18 Customer Service Behavior

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


  1. Ann Marie Ryan PhD1,
  2. Robert E. Ployhart PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop212018

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Ryan, A. M. and Ployhart, R. E. 2012. Customer Service Behavior. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 12:III:18.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Michigan State University, Department of Psychology, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

  2. 2

    University of South Carolina, Management Department, Columbia, South Columbia, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


This chapter describes influences on customer service behavior and how traditional industrial/organizational (I-O) psychology topics (i.e., selection, motivation, training) might be approached if the goal is enhancing customer service behavior. The discussion of each topic is from a contingency perspective, in that key attributes of services (intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, perishability and the nature of customer contact) influence how one can promote positive customer service behavior. After discussing what is known about customer service behavior in relation to each topic focus, we provide a table to illustrate how a contingency perspective might drive future research.


  • customer service behavior;
  • emotional labor;
  • contingency perspective;
  • service quality