Title: Understanding satisfying service encounters in retail banking - a dyadic perspective

Authors: Nathalie Kania; Thorsten Gruber

Addresses: IronFX Financial Services Ltd, 2 Lapetou Street, Agios Athanasios, 4101 Limassol, Cyprus ' Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB, UK

Abstract: The aim of this study is to expand understanding of satisfying service encounters. In particular, this research study will investigate both parties of the service encounter (customers and frontline employees). A dyadic approach will help to identify whether customer expectations differ from what contact employees believe customers desire from the service encounter. Insights will then lead to a greater understanding of the service encounter as revealed discrepancies in perceptions will not only increase employees' and management awareness, but also provide implications for training and recruitment of employees. An exploratory research study using the well-established laddering interviewing technique was regarded as appropriate as it allows researchers to gain a deeper insight into the research subject. In total, in-depth laddering interviews with 40 respondents (20 customers and 20 frontline employees) were conducted. The findings of this study suggest that customers and employees identified several similar concepts as being important for a successful service encounter such as friendliness, competence, responsiveness, honesty, and communication skills.

Keywords: service encounters; service quality; retail banking; dyadic approach; customer satisfaction; customer expectations; frontline employees; employee behaviour; service dominant logic; means-end approach; laddering; bank services; friendliness; competence; responsiveness; honesty; communication skills.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2013.054950

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.222 - 255

Received: 05 Nov 2012
Accepted: 19 Jan 2013

Published online: 30 Apr 2014 *

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