Disentangling the Differential Roles of Warmth and Competence Judgments in Customer-Service Provider Relationships

Güntürkün, Pascal ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6306-4971 and Haumann, Till and Mikolon, Sven (2020) Disentangling the Differential Roles of Warmth and Competence Judgments in Customer-Service Provider Relationships. Journal of Service Research, 23 (4). pp. 476-503. ISSN 1094-6705

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Abstract

Despite increasing interest in warmth and competence as fundamental dimensions in consumers’ evaluation of service providers, prior research remains ambiguous about which dimension is more important. The current study develops a nomological frame-work that clarifies this ambiguity and explains whether, when, and why warmth or competence takes precedence for different outcomes in customer-service provider relationships. Combined evidence from field and laboratory studies support the notion ofan asymmetric dominance, which suggests that warmth is dominant in driving outcomes that capture relational aspects (e.g.,customer-company identification), whereas competence is dominant in driving outcomes that capture transactional aspects of the customer-service provider relationship (e.g., share of wallet). The findings provide first insights into the underlying mechanisms that drive this asymmetric dominance by demonstrating that relational and capability concerns mediate this process. Moreover,the current investigation identifies novel moderators that offer managers help in identifying service contexts (people vs. objectcare) and customer segments (differing in process and outcome service goals) for which investing in warmth or competence ismore promising. Overall, displaying competence is particular effective in driving customer attraction and current operating performance, whereas displaying warmth is better suited to establish strong emotional bonds and drive customer retention.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: customer relationships, service provider evaluation, warmth, competence
Divisions: Departments > Marketing
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 11:11
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2020 16:12
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/96069/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7619

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