Title page for ETD etd-0124102-102623

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Barnard, Aletta Machell
URN etd-0124102-102623
Title Feedback Seeking in Customer Service Relationships
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gary J. Greguras Committee Chair
Irving M. Lane Committee Member
James M. Diefendorff Committee Member
Robert C. Mathews Committee Member
Abhijit Biswas Dean's Representative
  • perceived organizational support
  • monitoring
  • direct inquiry
  • similarity
  • word of mouth intentions
  • repatronage intentions
  • liking
Date of Defense 2001-11-30
Availability unrestricted
With the shift to a service economy (Cascio, 1995), customer service effectiveness is a critical measure of success for service firms. In service relationships, where a single employee may be the only point of contact for customers, monitoring service effectiveness becomes incumbent upon the employees delivering the service (i.e., boundary spanners). The purpose of this study was to provide an investigation into service effectiveness (i.e., customer satisfaction and repatronage and word-of-mouth intentions) in service relationships. Specifically, boundary spanners' perceived organizational support (POS) was proposed to impact customer satisfaction through its impact on feedback seeking behaviors (i.e., direct inquiry, monitoring, positive feedback, and negative feedback). Feedback seeking behaviors, in addition to customers liking of and perceived similarity to boundary spanners, were proposed to impact satisfaction. In turn, customer satisfaction was proposed to lead to repatronage intentions and word-of-mouth intentions. Participants included 147 boundary spanner and customer dyads in business-to-business service relationships. Despite the good fit of the overall model, the strength and significance of individual parameters in the model varied. Customer liking and perceived similarity had a direct impact on customer satisfaction, which in turn impacted repatronage and word-of-mouth intentions. Neither POS nor any individual feedback seeking behaviors had a significant impact on satisfaction. However, when considered together, three types of feedback seeking behavior (direct inquiry, positive and negative feedback seeking) did have a positive impact on satisfaction. These findings indicate that satisfied customers are more likely to return to boundary spanners and to recommend the boundary spanner to other prospective customers. Further, boundary spanners may enhance customer satisfaction through seeking feedback on their service delivery. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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