The influence of angry customer outbursts on service providers’ facial displays and affective states

Dallimore, Karen and Sparks, Beverley and Butcher, Ken (2007) The influence of angry customer outbursts on service providers’ facial displays and affective states. Journal of Service Research, 10 (1). pp. 78-92. ISSN 1094-6705

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This article explores the existence and extent of emotional contagion, as measured by facial displays and reported affective states, in a service failure event. Using video vignettes of customers complaining about a service failure as stimulus material, the authors measured the facial displays and affective states of service providers as proxies for emotional contagion. Following a two-step approach, service providers’ facial expressions were first recorded and assessed, revealing that service providers’ facial displays matched those of the angry consumer. Second, a mixed ANOVA revealed service providers reported stronger negative affective states after exposure to an angry complaint than prior to exposure. The results demonstrated that during a complaint situation, angry outbursts by consumers can initiate the emotional contagion process, and service providers are susceptible to “catch” consumer anger through emotional contagion. Implications for complaint management and future research are discussed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited according to Publisher's requirements.
Depositing User: Ms Karen Dallimore
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:23
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotional contagion; nonverbal communication; facial displays; complaints; service providers; service encounters
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170205 Neurocognitive Patterns and Neural Networks
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1505 Marketing > 150503 Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1177/1094670507304694

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