Frontline service employees and customer engagement: some further insights
This study aims to investigate whether frontline retail banking employees’ proactive personality helps in ameliorating customer engagement. This study further aims to investigate the mediational role of work engagement and service recovery performance in the employee proactivity – customer engagement relationship.Design/methodology/approachThis study used a triadic approach for the collection of primary data. Each triad consisted of a customer, a frontline employee and an immediate colleague of the frontline employee. Structured questionnaires were used to solicit data from the respondents. Specifically, customers were asked to report their level of engagement with the bank and the recovery performance of the employee who redressed their grievances. Frontline employees responded to their level of work engagement while their colleagues reported about the proactive disposition of frontline employees at the workplace.FindingsEmpirical findings revealed under service scenario, Indian retail banking employees’ proactive disposition nurtures customer engagement. It was further observed that this relationship is sequentially mediated by work engagement and service recovery performance.Originality/valueThe role of frontline employees in enriching customer engagement has to date remained under-researched among marketing scholars. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the maiden attempt to relate frontline employee proactivity with customer engagement. Also, this study is one of the early research to investigate customer engagement under a service recovery context, thereby, opening pathways for further exploration.