Affect and the Role of Corporate Customer Expertise within Business-to-Business Legal Services
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the role of affect evoked among customers of differing expertise within a business-to-business credence service context and examine how this affects overall satisfaction judgements.
Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the affect and satisfaction literature, the paper examines affective reactions to service delivery within multi-national and regional corporate legal services markets. A two-stage methodology is adopted incorporating explorative interviews and a survey comprising 252 users of corporate legal services.
Findings – Findings suggest the customer's ability to form expectation and performance assessments about the core service may have a moderating influence on affective reactions within a business-to-business credence service context. Customers of differing expertise will vary in the way they set service expectations and evaluate service delivery in relation to the technical, functional and affective components.
Practical implications – Organisations should devote effort to devising appropriate service delivery processes that are pertinent to the individual customer. This in turn has implications for the recruitment, training and empowerment of employees in credence services that have traditionally focused on technical qualifications and experiential knowledge as the key drivers of human resource management strategies such as recruitment and reward systems.
Originality/value – This paper contributes towards an understanding of the role of customer expertise on affect evoked within business-to-business credence services.