The Beautiful, the Cheerful and the Helpful: The Effects of Service Employee Attributes on Customer Satisfaction

Psychology & Marketing, 30 (3), 211-226, 2013

16 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2013

See all articles by Hean Tat Keh

Hean Tat Keh

Monash University

Run Ren

Peking University

Sally Rao Hill

University of Adelaide - Business School

Xuan Li

PetroChina Pipeline Company

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

In contrast to prior studies examining only piecemeal aspects of employee attributes (i.e., physical attractiveness, displayed emotion, or helpfulness), the present research adopts an encompassing approach and considers these attributes simultaneously. These three attributes were selected as they represent the physical, emotional, and motivational aspects of the employee, respectively. This holistic approach provides an understanding of how these three dimensions of employee attributes exert differential effects and interact with one another on customer satisfaction. In order to validate the proposed framework and hypotheses, the authors conducted an experiment as well as a survey in an actual retail setting. Results show that even though all three employee attributes lead to customer satisfaction, employee helpfulness has the strongest impact. In addition, employees’ displayed emotion interacts with their physical attractiveness and helpfulness, respectively, to influence customer satisfaction. These findings not only contribute to the literature, but also have managerial implications for high-contact services.

Keywords: Employee Physical Attractiveness, Employee Displayed Emotion, Employee Helpfulness, Customer Satisfaction

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Keh, Hean Tat and Ren, Run and Rao Hill, Sally and Li, Xuan, The Beautiful, the Cheerful and the Helpful: The Effects of Service Employee Attributes on Customer Satisfaction (2013). Psychology & Marketing, 30 (3), 211-226, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2280853

Hean Tat Keh (Contact Author)

Monash University ( email )

Australia

Run Ren

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Sally Rao Hill

University of Adelaide - Business School ( email )

10 Pulteney Street
Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

Xuan Li

PetroChina Pipeline Company ( email )

Langfang City, Hebei 065000
China

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