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Customer-focused Emotion Management Strategies Laura M. Little Department of Management Terry College of Business University of Georgia Athens, Georgia 30602 (706) 542-3751 email@example.com Don Kluemper Department of Management Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115-2897 (815)753-6232 firstname.lastname@example.org Debra L. Nelson Department of Management William S. Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078 (405)744-5202 email@example.com Andrew Ward College of Business & Economics Lehigh University 621 Taylor Street Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015 (610) 758-5285 firstname.lastname@example.org
Little, L.M. Kluemper, D. Nelson, D.L., Ward, A. (in press). More than Happy to Help? Customer-focused Emotion Management Strategies. Personnel Psychology. We would like to thank Jim Quick and Mark Rosenbaum for helpful comments on drafts of this manuscript. An earlier draft of this manuscript was presented at the 2010 Academy of Management Meeting in Montreal, Canada
Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES More than Happy to Help? Customer-focused Emotion Management Strategies Abstract This paper investigates the impact of customer service representative (CSR) customerfocused emotion management strategies on expressed customer emotions, beyond the influences of emotional contagion. We propose that problem-focused strategies (situation modification and cognitive change) are likely to reduce the intensity of negative customer emotions and increase the intensity of positive customer emotions, whereas emotion-focused strategies (attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response) will have the opposite impact. Further, we propose that customer negative emotions will affect the choice of strategies CSRs employ. Based on evaluator ratings of recorded customer service calls (N = 228), our findings confirmed the positive effects of problem-focused strategies and the negative effects of emotion-focused strategies on customer-expressed emotions. In addition, we found that initial customer emotions affected the strategy used by the CSR, whereby negative emotions expressed by the customer reduced the use of the most effective strategy and increased the use of the least effective strategy.
Keywords: expressed emotions, coping assistance, customer service
Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
More than Happy to Help? Customer-focused Emotion Management Strategies Customer emotions have been an important topic of study in the service industry for decades. Hochschild (1983) pioneered this research by investigating the requirements that organizations place on employees to control their own emotional expressions in order to manage customer emotions. This work led to the study of emotional contagion, defined as the impact of customer service representatives’ (CSR) emotional expressions on customer emotions. Research on emotional contagion has shown that CSR emotional expressions are an important predictor of customer emotions (Barger & Grandey, 2006; Pugh, 2001). What remains unclear, however, is how CSR behaviors affect customer emotions, particularly initially negative ones. In customeroriented services, having to deal with negative customers is a common occurrence. According to published statistics, CSRs report that, on average, they are subjected to verbal aggression by customers 10 times a day (Grandey, Dickter, & Sin, 2004). Given that service providers understand the importance of customer emotions in that they can impede or facilitate service delivery (Locke, 1996), what do CSRs do to encourage more positive interactions and further, what influences this behavior? Despite the widespread acceptance among both academics and practitioners regarding the effectiveness of emotional contagion in increasing positive interactions (i.e., Barger & Grandey, 2006; Pugh, 2001), 70% of customers interacting with a service agent in order to report/resolve problems experience intense negative emotion at the end of the interaction (Customer Care Alliance, 2005). This suggests that CSR efforts directed at positive emotional contagion may not be sufficient and that organizational research needs to focus on the effect CSR behaviors have on customer emotions. Further, it suggests that, although some CSR behaviors aimed at helping customers deal with their problems are effective, some may have damaging consequences. These
1984). are incited by various stressors. 2009). referred to as coping assistance. (2) investigating the impact of initial customer emotions on the behaviors of the CSR. who experience intense negative emotions. Williams (2007) outlined four interpersonal emotion management strategies used by boundary spanners to manage others’ emotions: situation modification (changing. 1986).Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES issues will be addressed in the current study through the following three objectives: (1) identifying effective and detrimental CSR behaviors that affect customer emotional expression over and above the effects of emotional contagion. Customers. To achieve these objectives. 1984). Lively. and that individuals can aid others in their emotion management (Lazarus & Folkman. Researchers have highlighted the importance of investigating active participation in another individual’s stress-management efforts. Niven. Thoits. The coping literature has long recognized that interactions with others are an integral part of managing negative emotions and encouraging positive ones. removing or altering a problem to remove the emotional impact) and 5 . and (3) exploring how the use of multiple strategies affects customer emotions. Totterdell. & Holman. Interpersonal emotion management (IEM) strategies derive from Gross’s (1998) work on personal emotion management and the notion that individuals manage others’ emotions at work using the same tactics that they use to manage their own emotions (Francis. minimize. Problem-focused coping refers to attempts to directly manipulate a stressor or the perceptions of it. for example. we integrate coping assistance and interpersonal emotion management theories. whereas emotion-focused coping relies on actions intended to prevent. 1992. within the framework of emotion. Coping involves attempting to manage stressors that cause negative emotions.and problem-focused coping (Cohen. 1997. 2000. or reduce the expressions of negative emotions that result from a stressful circumstance (Lazarus & Folkman.
the majority of research on both IEM and coping assistance has been observational and theoretical (for an exception. Williams (2007) suggested that IEM strategies are aimed at reducing others’ negative emotions. which we position as problem-focused strategies. de Ruyter. & Lemmink. Kluemper. 2011). and attentional deployment (directing the target’s attention to something more pleasant) and modulating the emotional response (influencing emotional response tendencies). positioned as emotion-focused strategies. purchasing behavior. Very little is known about how IEM strategies actually affect (and are affected by) others’ emotions. we advance research on emotions in the service industry in several important ways. research on the management of others’ emotions is just beginning to emerge in the academic literature (see Williams. ironic) notion that more negative emotions expressed by the customer lead to a less effective use of emotion 6 . 2007). developing theory that addresses both positive and negative outcomes may help CSRs understand the implications of their behaviors when dealing with customers. As customer emotions have been shown to be particularly impactful on customer satisfaction. & Gooty. and other factors important to organizational success (van Dolen. 2004). by integrating coping assistance and IEM literature. see Little. Nelson. the impact of the customer’s expressed emotion on the strategy used by the customer service representative has not been studied. we develop theory to explain why some strategies may have negative consequences in the service industry. Second. In the process of integrating these theoretical frameworks. As such. but does not consider that these behaviors may have negative outcomes. we extend IEM literature to investigate the impact of IEM strategies on customer emotions. whereas others produce opposite results. We investigate the hypothesized (and yet.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES cognitive change (reappraising a situation or problem as more positive). First. Thus. Third.
