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Customer Service Behavior In Retail Settings: A Study Of The Effect Of Service Provider Personality

R. F. Hurley
Published 1998 · Business

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Researchers have suggested that service orientation is an aspect of personality that affects service performance. Four studies were done to explore the effect of personality on customer service behavior among frontline sales personnel in a fast-food convenience store chain. An exploratory qualitative study with customers, store managers, and salespeople showed that there was consistency in the trait descriptors used to describe superior service providers. Another study validated scales that measure the personality constructs (extroversion, adjustment, and agreeableness) underlying trait descriptors noted in the exploratory study. Finally, the results of two studies showed that personality does influence customer service and that superior service providers tend to be higher in extroversion and agreeableness. The magnitude of the effect of personality in services and recommendations for future research concerning personality and performance in service roles are discussed.
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