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This article advances our understanding of the influence of affect in consumers’ responses to brief, non-personal service encounters. This study contributes to the services marketing literature by examining for mundane service transactions the impact of customer-displayed emotion and affect on assessments of the service encounter and the overall experience. Observational and perceptual data from customers were matched with frontline employees in 200 transaction-specific encounters. The results of this study suggest that consumers’ evaluations of the service encounter correlate highly with their displayed emotions during the interaction and post-encounter mood states. Finally, the findings indicate that frontline employees’ perceptions of the encounter are not aligned with those of their customers. The managerial implications of these findings are briefly discussed.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Mattila, A. S., & Enz, C. A. (2002). The role of emotions in service encounters. Journal of Service Research, 4(4), 268-277.

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.