When confronted by negative targets. In the sections that follow. targets will seek help from an agent (i.e. are billed incorrectly. we explore the impact of the interactions between strategies on emotions expressed by the customer. 1992. At this point. the agent can engage in behaviors that assist the target in coping with their emotions. Through coping assistance. we present the integration of coping and interpersonal emotion management literature. Because a fundamental aspect of the job is to encourage 7 . when targets (i. results including post hoc analyses.e. Specifically. If our hypotheses are supported.).. or choose to address the problem directly. Thus. 1986). previous work has not considered that IEM strategies may interact in affecting customers’ emotions.. we seek to investigate the impact on customer emotions when CSRs employ a combination of IEM strategies. Demands can be managed by self or through others’ assistance. Theory and Hypotheses Coping is defined as cognitive or behavioral efforts to manage specific demands that are seen as taxing (Lazarus & Folkman. coping assistance can help foster additional target appraisal of the stressor. agents suggest techniques for stress management and participate directly in efforts to help manage stress of the target (Thoits. our hypotheses. Finally. the CSR).Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES management strategies. According to the transactional model of stress (Lazarus & Folkman. In a post hoc analysis.. and a discussion that delineates the implications of these results for CSRs’ effectiveness in managing customers’ negative emotions. these results may help to better understand how negative customer emotional displays lead the CSRs to engage in less (rather than more) effective IEM strategies. which lends additional practical significance to the study. they go through an appraisal process. the customers) experience negative events (e. 1986). Thoits. receive a collections notice. If a negative appraisal ensues. 1984).g. etc. distress symptoms characterized by negative affect and emotions will emerge. a process known as coping assistance (Cohen. 1988. 1984).
a CSR could offer to send a replacement product to customers having trouble with their current item. restarts the appraisal process and subsequently affects ensuing emotions. Thus. then. modify. strategies aimed at managing others’ emotion can be either problem. Alternatively. or change aspects of the situation negatively affecting target’s emotions. This assistance. the strategy is emotion-focused. if the emotion itself is addressed. or create small talk to lighten the mood (focusing on the target’s emotions). given that most customers contact CSRs due to problems they have experienced. Agents using situation modification will do everything they can to remove. This strategy deals directly with the source of stress and resides in the problem-focused domain. with attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response as two emotionfocused strategies.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES positive emotions in the customer. a CSR may ask a negative customer to relax. if an individual addresses the antecedent directly. situation modification is a widely utilized strategy in the customer service industry. Despite the nomenclature. they are engaged in problem-focused strategies. Certainly. the customer will likely appraise the situation as less stressful. Weaving together the interpersonal emotion management and coping assistance literature. 1992). On the other hand. Watson & Clark. 2002. For example. we position situation modification and cognitive change as two problem-focused strategies. a CSR may attempt to address the customer’s problem directly or explain how the problem came about (focusing on the cause of the target’s emotions). When CSRs modify the situation to solve or address the customer’s problem. Problem-Focused Strategies Situation modification involves changing or altering the situation to reduce undesired negative emotions and increase positive ones. leading to 8 .or emotion-focused because these strategies are based on the theory that emotions originate from a salient antecedent cause (Forgas. in this work.
Hypothesis 1b: Situation modification is positively related to customer expressed positive emotions at the end of the service call. this strategy also addresses the problem directly and. We predict that. a customer may call to complain about not receiving a product. customers will express more intense positive emotions and less intense negatives ones at the end of the customer service interaction. For example. Cognitive change involves altering the customer’s perspective regarding the problem or reframing the problem in order to make it subjectively less stressful. Although perhaps less evident than situation modification in the service industry. & Masters. When using cognitive change. we contend that cognitive change is a behavioral strategy that can also positively affect customer emotions. Garber. an agent exhibits behaviors that put situations in perspective for the target. which should. Research in developmental psychology has shown that problem-focused interventions aimed at targets’ negative states have been found to be related to reduced negative states and increased positive states (Barden. the target should appraise the 9 . positively affect their emotions. Leiman. thus. During the subsequent appraisal process. Hypothesis 1a: Situation modification is negatively related to customer expressed negative emotions at the end of the service call. In this case. when CSRs use situation modification. thereby assessing the effect of IEM strategies after controlling for the effect of emotional contagion.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES less intense negative expressed emotions and more intense positive ones. By attempting to change the target’s perception of the problem. 1985). and the service representative responds that bad weather across the country has delayed all shipments. Ford. in turn. It should be noted that each of the hypotheses presented in this manuscript control for positive and negative expressed emotions on the part of both the customer and the CSR at the beginning of the service interaction. the CSR helps reduce the customers’ stress. is problem-focused.
the CSR is focused on directly affecting the customer’s emotions. it will not reduce their negative emotional expressions. For example. by the end of the interaction. research in developmental psychology has shown that problem-focused interventions aimed at altering targets’ negative states have been found to be the most effective in actually reducing the negative states and increasing positive one (Barden et al.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES problem less negatively and. 1985). the CSR is providing an alternative explanation for the problem and thereby reducing the negative appraisal initially made by the customer. Because attentional 10 . This strategy ignores the cause of the problem and solely focuses on improving the customer’s emotions using alternative stimuli. In this case. Hypothesis 2b: Cognitive change is positively related to customer expressed positive emotions at the end of the service call. Thus. rather than altering the problem or the customer’s perception of the cause of dissatisfaction. we hypothesize that these problem-focused strategies will be related to more intense positive emotions and less intense negative ones. Hypothesis 2a: Cognitive change is negatively related to customer expressed negative emotions at the end of the service call. CSR effort is focused on directly changing the customer’s emotions. Thus. We predict that although this strategy may temporarily distract the customer. Again. as does the customer’s original perception of it. Although cognitive change does not involve solving the problem (as does situation modification). Emotion-Focused Strategies Attentional deployment involves distracting the target’s attention from the cause of undesired negative emotions. the initial problem persists. the CSR may tell a joke or try to engage the customer in small talk to distract them. express more intense positive emotions and less intense negative ones.. With attentional deployment.
