Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

Rapport-Building Behaviors Used By Retail Employees

Dwayne D. Gremler, K. Gwinner
Published 2008 · Business

Cite This
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
Share
The rapport between employees and customers represents a particularly salient issue in retail businesses characterized by significant interpersonal interactions. Although rapport relates significantly to customer satisfaction, loyalty, and word-of-mouth communication, the behaviors employees use to develop rapport receive minimal attention in marketing and management literature. Using research on rapport-building behaviors identified in other literature as a basis for investigation, this study investigates the extent to which such behaviors are relevant in commercial settings. With the critical incident technique, the authors identify rapport-building behaviors commonly used by retail employees in 388 service encounters. Analysis of 824 rapport-building behaviors described in these encounters confirms three categories suggested by previous research – uncommonly attentive, common grounding, and courteous behavior – and identifies two additional categories that have not been linked to rapport in retail settings, namely, connecting and information sharing behavior. The authors conclude with a discussion of managerial and research implications.
This paper references
10.1016/S0022-4359(99)80002-5
Customer benefits and company consequences of customer-salesperson relationships in retailing
K. Reynolds (1999)
10.1016/S0148-2963(02)00277-1
An empirical assessment of the influence of customer emotions and contact employee performance on encounter and relationship satisfaction
W. V. Dolen (2004)
10.2307/3172601
Reliability of Nominal Data Based on Qualitative Judgments
W. D. Perreault (1989)
10.1177/0893318994007004003
Can I Help You?
W. Ford (1994)
10.2307/1251817
Relationship Quality in Services Selling: An Interpersonal Influence Perspective:
L. A. Crosby (1990)
Selling: Building Partnerships
Barton A. Weitz (1992)
10.4135/9781452229102.N1
Service Quality: Insights and Managerial Implications from the Frontier
R. Rust (1994)
10.1207/S15327965PLI0104_3
The Biological Basis of Rapport
M. Argyle (1990)
10.1016/S0022-4359(96)90028-7
Customer-sales associate retail relationships
S. Beatty (1996)
10.1177/009207039602400101
A measure of service quality for retail stores: Scale development and validation
Pratibha A. Dabholkar (1996)
10.1177/10983007050070020401
Quality of Rapport as a Setting Event for Problem Behavior
Darlene Magito McLaughlin (2005)
10.1509/jmkg.66.2.83.18476
Managing Business-to-Business Customer Relationships following Key Contact Employee Turnover in a Vendor Firm
Neeli Bendapudi (2002)
10.1111/J.1468-2958.1995.TB00362.X
Evaluation of the Indirect Influence of Courteous Service on Customer Discretionary Behavior.
W. Ford (1995)
10.1177/14614456030050010101
Managing prospect affiliation and rapport in real-life sales encounters
C. Clark (2003)
10.1177/0893318993007002003
Nonverbal Rapport-Building Behaviors' Effects on Perceptions of a Supervisor
Mark Heintzman (1993)
10.1080/0267257X.1996.9964431
The glory of stories: Using critical incidents to understand service evaluation in the primary healthcare context
M. Gabbott (1996)
10.1509/jmkg.65.3.34.18334
Some New Thoughts on Conceptualizing Perceived Service Quality: A Hierarchical Approach
M. K. Brady (2001)
10.5860/choice.28-2215
Service Management Effectiveness: Balancing Strategy, Organization and Human Resources, Operations, and Marketing
D. Bowen (1990)
10.1177/1094670504266138
The Critical Incident Technique in Service Research
Dwayne D. Gremler (2004)
10.1037/0022-3514.71.1.110
Dyad rapport and the accuracy of its judgment across situations: A lens model analysis.
F. Bernieri (1996)
10.4135/9781452229102
Service Quality: New Directions in Theory and Practice
J. Bitner (1993)
10.1016/S0022-4359(97)90022-1
The service experience in two cultures: A behavioral perspective
Kathryn Frazer Winsted (1997)
10.2753/PSS0885-3134260206
NLP Revisited: Nonverbal Communications and Signals of Trustworthiness
J. Wood (2006)
10.1207/S15327965PLI0104_1
The Nature of Rapport and Its Nonverbal Correlates
L. Tickle-Degnen (1990)
10.1037/0022-3514.76.6.893
The chameleon effect: the perception-behavior link and social interaction.
