In the service encounter, the employee must often encourage customer self-disclosure (i.e., revealing of personal information) to be able to match the customer's needs with what the firm has to offer. This study uses an experimental approach to manipulate employee encouragement of self-disclosure (low vs. high) to explore its impact on the customer. It was found that encouraging self-disclosure enhanced customer perceptions of customization, employee effort, own effort, privacy concerns, and employee humanness, and that these responses influenced customer satisfaction. In addition, because many firms are beginning to replace human employees with various forms of virtual agents (and it has been argued that we humans may find it less threatening to self-disclose to such agents), the identity of the employee (virtual agent vs. human employee) was manipulated, too. The identity factor, however, did not influence customers' responses.
- 512 Företagsekonomi