However. 2005). he or she will not evaluate the situation more positively. resulting in resource depletion. Hypothesis 3a: Attentional deployment is positively related to customer expressed negative emotions at the end of the service call. including discussions of the weather and other non-functional commentary) included in a service encounter. Hypothesis 3b: Attentional deployment is negatively related to customer expressed positive emotions at the end of the service call. employee competence.e. Surprenant and Solomon (1987) found that the more off-task information (i.. forms of small talk. the customer will have no new information during the subsequent appraisal process. and satisfaction with effectiveness. the customer will actually express more intense negative emotions and less intense positive emotions because of the inherent demands involved in the distraction.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES deployment does not directly address the problem. Vohs. the negative appraisal persists. Very few authors have investigated distraction techniques used by CSRs (Winsted. 2000. 11 . are disruptive. and thus. The authors reasoned that distraction techniques. Furthermore. the customer must expend more effort on the interaction. As a result. & Ciarocco. such as small talk. Consequently. Resource depletion. we predict that when this strategy is used. has been related to lack of self-control and impairments in self-presentation (Muraven & Baumeister. CSR behavior aimed at distraction is likely to lead to more negative expressed emotions. Baumeister. Thus. Attentional deployment also further taxes customers and reduces self-control of their negative emotions. the lower the customer evaluations of trustworthiness. particularly if they require the customer to respond in kind. as attentional deployment does not provide the customer with a way to reappraise the situation. 2000). in turn.
2000.e. p. and thus is emotionfocused.” a strategy aimed at reducing the target’s expressions of these feelings (Niven et al.. a CSR may interrupt a caller on a negative rant or suggest to an upset customer to relax. where suggestions for biological modification (i. Hypothesis 4a: Modulating the emotional response is positively related to customer expressed negative emotions at the end of the service call. 2000). Additionally. 2000). CSR behavior aimed at modulating the emotional response will relate positively to negative expressed emotions in the customer. because modulating the emotional response does not address the problem. and will not appraise the situation more positively at the end of the interaction with the CSR. Marketing research has shown that satisfaction suffers when service representatives do not display concern for their customers (Winsted. Vohs et al.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Modulating the emotional response involves the CSR attempting to suppress negative customer emotions. exercise) are not practical. the customer will have no new information during the subsequent appraisal process. this technique is taxing. In experimental settings. 504). 2005).” Agents who use modulating the emotional response suggest strategies for targets aimed at not expressing their undesired emotions. Because resource depletion impairs selfpresentation and control (Muraven & Baumeister. study participants told to suppress their emotions have been found to have greater cognitive costs than those that have not (Richards & Gross. thus. 12 . 2009. tell a customer to “take a deep breath” or “calm down. In a customer service industry... These types of attempts at managing a target’s emotions often involve “making it clear [that one] do[es] not care how the target feels. Modulating the emotional response ignores the problem entirely and focuses on reducing the expressions of negative emotions by the customer. A CSR adopting this strategy may. Just as attentional deployment.
we propose that negative emotions expressed by the customer result in CSR emotional dissonance which will affect the choice of IEM strategy used. 1983). Thus. being positive with the customer) and the actually experienced negative emotions (Hochschild. 2005. As discussed above. Emotional dissonance has been shown to lead to a change in CSR behavior. 2000. they go through an appraisal process and subsequently experience stress. 13 . Tice & Bratslavsky. 2004. Wegge.. 2004. This process similarly affects CSRs when they encounter negative customers. resulting in emotional dissonance in CSRs (Dormann & Zapf. Vogt. when CSRs interact with negative customers. often resulting in decreased helpfulness (Wegge et al.. CSRs exposed to negative customer emotional expressions may focus more directly on this source of dissonance. Emotional dissonance represents incongruence between the organizational expectations of the CSRs to consistently exhibit positive emotions (i. 2007). Grandey et al. 2006. Specifically. Zapf. Specifically. 1984) suggests that when customers experience a negative event.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Hypothesis 4b: Modulating the emotional response is negatively related to customer expressed positive emotions at the end of the service call. This should increase their use of emotion-focused IEM strategies and decrease their use of problem-focused strategies Hypotheses 5: Customers’ initial expressed negative emotions are negatively related to situation modification (5a) and cognitive change (5b). & Zapf. the transactional model of stress (Lazarus & Folkman. they appraise the situation and begin to experience negative emotions and distress symptoms (Lazarus & Folkman. 2002). Tschan. Negative Customer Emotions and CSR Behavior We were also interested in investigating influences on the choice of IEM strategy used by the CSR. 2007) and a reduction in the performance quality (Bakker & Heuven. Rochat. & Wecking. 1984).e..
as having sufficient time to interact with the customer is necessary for a CSR to sense negative emotions. In total. and affect the customer’s emotions. 23 s.1 Because the purpose of our study was to investigate strategies used by CSRs to help customers manage negative emotions. Mdn = 3 min. a medical billing organization located in the Southeastern United States agreed to participate in the current research study in exchange for summary information. Within those 312 calls. 6 s. we recorded 556 incoming calls. we offer two minutes as a reasonable minimum threshold for telephone-based customer service interactions of the sort used in this study. Method Participants and Procedure As part of a comprehensive research effort. we recruited undergraduate student volunteers from a 14 . We chose 2 minutes as the minimum duration.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Hypotheses 6: Customers’ initial expressed negative emotions are positively related to attentional deployment (6a) and modulating the emotional response (6b). Our level of analysis was incoming customer service phone calls (N = 228). audio-recorded during the single working day of 40 CSRs. Calls ranged from 2 minutes long to 15 minutes and 8 seconds (M = 4 min. Employees were billing account representatives that provided billing support for their medical clients. 312 of which were more than two minutes long. As there is no guidance in the literature regarding the amount of time necessary. Only phone calls that were at least two minutes long and in which a customer expressed some level of negative emotions at the beginning of the call were subjected to the subsequent analysis. The recordings began as soon as a phone call was initiated and ended when the caller hung up. 16 s). we verified that no two calls involved the same caller (which might impact the non-independence of the customer ratings). SD = 2 min. employ IEM strategies.
