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Psychological and Social Processes Can Influence Consumer-Service Provider Interactions and Prevent Service Failure

Drawing of a sad face held up on a piece of paper

Meet our new faculty member: Ahmed Khalil Ben Ayed

Ahmed Ben Ayed was hired as an Assistant Professor in Marketing at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. He completed his PhD at HEC Montreal. We interviewed him to learn more about his research interests in the customer-service provider interaction.

Why did you choose to study Marketing?

I have always wondered what drives people’s behaviours. Why somebody would choose a certain outfit, food, or drink? For example, why specific brands are preferred over others? In my first marketing course I discovered that marketing included concepts like consumer behaviour which I found fascinating. 

How did your PhD training inform your current research?

As a junior research assistant, I was constantly challenged to resolve complex theoretical as well as methodological research problems. Through this experience I developed collaborations with established researchers in the fields of marketing, social psychology, and organizational behaviour. This experience was invaluable in establishing my research program.

I am currently working on service failure, that is, failed customer-service provider interactions, and how this affects frontline employees. An important question is how do individual differences and situational variables underlying the customer-service agent interaction induce service failure? For example, coping with negative emotions, perceiving a threat to one’s well-being, and other responses that are naturally triggered during human interactions.

How can your research influence the business communities in Canada?

My research has both theoretical and practical contributions to the field of service marketing. On the one hand, integrating psychological and social concepts offers a better understanding of consumer behaviour and customer-service provider interactions.  On the other hand, my work can provide innovative strategic and operational insights for managers to lower stress levels and improve frontline employee performance and psychological wellbeing. Ultimately, this will lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

About the Author

Rania Nasrallah a rejoint le bureau de recherche Telfer en 2019. Elle a obtenu son doctorat en médecine à l'Université d'Ottawa et apporte à ce rôle plus de deux décennies d'expérience en recherche. Rania participe à tous les aspects du mandat du Bureau de la recherche et est responsable de fournir un large éventail de services aux membres du corps professoral et aux étudiants de recherche de deuxième et troisième cycle. Elle gère les subventions internes et les bourses d'études, et participe à la stratégie de communication de la recherche. Elle fournit également un soutien aux chercheurs avant l'attribution des subventions afin de maximiser le succès du financement au niveau national et international. En outre, elle travaille en étroite collaboration avec le Vice-doyen à la recherche pour élaborer et mettre en œuvre des stratégies visant à améliorer le financement et la vélocité de la recherche à Telfer, conformément à notre vision pour créer un meilleur Canada et un meilleur monde pour tous.<br/><br/>Rania Nasrallah joined the Telfer Research Office in 2019. She completed her PhD in Medicine at the University of Ottawa and brings over two decades of research experience to this role. Rania is involved in all aspects of the mandate of the Research Office and is responsible for providing a wide range of services to faculty members and research based graduate students. She manages internal grants, student awards, and participates in the research communication strategy. She also provides pre-award support to researchers to optimize funding success nationally and internationally. In addition she works closely with the Vice Dean Research to develop and implement strategies to enhance research funding and intensity at Telfer following our vision to create a better Canada and a better world for all.

Profile Photo of Rania Nasrallah