The Spillover Effects of Customer No-Shows: Field Evidence from an Online Education Platform
45 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2019
Date Written: July 1, 2019
How does a single customer no-show influence employees’ effort provision and positive affective displays in their interaction with a different customer? If employees care only about financial incentives, customer no-shows should not affect their feelings or behavior if they are not paid less for a customer no-show. However, integrating attribution theory with the customer incivility literature, we propose that employees may view customer no-shows as signs of disrespectfulness, thus becoming less motivated to exert effort and displaying positive affect less frequently when serving the next customer. We tested our predictions using data from two million scheduled classes on an online education platform in which student no-shows do not affect teachers’ pay. We find that student no-shows harm teachers’ subsequent effort provision, reduce teachers’ positive affective displays at the next class, and further decrease the positive affective displays of students attending the next class. These effects are weaker as time from the previous class increases. By studying the spillover effect of customer no-shows in a sharing-economy setting, we uncover customer no-shows as an underappreciated antecedent of work motivation and affect, and advance understanding of the source and impact of customer incivility.
Keywords: customer no-shows, customer incivility, spillover effect, motivation, emotion, machine learning, natural experiment, sharing economy
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