Employees’ rude behaviour affects consumers

July 25th, 2010 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, July 25 (IANS) Rude behaviour among employees can negatively affect consumer perceptions - even when the incivility isn’t directed at the customer.
Across a range of places, including restaurants, banks, government offices, retail stores and universities, consumers frequently report seeing employees behaving badly with other employees.

The bad behaviour also include derogatory comments or inappropriate gestures, research by the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business showed.

“These findings underscore the need for organisations to promote employee civility,” Deborah MacInnis, professor of business administration at the university school, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

MacInnis and her colleagues examined how consumers who witness acts of employee incivility may extend their experiences to more general feelings about the company.

People who witness employee incivility - a case where a store manager called an employee an “idiot” - were faster to jump to negative conclusions about the company than those who witnessed employee incompetence.

In another case study, people who had to wait for several minutes as an employee gossiped on the phone still formed negative impressions of the company.

Employees should be trained to treat one another well, which will impact customer behaviour, she said.

The survey will come out in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

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