The value of knowing what customers really want: the impact of salesperson ability to read non-verbal cues of affect on service quality

Nancy M. Puccinelli, Susan A. Andrzejewski, Ereni Markos, Tracy Noga, Scott Motyka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Despite recognition of the importance of the retail environment to customer experience, relatively little systematic research considers how social environmental cues might affect this experience. Two experimental studies test the relationship between salesperson ability to read customer affect and perceived service quality between two samples of student participants. Consistent with the hypotheses, when a salesperson demonstrates an ability to read customer affect, customers perceive higher service quality (Study 1). Interestingly, it seems these effects hold only for customers who interact with the salesperson and not for those who observe an interaction between a salesperson and another customer (Study 2). For each study, participants imagined they were customers and judged scenarios that depicted a salesperson demonstrating ability or inability to read non-verbal cues to customer affect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-373
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013



  • affect
  • consumer psychology
  • non-verbal behaviour
  • retailing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management

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