This study investigates the link between employee empathy and customer satisfaction. Building on social exchange theory, we develop a model of employee-customer empathy. We focus on the central role of customer-oriented behaviour in explaining the empathy-satisfaction relationship, predicting that employee empathy positively influences customer-oriented behaviour, which in turn enhances customer-satisfaction. We also examine the moderating roles of customer empathy, as well as of customer resources. Results of a dyadic-survey study of 211 pairs of frontline employees and their customers support the proposed moderated -mediation model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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