Employees' rudeness turns off customers

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Washington, July 23 (ANI): A new research has revealed that rude behavior among employees can negatively affect consumer perceptions - even when the incivility isn't directed at the customer.

Across a range of industries, including restaurants, banks, government offices, retail stores and universities, consumers frequently report seeing employees behaving badly toward other employees, including derogatory comments or inappropriate gestures.

"These findings underscore the need for organizations to promote employee civility," Deborah MacInnis, a Professor at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

"Training employees to treat one another well enhances the bottom line because of its impact on customer behavior," she added.

Across four studies appearing the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, MacInnis and co-authors examined how consumers witnessing acts of employee incivility may extend their experiences to more general feelings about the company.

They found that people witnessing employee incivility -- in this case, a store manager calling an employee an "idiot" -- were faster to jump to negative conclusions about the company than those who witnessed employee incompetence.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that customers turned against the company even at times when the rude employee was trying to help the customer.

"Whereas one might anticipate that incivility directed at consumers has extremely negative effect, we show that consumers are also negatively affected when they are mere observers of incivility between employees," the authors of the study said.

"Several methods include selecting for and training in civility, setting zero-tolerance expectations and reprimanding incivility before it festers," they added. (ANI)

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