we hired two independent raters with extensive experience as customer service managers. Raters were familiarized with the job description on which the interviews were based. In recognition of the fact that idiosyncratic rater differences may affect ratings (Gehrlein.. frustration apparent). attentional deployment. Each student rated approximately 5 of the 312 calls. negative intensity. As a part of this study. reviewed the constructs they would be rating. and the control variables—positive and negative emotions at the beginning of the call). cognitive change. our final sample consisted of 228 calls. One rater assessed the employee-related variables (situation modification. and Campion (1997). anxiousness. 1992). Thus. 5 = Very negative tone to voice. In addition to the training administered to the student raters described above. Each student rater participated in a 20-minute training session. modulating the emotional response. these expert raters were asked to rate 5 pilot audio recorded calls as practice. rater validity is maximized and independence is assured by having the same rater evaluate all calls and more skilled raters are likely to make more accurate judgments (Motowidlo et al. & Shahani. 305 students rated the level of expressed negative emotions by the customer at the beginning of the call. and learned to use the structured rating scales employed in the study. resulting in about 5 ratings per call. 84 did not contain expressed negative emotions and were subsequently removed from the sample. Dipboye. First. indicating some level of expressed negative emotions on each call.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES large Southeastern university as raters tasked to determine which calls contained customers who expressed some negative emotions at the beginning of the call.2 Of the 312 calls rated. According to Campion. Palmer. we averaged the negative expressed emotions per call from the student ratings and retained those calls in which the average negative expressed emotions exceeded 1 on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = Person was monotone lacked intensity. anger. 1993). while the other rated customer-related variables (positive and negative emotions at the end of the 15 .
615 students were asked to rate either the customer-related constructs or the representative-related constructs for each of the calls. 16 . Although only expert ratings were used to test our hypotheses. Anchored rating scales were used to measure IEM strategies. and because customer-related and employee-related variables were obtained from different sources. 1997). Lee. We. As. implicitly increasing reliability while reducing contamination and deficiency (Campion et al. moderate (3). and the controls—positive and negative emotions at the beginning of the call). then. during which time. we identified examples of each strategy and translated them into descriptions of three anchors for each scale. we randomly chose calls to listen to. MacKenzie. To develop these structured measures.. this design allowed for a greater degree of standardization across calls as well as for the reduction of common method variance (Podsakoff. according to Campion. we used a 5-point rating scale with anchored responses corresponding to low (1). Campion. calculated average measures interclass correlation coefficient (ICC. 2003). resulting in five separate ratings of each call. we developed single-item structured measures for each construct. As each rater rated each call. 2) values using one-way analyses of variance and found these values were significantly related to ratings of the experts (see Table 1). Anchored rating scales use descriptions to illustrate scale points to reduce ambiguity and semantic differences and enhance rater objectivity. Specifically. Each student rater evaluated approximately five calls. the most reliable and valid approach to anchored rating scales is to use multiple types of anchors. and high (5) response options. and Hudson (1994). Measures CSR interpersonal emotions management strategies.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES call. & Podsakoff.
which casts positive and negative emotions as two factors. The employee asked the customer to take a deep breath. Each call was rated for each strategy.” Customer expressed emotions.” Similarly. and consistent with other measures of emotions (PANAS-X). 2002). The employee talked about something unrelated to the issue the customer was calling about.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES The response scales were used to assess the four emotion management strategies (two types of problem. Employee changed the situation to remove the negative impact on the customer. which represented “very monotone with little emotion” to 5. a modulating emotional response example is “5-High-The employee asked the customer to calm down.” An example structured anchor for cognitive change is “5-High-The employee told the customer to keep things in perspective. raters were asked to indicate the level of participants’ positive and negative emotions from 1.and emotion-focused coping assistance) of the CSR throughout the entire customer interaction. The employee asked the customer to lower his/her voice or not to speak in a particular tone. “5-High-The employee told a joke or jokes. which 17 . This expert rater (as well as the student raters rating the same constructs) was given descriptions of what constitutes positive and negative emotions and was trained in recognizing the different types of emotions. who rated all customer-related constructs.” is an example of structured anchor for attentional deployment. Adhering to the Watson and Tellegen (1985) framework. Support has been found for coders’ abilities to judge emotions through verbal tone (Barsade. The positive expressed emotions and negative expressed emotions scales were assessed by an independent rater. The employee directly referred to the customer’s problem as minor or something he or she shouldn’t worry about. An example structured anchor for situation modification is “5-High-Employee did all they could to solve the customer’s problem. Finally. The employee changed the subject to something more positive.
Control variables. research on group mood has indicated positive and negative contagion effects (Barsade. to our knowledge. Because we posited that CSR behavior would affect customer emotions beyond CSR expressed emotions. 2004). friendliness and warmth” (for positive emotions) or “a very negative tone. anxiousness.3 Nonindependence was not an issue for customers (no customer was a participant in more than one 18 . we also controlled for customer positive and negative expressed emotions at the beginning of the call.e. with negative intensity. Results Analyses were conducted using path analysis in Mplus 6. The ICCs (see Table 1) show consistency across raters and support the reliability of the procedures used.11 with the Huber-White (Huber. Finally. call center representatives are often given specific instructions regarding the maximum acceptable call length (Witt. positive intensity. Andrews. Although.. because customer emotions at the beginning of the call (i. as well the effects of positive and negative emotional contagion on the part of the customer. 1982) sandwich estimator to account for possible non-independence. fear or frustration” (for negative emotions). as extensively long calls are thought to anger customers. 2002). the current study assessed the impact of IEM strategies on customer emotions beyond the effects of both positive and negative emotional contagion on the part of the CSR.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES represented “a very positive tone of voice. no extant studies have investigated the contagion effect of CSR expressed negative emotions on customer’s emotions. Thus. call length was calculated (in seconds) from the time the CSR picked up the phone (to take an incoming call) to the time he or she hung it up. & Carlson. White. the opening statement) are likely related to customer emotions at the end of the call. we controlled for both. which could affect the CSR. 1967. In addition.