T. Chartrand (1999)
10.1177/1094670503257048
Rethinking Service Recovery Strategies
T. DeWitt (2003)
10.1016/0019-8501(94)90035-3
To know me is to trust me
Jon M. Hawes (1994)
A longitudinal analysis of the ad agency-client relationship: predictors of an agency switch
L. Henke (1995)
10.1023/A:1025389814290
The Chameleon Effect as Social Glue: Evidence for the Evolutionary Significance of Nonconscious Mimicry
Jessica L. Lakin (2003)
10.2307/1252074
Customer switching behavior in service industries: An exploratory study
Susan M. Keaveney (1995)
10.1016/S0022-4359(97)90002-6
The influence of salesperson selling behaviors on customer satisfaction with products
B. G. Goff (1997)
10.1177/109467050031006
Customer-Employee Rapport in Service Relationships
Dwayne D. Gremler (2000)
10.1177/002224298705100207
Predictability and Personalization in the Service Encounter
Carol Surprenant (1987)
10.1111/1467-9280.14481
Using Nonconscious Behavioral Mimicry to Create Affiliation and Rapport
Jessica L. Lakin (2003)
10.1016/S0022-4359(96)90007-X
The role of personalization in service encounters
B. Mittal (1996)
Building rapport with the client: There are several steps auditors can take before, during, and after the opening conference to build and maintain strong working relationships with their clients. (Back to Basics)
G. Hunt (2002)
10.1080/02650487.2001.11104885
Agency-client chemistry: demographic and psychographic influences
M. Ewing (2001)
Group rapport and nonverbal behavior.
L. Tickle-Degnen (1987)
10.1016/B978-012057770-5/50005-9
Principles of communication and emotion in social interaction
P. Andersen (1996)
10.1016/b978-0-12-057770-5.x5000-0
Handbook of Communication and Emotion
P. Andersen (1998)
10.1016/S0378-2166(01)00039-X
Managing rapport in talk: Using rapport sensitive incidents to explore the motivational concerns underlying the management of relations
H. Spencer-Oatey (2002)
10.1177/0092070398262002
Relational benefits in services industries: The customer’s perspective
K. Gwinner (1998)
10.1016/S0022-4359(97)90015-4
The impact of other customers on service experiences: A critical incident examination of “getting along”
S. J. Grove (1997)
10.2753/PSS0885-3134260403
Rapport Management during the Exploration Phase of the Salesperson–Customer Relationship
K. S. Campbell (2006)
10.2307/1251416
A Gap Analysis of Professional Service Quality
S. W. Brown (1989)
10.1023/A:1021698725361
The Importance of Nonverbal Cues in Judging Rapport
Jon E. Grahe (1999)
10.1016/S0022-4359(00)00034-8
Ensuring greater satisfaction by engineering salesperson response to customer emotions
K. Menon (2000)
10.1016/J.JRETAI.2006.10.008
The impact of code switching on service encounters
H. Schaû (2007)
10.2307/1252174
The Service Encounter: Diagnosing Favorable and Unfavorable Incidents:
M. J. Bitner (1990)
The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator
L. Thompson (1997)
10.4324/9780429494000-3
What makes a leader?
D. Goleman (1998)
10.1016/J.JRETAI.2005.03.004
Customer-oriented boundary-spanning behaviors: Test of a social exchange model of antecedents
L. A. Bettencourt (2005)
10.2307/3088888
Standardization VS. rapport: Respondent laughter and interviewer reaction during telephone surveys
D. Lavin (2001)
10.1108/09604520710735155
Observation of listening behaviors in retail service encounters
Donelda S. McKechnie (2007)
10.1016/S0022-4359(97)90014-2
Contact employees: Relationships among workplace fairness, job satisfaction and prosocial service behaviors
L. A. Bettencourt (1997)
10.1108/08876040210419406
Determinants of trust in a service provider: the moderating role of length of relationship
Keith S. Coulter (2002)
10.1037/H0061470
The critical incident technique.
J. C. Flanagan (1954)
10.1108/09604529710173015
Establishing rapport: the secret business tool to success
Wayne A. Hollman (1997)
10.1016/S0022-4359(97)90013-0
Customers' motivations for maintaining relationships with service providers
Neeli Bendapudi (1997)
10.5465/256456
Untangling the Relationship between Displayed Emotions and Organizational Sales: The Case of Convenience Stores
R. I. Sutton (1988)
Advertiser perceptions of fair compensation, confidentiality, and rapport
D. LaBahn (1996)
10.1037/0021-9010.81.3.228
Effects of interpersonal trust and time pressure on managerial mediation strategy in a simulated organizational dispute.
