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Title: Assessing the impact of mystery client traits on service evaluation
Authors: Pedro Brito
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Purpose - This study aims to investigate the reliability of a mystery client (MC) as a service evaluation technique taking into consideration personal differences of the MC agents. Design/methodology/approach - The ratings from 144 MCs from 355 evaluations of computer and electronic stores were cross analyzed with eight psychographic and demographic profile variables. Findings - MCs who were highly involved in the product category were more critical of service responsiveness with respect to product demonstrations and listening to customer requirements. On the other hand, MCs with stronger faith in intuition were more inclined to rate services higher on empathy with respect to employees making a conscientious effort to understand customers' needs. Practical implications - Depending on the service marketing goals, managers learn to define which aspects of MC profile they should consider or avoid during the recruitment as well as becoming more critical when they analyze the evaluation reports to avoid an interpretation bias. Originality/value - The usefulness of the MC tool relies on its reliability and credibility as a marketing research technique. It was identified that the MC personality traits are more likely associated with marketing service evaluation variability.
metadata.dc.type: article
Appears in Collections:LIAAD - Indexed Articles in Journals

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