p < . due to cases in which one employee participated in more than one call. & Whitford. Tsai.29. & van Witteloostuijn. 2006. respectively). as HLM requires more assumptions regarding the distribution of the error terms (Primo. Our results indicate that CSRs’ beginning negative emotions and positive emotions (r = -. Bivariate correlations and descriptive statistics are provided in Table 1.07. Holloway. Consistent with prior research (e. Miller.g. we evaluated the expected positive relationship of positive and negative emotions between the beginning and the end of the call.16. & Milyo. 2008). However.27. 2007).01).Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES call) or raters (one expert rater rated all customer-oriented variables.05. path analytic estimates (presented in Table 2) of customers’ beginning and end negative emotions ( =. & Krackhardt. 19 . non-independence was possible in our data. p < .05) and customers’ beginning and end positive emotions ( =. p < ..01) are moderately correlated with one another.01) demonstrate moderate consistency from the beginning to the end of the call. The Huber-White sandwich estimator provides parameter estimates and standard errors that do not differ from those of bootstrapped parameter estimates and standard errors (see Muthén & Muthén. rather than hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). the customers’ beginning negative emotions and positive emotions (r = -.52. We first confirmed the expected negative relationship between positive emotions and negative emotions within individuals. p < . the other rated all employee-oriented variables). Jacobsmeier. = . Boone. Kilduff. 2007) and provides little added value to a model such as ours that has no level-2 predictor.05). Specifically.55. p < . Mislin. It is also noteworthy that results reveal no relationship between customers’ beginning negative emotions and end positive emotions. Bottom. Crossland. Next. ns. 2005. we chose this statistical technique. suggesting a clear distinction between positive and negative emotions. ns. van Olffen. and the customers’ end negative emotions and positive emotions (r = -. or beginning positive emotions and end negative emotions ( = -.
ns. p < . and behavior of others (e. Barger & Grandey. respectively). We were also interested in assessing the effect of emotional contagion. were supported ( = -. Hypothesis 2b was not 20 .13.01. in addition to assessing the impact of positive CSRs’ emotions on positive customer emotional expressions. indicating that contagion does not stem from negative emotional displays. Thus. 2006. CSRs’ beginning positive emotions are related to both customers’ end positive emotions ( =. path analytic results showed no relationship between call length and customer end positive emotions or end negative emotions ( = -..17. = .07. As expected. = . ns.01.01) and customers’ end negative emotions ( = -. in order to fill this gap in pertinent knowledge. we also assessed the effect of CSRs’ and negative customers’ emotions by assessing the impact of CSRs’ beginning negative emotions and beginning positive emotions on customers’ end negative emotions and end positive emotions.01). p < . and call length). Hypotheses 1a and 1b. suggesting that employees’ positive emotions influenced both customers’ positive and negative emotions. p < . respectively). However.g. which stated that situation modification would be negatively related to customers’ end negative emotions and positively related to end positive emotions (while controlling for employees’ and customers’ beginning negative emotions. p < . ns. p < .05. Finally.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES These findings imply that positive and negative emotional expressions are not related across time.33. CSRs’ beginning negative emotions had no effect on customers’ end positive emotions or end negative emotions ( = -.04.05.25. as cognitive change was negatively related to customers’ end negative emotions ( = -. The extant emotional contagion research has focused primarily on positive emotions affecting the positive emotions.08. Hypothesis 2a was also supported. attitudes. = . 2001).01). Pugh. ns. respectively). beginning positive emotions.
p < .11. respectively).15. that CSRs are not using high levels of multiple strategies in the same call). as attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response were positively related to customers’ end negative emotions ( = . marginally supporting Hypothesis 3b ( = -. p < . providing support for Hypothesis 5a and 6b.15. Hypotheses 3a and 4a were supported.05. we investigated the effect of the six twoway interactions of the four strategies on both positive and negative customer emotions. p < . and the same controls as employed in the primary analyses.03. did not affect the use of cognitive change or attentional deployment.10). respectively. as modulating the emotional response was not related to customers’ end positive emotions ( = . Hypothesis 4b was not supported. however. we regressed customer beginning negative emotions onto each of the four IEM strategies. However.11 with the Huber-White sandwich estimator. as we found no relationship between cognitive change and customers’ end positive emotions ( = -. for example. using Mplus 6. we controlled for CSRs’ beginning negative emotions and beginning positive emotions as well as call length.01). Using MPlus 6.09.03. Post Hoc Analyses We conducted post hoc analyses to explore the interaction effects of the IEM strategies. p < . ns). Attentional deployment was negatively related to customers’ end positive emotions. = . As can 21 .Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES supported. Again. ns). p < . Results (given in Table 3) indicated a negative relationship between customers’ beginning negative emotions and situation modification ( = -.16. there were some cases in which more than one strategy was being used. the Huber-White sandwich estimator.26.05. Customers’ beginning negative emotions. Although these strategies are not highly correlated (suggesting. indicating a lack of support for Hypotheses 5b and 6a.05) and a positive relationship between customers’ beginning negative emotions and modulating the emotional response ( = . Once again.
Employee beginning positive emotions were found to be positively related to situation modification ( =. Discussion Managing customer emotions is an integral component of customer service jobs. potentially harmful. perhaps. Next. Although CSRs regularly deal with negative customers (Grandey et al. while the slope of the line representing low attentional deployment is not (gradient = -1. p < .. p < . this was followed by the application of a series of regression equations. employees’ beginning negative emotions were found to be positively related to attentional deployment ( = -. Unfortunately. The slope of the line representing high attentional deployment is significant (gradient = 1. Similarly. the control variables and IEM strategies were mean centered. These findings further suggest that some management and training efforts may be ineffective and.52.05).04. Reports suggest not only that displays of negative customer emotions are a widespread problem.g..05).05. p < . The regression results indicated one significant interaction—the interaction term representing attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response significantly affected negative emotions.05) and negatively related to modulating the emotional response ( = 0.12. Customer Care Alliance. 22 . stories and statistics of customer aggression and intense negative emotions—as well as their negative consequences—abound (e. 2005). Step one included only the IEM strategies and the controls. p < . ns). suggesting that encouraging CSRs to express positive emotions can also help them effectively utilize more beneficial IEM strategies. in order to graph this interaction. but that CSRs use inappropriate and even counterproductive strategies to combat them.05).Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES be seen in Tables 4 and 5. Each step two regression equation included one of the interaction terms. We then calculated the significance of each of the slopes using one standard deviation above and below the mean for attentional deployment.11.
a customer calls the medical billing agency and is upset about receiving a collection notice. When CSRs used problem-focused strategies. reassuring the customer that 23 . The other problem-focused strategy. In this work. The CSR does everything she can to solve the problem. we show that initial customer emotion influences the use of IEM strategies as well as explore the interaction effects of the strategies on customer emotions. Thus. saying that her insurance company should pay the bill. the results were positive. it is important to understand the impact of the other techniques employed by CSRs when dealing with difficult customers as well. which then impacts the customer’s initial negative and positive emotions. Suppose. situation modification can be a “win” for both parties and the good news is that many CSRs are engaging in these types of behaviors. Not surprisingly. however. coping assistance. presented a different pattern of results. The CSR explains that collection notices are automatically generated by the system. the two problem-focused strategies seemed to work in unique ways. they are less frequently provided guidance on how to do so beyond simply acting in a positive manner. cognitive change. Clearly. often too quickly. for example. it seems CSR behavior is not limited to strategies directed at solving the problem. However. Suppose a customer calls to complain that charges on his bill are too high.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES 2004) and are told by the organizations to satisfy these customers. we extended the emotional labor. when situation modification was used by the CSR. Further. the customer’s negative emotions were less intense. and the customer’s positive emotions were more pronounced—both good outcomes from the encounter. The CSR advises the customer that her insurance may still pay the bill. and interpersonal emotion management literature by categorizing specific strategies CSRs use as emotion-focused and problem-focused and providing evidence as to which strategies are effective and detrimental in this context.
sir. given all the negative outcomes that customers’ expressed negative emotions can produce. under a mistaken belief that these are helpful strategies for dealing with difficult customers. where many organizations train their employees to engage in small talk and other distraction techniques. In our sample of CSRs. Clearly. This is an important finding because reducing negative emotions is critical. however. attentional deployment was associated with less intense positive customer emotions and more intense negative emotions. this kind of training can actually be extremely counterproductive and increase the expressions of negative emotions. asked the customer about his dog and what kind it was. therefore. Interestingly. but it does not actually solve the customer’s problem. cognitive change may make a customer less negative. our results indicated that the emotion-focused strategies resulted in more intense negative expressed emotions and. in modulating the emotional response. Similarly. but were detrimental. Attempts to distract the customer in this way were not only ineffective. may be counterproductive.” customers’ negative emotions became more intense. These strategies distract from the problem 24 . In summary. each aimed at distracting the customer from the cause of the undesirable emotions. CSRs asked about the weather. she would not experience enhanced positive emotions. the customer’s negative emotions would be less intense at the end of the call. told a joke. although it will not make the customer more positive. although both problem-focused coping strategies are effective. According to our results.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES there is no reason to worry about the notice. the second emotion-focused strategy also appeared counterproductive. This reappraisal strategy is intended to help the customer reframe the situation as less stressful. they operate in different ways. a variety of attentional deployment methods were used. Simply put. or upon hearing a dog bark in the background. These findings may be particularly useful in the customer service sector. When CSRs used expressions such as “Calm down.
hoping to experience less aggression or less intense negative emotions from the customer. as both resulted in increasing the customers’ negative emotions. We found that.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES and from the purpose of the call and lead to greater expressed negative emotions by the customer. unfortunately. Reframing the problem successfully. This finding may help explain some of the intense negative emotions among customers that seem to be all too common in the service industry (Customer Care Alliance. We reason that these negative emotions are due to increased cognitive load. but did not make the customer express more positive emotions. i. In addition. enhanced positive emotions and diminished negative emotions. these strategies. as an attempt to reduce the negative emotions expressed by the customer.e. CSRs reduced their effort directed toward solving the problem. which lowers self-control. representatives relied more often on modulating the emotional response. Results concerning the choice of IEM strategies by CSRs underscored the practical importance of these findings. 25 . This suggests that customer service representatives should avoid dealing with customer emotions directly and should instead focus on solving or reappraising the problem directly. have the opposite effect. 2005). situational modification. the results show that managing customer emotions using a problemfocused strategy positively affects customer emotions. Neither of the emotion-focused strategies were found effective. Although CSRs may be using these strategies with the best intentions. Taken together. when customers called. representatives tended to use effective techniques less! Thus. in circumstances when situation modification would likely be most effective. beyond the effects of emotional contagion. or doing all one can do to solve the problem. expressing more intense negative emotions. when customers expressed more intense negative emotions. reduced customers’ negative emotions. Not surprisingly.
even if the person addressing me was someone with whom I was acquainted. may be counter to current practices in the industry. Beyond established practices to positively affect customer emotions through positive emotional displays (fostering positive emotional contagion). Thus. but received suggestions to calm down. As one anonymous customer stated.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES which exacerbated the situation by increasing expressed negative emotions. our results provide guidance on helping CSRs deal with customer emotions. We found that CSRs tend to use situation modification more than the other strategies. which seems to suggest that training and development that encourages CSRs to engage in this strategy should continue. 26 . which increases the negative emotions felt by that customer. “Under any circumstance. Our results suggest that any tactics that distract the customer from the problem might backfire in terms of fanning the flames of negative emotions. Few managers would be surprised by the recommendation that situational modification. The implications regarding the other strategies. Eikenhout and Austin (2005) observed small talk (a form of attentional deployment) in 29% of customer service interactions. being told to ‘just relax’ is something that I would find presumptuous and rude. For example. I find it especially galling to be spoken to in that manner by one of your employees. training should be expanded to include teaching reappraisal techniques while avoiding the emotion-focused strategies.” This strategy sends a message that the service representative does not care about the customer’s feelings. should be the default strategy for managing the customer’s emotions. For managers in customer service organizations. focusing on doing all one can do to solve the problem. in our study. the “squeaky wheel” did not get the grease. however. rather than best efforts directed at solving his or her problem.
