– The purpose of this paper is to examine if the service worker's display of smiles in the service encounter has an effect on customer satisfaction.
– An experimental design was used in which participants (N=220) were randomly allocated to one of four service encounters. Two variables were manipulated; the service worker with whom the participant interacted had either a neutral facial expression or a smiling facial expression, and the service worker was either male or female.
– The smiling service worker produced a higher level of customer satisfaction than the neutral service worker, regardless of the sex of the service worker (and the sex of the participant). In addition, the results indicate that this outcome involved both emotional contagion and affect infusion.
– This paper extends the service literature's discourse on the impact of the service worker's smile behavior on customer satisfaction by including intermediate variables such as appraisals, emotions, and the attitude toward the service worker.