Just recently, the literature has established the existence of a dark side with regard to customer orientation (CO) in terms of sales performance. However, no clear position is presented about the possible dark side of CO when it comes to B2B relational outcomes, preventing managers from knowing when to accentuate/suppress CO activities. The aim of this study is to examine the relational consequences of suppliers' CO seen through the customers' lenses, and to investigate the moderating role of perceived emotional value in a professional service relationship context. A conceptual model anchored in value and relationship marketing theories is tested on a sample of 226 professional service firms' business customers, using the PROCESS routine. The study finds that perceived CO is related to satisfaction with the relationship and with relationship performance in an inverted U-shaped form, while satisfaction is positively related to relationship performance. We show that, although preferring to receive CO from their supplier, customers might want a relationship that is not as intense/comprehensive as the one that the supplier aims to achieve. The study unfolds emotional value as a moderating mechanism that can prevent the diminishing effect of CO activities.
- Customer orientation
- Perceived emotional value
- Relationship satisfaction
- Relationship performance
- Professional business services