W. Ross (1996)
10.1016/S1067-5671(96)05046-9
Friendship over the counter: How social aspects of service encounters influence consumer service loyalty
C. Goodwin (1996)



This paper is referenced by
The Effect of Employee Behaviors on Consumers' Emotions and Behavioral Intentions in Positive Service Encounters
Yoshimasa Kageyama (2016)
Gender identities and the decision to return: the case of Rwandan refugee men and women in North Kivu, DRC
Karen Koraeny Taiwa (2016)
10.2139/SSRN.2639670
Employee Emotional Competence – Customer Satisfaction – Loyalty Link: An Empirical investigation of Spa and Beauty industry
Ojo Amuel Olamilekan (2014)
10.1007/978-3-319-50008-9_187
An empirical examination of causes and consequences of trustworthiness: A B2B services perspective
Ralitza Bell (2017)
Impact of Purchase Importance and Salesperson Behaviors on Relationship Loyalty
Richard E. Plank (2009)
Social bonds in clients' business relationships with professional service providers
Ewa Krolikowska-Adamczyk (2013)
10.1108/IHR-01-2019-0001
Do tipping motivations predict loyalty to the server in a restaurant
Jeremy E. Whaley (2019)
10.2753/MTP1069-6679190304
The Effect of Personal Relationship and Consultative Task Behaviors on Buyer Perceptions of Salesperson Trust, Expertise, and Loyalty
Stephen J. Newell (2011)
10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.01.044
So distant, yet useful: The impact of distal stories on customers’ service expectations
N. Lee (2020)
10.1108/09696471111123289
Improving Service Delivery: Investigating the Role of Information Sharing, Job Characteristics, and Employee Satisfaction.
N. Bontis (2011)
10.1108/13555851111143231
Service worker behaviours and service setting facets – consumers' perspective
Ajith Paninchukunnath (2011)
10.1177/0312896218775799
The effect of humour usage on customer’s service experiences
Tung Moi Chiew (2019)
10.1177/1094670516679275
The Future of Frontline Research
A. Rafaeli (2016)
Customer Experience Management in Retailing
B. Kamaladevi (2009)
10.1108/09590551211267610
CRM and retail service quality: front‐line employee perspectives
Kelley O'Reilly (2012)
10.1108/09604521311287650
Service responses to emotional states of business customers
Y Wang (2013)
10.1108/jfmm-04-2018-0048
Rapport-building in luxury fashion retail: a collectivist culture case
Katherine Braun Galvão Bueno Sresnewsky (2020)
MASTER Personalization in automated digital customer support an explorative and experimental study
By Tim Aanhane (2018)
10.5465/AMJ.2014.0367
Effects of Employees’ Positive Affective Displays on Customer Loyalty Intentions: An Emotions-as-Social-Information Perspective
Z. Wang (2017)
10.1086/676980
Should the Devil Sell Prada? Retail Rejection Increases Aspiring Consumers' Desire for the Brand
M. K. Ward (2014)
10.1080/0965254X.2011.599495
Contributing to well-being: customer citizenship behaviors directed to service personnel
R. Garma (2011)
10.36345/kacst.2015.33.5.009
A Study on the Structural Relationships among Customer Orientation, Rapport and Performance in Business-to-Business Relationships
Ihn-goo Lee (2015)
10.1145/3328756.3328772
A Language Generation Toolkit for Expressing Agreement in Small Talk
Mei Si (2019)
10.1145/3308532.3329447
How Can I Agree with You Better?
Mei Si (2019)
10.1016/J.JBUSRES.2016.06.002
The road to customer loyalty paved with service customization
Dora E. Bock (2016)
10.1108/IJCHM-02-2018-0128
Understanding customer-customer rapport in a senior group package context
Jinsoo Hwang (2019)
10.1016/J.IJHM.2009.07.003
Contingency variables for customer share of visits to full-service restaurant
W. Kim (2010)
Dimensions of Real and Virtual Consumer Experiences
K. Dziewanowska (2015)
10.1108/JSTP-09-2014-0187
The antecedents and consequences of humour for service
C. Mathies (2016)
10.5117/MAB.88.31331
Het innovatiepotentieel van klantenservicemedewerkers benutten
Jjl Jeroen Schepers (2014)
10.1057/9781137375469
Measuring Customer Experience
Philipp Klaus (2015)
10.1177/0098628314562673
Further Validation of the Learning Alliance Inventory
Daniel Thomas Rogers (2015)
See more
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar