers) and their role stressors and work-related attitudes (perceived by them) on their performance and customer outcomes. Second, we explore the combined dyadic influence of employees’ personal characteristics, role stressors and work-related attitudes on their service behaviors, service quality, customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Third, we examine how the employees’ service-role behaviors (in-role and extra-role) as perceived by the customers, may affect their formal performance evaluations by their supervisors.
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