Future research should investigate this passive-aggressive response more directly. they reduced the quality of service provided to negative customers.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES attentional deployment.24). The one exception is when both emotion-focused strategies (attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response) are used. Although CSRs may think that they are helping by distracting customers from their negative emotions.05. Our study indicates that CSRs displayed very little negative emotions (M = 1. likely because of the lack of negative expressions from the CSR. they are mistaken—such strategies make the customer even more negative. Similarly. Our post-hoc results indicated only one significant interaction effect. however. however. customer service organizations training their CSRs to engage in small talk should rethink this practice and focus on training CSRs to reappraise problems for customers. The reduced use of situation modification when dealing with negative customers may represent emotional regulation failure on the part of the CSR and points to the need to study behaviors (rather than just emotions) in customer service interactions. our results suggest that CSRs experienced emotion regulation failure and. Although these results are preliminary and future research should seek to replicate our findings in different contexts. SD = . Through these passive-aggressive behaviors. we found no negative emotional contagion. and modulating the emotional response. rather than expressing negative emotions. suggesting that the impact of the majority of these strategies does not change based on what other strategies are used. CSRs may actually be increasing negative customer emotions. Managers that closely monitor CSR expressed emotions to ensure compliance with organizational norms may not realize other effects of self-regulation failure. The plot of this significant interaction suggests that negative emotions expressed by the customer are more intense when the CSR engages in both 27 . telling customers to calm down or to relax is detrimental. Furthermore.
Although it was not evidenced in our recordings. and even to interpersonal interactions beyond that of employees and customers. Future research should assess the long-term effects of these strategies on a variety of resulting attitudes and behaviors. Although the emotion-focused strategies were less effective in our study. investigating the strategies in other contexts is needed. as. Future research should assess the generalizability of our findings.and emotion-focused strategies when such expectations do not exist. extending IEM strategies to face-to-face interactions. First. if it is. such as a flight attendant dealing with a frightened passenger. otherwise emotion-focused strategies may be called for. 28 . Customers likely have expectations concerning CSRs’ ability to address problems. problem-focused strategies may be effective. such as interactions among co-workers or supervisor-subordinate dyads. 1984). it was conducted within one organization and focused exclusively on verbal interactions. Our study focused on the effects of IEM strategies on short-term expressed customer emotions. other types of customer interactions. These possibilities should be assessed in future studies along with an investigation of the effectiveness of problem. These results help bolster one of our key overarching arguments. As the efficacy of each of these techniques may be situation-specific (Lazarus & Folkman. studies should take into account whether or not the problem presented by the customer is solvable. that emotion-focused IEM strategies result in negative customer outcomes. Future Research and Limitations There are some limitations to this study.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES emotion-focused strategies. or in situations when solving or reappraising problems is more difficult. Similarly.and emotion-focused strategies to help customers cope. they might be effective in other contexts within the customer service industry. it is possible that CSRs use other types of problem. such as customer satisfaction and consumer future purchasing behavior.
so that we could eliminate calls too simple to elicit any emotion management strategy. Future research should investigate the impact of IEM strategies on change in emotion using latent growth modeling or a similar analysis. employee turnover. but also changing or reappraising the situation.g.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Our study assessed only calls longer than two minutes. Similarly future research should investigate outcomes such as customer satisfaction more directly. emotional exhaustion. Additionally. etc. and indicate that the emotional exchange between customers and service representatives goes beyond simple emotional contagion. future studies should include CSRs’ abilities. Although we assessed the impact of the use of more than one strategy in our post hoc analyses. Future research could investigate these hypotheses in the context of shorter calls to see if the results differ. Although we feel investigating expressed emotions fills a great need in that expressed emotions have a large impact on organizationally important variables (e. A final limitation of this study is it focused exclusively on expressed. we investigated the impact of IEM strategies on emotions at the end of the call while controlling for the initial customer emotions. Conclusion Our results have implications for researchers who study emotion work. such as emotional intelligence. assessing felt and expressed emotions with customers and representatives alike would add richness to our understanding of these processes.. Future research should investigate whether or not the order in which a CSR uses the IEM strategies affects emotional outcomes.). it is possible that the sequence in which these strategies are used is important. Our findings also suggest that CSRs should concentrate their efforts toward not only being positive. customer dissatisfaction. for consistency with previous research on emotional contagion. even when the customer 29 . In addition. in examining the process of helping others cope. rather than felt emotions.
Finally. 30 . CSRs aiming to further increase positive customer emotional displays and decrease negative emotional displays should avoid distracting and focusing on the customer’s emotional response (particularly when used in combination).Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES is behaving particularly negatively.
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Although unaware of an existing cutoff value applied in previous studies.and problem-focused strategies and customer expressed emotions. Thus. which still allowed us to classify these individuals as displaying some negative emotions.5 and 2 and found the same pattern of results with respect to the emotion. 1983).Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Footnotes 1 Two academics familiar with related research in the areas of management and marketing were contacted regarding an appropriate minimum threshold for call length. & Galotti. 4 Research has found the mean of audio recording ratings of an individual in an extremely stressful situation to be 4 on a 7-point Likert scale (Streeter. both expressed concern that a cutoff was necessary given the theoretical processes involved in the current study. Krauss. we do not report fit statistics. 37 . 2 We chose this cutoff to allow for the greatest potential variance in customer negative expressed emotions. 3 Because our hypothesized and post hoc models were fully identified. We also performed the analysis using cutoffs of 1. these results are in line with our expectations. and both agreed that two minutes (although arbitrary) would represent an appropriate minimum call length. Apple. Macdonald.
Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Figure 1. Interaction effects of attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response on negative emotions 38 .
12 -.13| p<.05 .02 .55 -.46 .84 . Standard Deviations.75 .08 -.07 -.24 ICC(2) ICC(2) a b .01.02 .07 -.64 .38 .19 -. 39 .44 .78 .48 -.21 .61 .Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Table 1 Means.32 1 -.58 . ICC(2)a = ICC(2) value averaged across all raters.09 . EPE = end positive emotions.17 modification 6 Cognitive change 1.55 .04 BPE = beginning positive emotions.03 .13 -.39 -.01 Attentional 7 1.16 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3 Customer BPE 1.01 -.96 .76 .00 . and Intraclass Correlation Coefficients Variable 1 CSR BPE 2 CSR BNE M 1.65 .27 -.06 .05 SD .74 .71 .48 .30 .10 -.00 -. .06 4 4 Customer BNE 1.84 .04 .68 -.52 . ENE = end negative emotions.12 .59 .35 -.11 .11 deployment Modulating the 8 1.42 .69 .48 ---.46 .17| p<.52 Situation 5 3.06 1.08 -.82 .39 -.54 .14 .08 .26 .04 -.22 .46 1.26 .16 .12 11 Call Length (sec) 227.13 . BNE = beginning negative emotions.13 -.30 109.07 .26 -.04 Note.08 .00 -.18 .40 .11 -.14 -.09 .13 . For correlations greater than |. for correlations greater than |.44 .05 -.05.14 .01 emotional response 9 Customer EPE 1.09 -.64 .59 -.61 . N = 228. ICC(2)b = ICC(2) value with aggregated student ratings and expert rater.06 10 Customer ENE 1.
BNE = beginning negative emotions.03 Call length Customer BNE Customer BPE CSR BNE CSR BPE Situation modification Cognitive change Attentional deployment Modulating the emotional response Note: N = 228.09+ . ** p < .05 .05.16* Customer EPE -.27* .03 -. ENE = end negative emotions 40 .29** -. * p < .07 -.25** -.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Table 2 Regression Results Investigating the Impact of IEM Strategies on Customer Emotion at the End of the Call Customer ENE .17** .08** .07 .01 BPE = beginning positive emotion.33** -.05 -.15* . EPE = end positive emotions.13** -.05 .04 .
EPE = end positive emotions. ** p < .06 -.11* .00 -.12* Cognitive Attentional Change Deployment .13 .05* .26** Customer BNE -.10 -.05 .12+ Modulating the Emotional Response . * p < .01 BPE = beginning positive emotion.03 -. BNE = beginning negative emotions.01 .01 -.02 -.07 .15* Note: N = 228. ENE = end negative emotions 41 .05.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Table 3 Regression Results Investigating the Impact of Initial Customer Emotion on IEM Strategy Situation Modification Call length CSR BNE CSR BPE .
04 . .Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Table 4 Regression Results Investigating the Impact of the 6 2-way Interactions on Customer Negative Emotion at the End of the Call Customer ENE Step 2 Step 2 1.08 .16* .05.25** -.05 -. ** p < .13** -.26** .73 .03 . CC = cognitive change.08 -.15** . ENE = end negative emotions 42 .26** -.06 . BPE = beginning positive emotion.06 .25** .16* emotional response SMxAD -.27* .15 deployment Modulating the .04 .07 .26** .11 .09 .04 .01 SMxCC SMxMER ADXCC ADXMER CCxMER R2 .02 -.07* .25** Step 2 1.74 .26** Note: N = 228. AD = attentional deployment.08* .01 MER = modification of emotional response SM = situation modification.16* Cognitive change -.75 . EPE = end positive emotions.74 .27* .27* .14* .74 .05 -.13** -.05 -.07 .25** -.05 -.26** .25** -.07* .74 .04 -.15* .05 -.16* .13** -.04 .15* .27** .13** -.13** -.08 .27** Intercept Call length Customer BNE Customer BPE CSR BNE CSR BPE Situation modification Step 1 1.17** Step 2 1.14* Step 2 1.74 1.13** -.27* .15* Step 2 1.04 .07 .04 .23** -.18* .28** .05 -.33** -.07 .08* Attentional .02 .27* .27* .14* . * p < .27* . BNE = beginning negative emotions.12** -.08** -.
02 -.33 2.07 .10+ . AD = attentional deployment.29** -.33 -.05 Intercept Call length Customer BNE Customer BPE CSR BNE CSR BPE Situation modification Cognitive change Step 1 2.33 -.04 Step 2 2.28** -.28** -.09+ Step 2 2.05 .03 Modulating the emotional .03 -.33 -.17** .32** .03 Attentional deployment -.05 .33** -.04 .17** .07* -. ** p < .34** -.32** .17** .06 .05 . BNE = beginning negative emotions.03 .06 -.28** -.33** -.09 .05 .05 .05 .32** -.29** -.32 -.Running Head: CUSTOMER-FOCUSED EMOTION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Table 5 Regression Results Investigating the Impact of the 6 2-way Interactions on Customer Positive Emotion at the End of the Call Customer EPE Step 2 Step 2 Step 2 2.04 -.03 -.07* -.03 response SMxAD SMxCC SMxMER ADXCC ADXMER CCxMER R2 .17** .33** -.05.09 .04 -.05 -.04 -.06* -.29** -.34** -.32** .03 Step 2 2.07* -.33** -.17** .04 -.04 .10+ .08 -.17** .32 2.08 -.32** . * p < .05 .05 .31** Note: N = 228.32** .12* .05 . ENE = end negative emotions 43 .29** -.34** -.05 . CC = cognitive change. MER = modification BPE = beginning positive emotion.08 .01 of emotional response SM = situation modification.05 .04 -.04 .32 -.17** .07 -. EPE = end positive emotions.06 -.
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