Deviant Customer Behavior: An Exploration of Frontline Employee Tactics

  • Reynolds K
  • Harris L
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Insufficient attention has been devoted to the study of contexts in which managerial guidelines espouse customer sovereignty and yet, frontline employees experience endemic customer misbehavior. The aim of this study is to explore how frontline employees manage interactions with poorly behaved customers. The objective is to supply insights into the reality of frontline service and respond to a number of calls for research into the “darker” side of service. Analysis of interviews with frontline employees and managers reveals 15 main forms of coping tactics. The paper culminates with a discussion of the potential implications of the study for theory and practice.

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  • Kate Reynolds

  • Lloyd Harris

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