Distinguishing Between Service Relationships and Encounters

Gutek, Barbara A.; Bhappu, Anita D.; Liao-Troth, Matthew A.; Cherry, Bennett
April 1999
Journal of Applied Psychology;Apr99, Vol. 84 Issue 2, p218
Academic Journal
In 3 separate studies, the authors developed measures of different social mechanisms used in the interaction between a customer and a service provider and examined their effects. Service relationships occur when a customer has repeated contact with the same provider. Service encounters occur when the customer interacts with a different provider each time. Service pseudorelationships are a particular kind of encounter in which a customer interacts with a different provider each time, but within a single company. The 3 studies showed consistently that customers having a service relationship with a specific provider had more service interactions and were more satisfied than those who did not have one. These results held across 7 different service areas, 3 diverse samples, and 2 different ways of measuring a service relationship.


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