According to this LiveScience article, a recent study demonstrated that customers will take their business elsewhere if they encounter rude or disrespectful employees.
Let’s add this study to the list of Studies of Things People Should Already Know.
While the original study referred to restaurants and wait staff, the follow-up article boldly included other businesses, small and large.
Maybe the question as to whether a business should treat customers politely or rudely stemmed from another theory a few years back that men were using in bars everywhere. The suggestion, whose origins are unknown to me, but probably trace back to a single source, was to insult the woman the man
was trying to pick up. Supposedly, it would put the woman off balance, getting
her to prove to the guy how great she really was, while already chipping away
at the old self-esteem. A brilliant plan, because as we know, encouraging low
self-esteem is the bedrock of any relationship.
My own father experienced the use of this technique in a business setting when he was looking at a new car. He walked into the showroom, and the salesman told him he couldn’t afford the car. My father being who he is, turned around and walked out of the showroom. It occurred to me later, after learning about the woman-snagging plot outlined above, that he was using the same basic idea–my Dad just didn’t know his next line, which was supposed to be “Yes I can.”
So back to my original point.
Maybe the tales of men batting way out of their leagues using the insult-to-love method got business owners thinking: if we treat our customers badly, they’ll keep coming back for more.
Frankly, it’s the only reason I can think of to bother doing the study.
The reason I got my printer from another source was indifferent, if not rude, customer service. I called somewhere else, and not only were they helpful, they gave me a better price and helped me to solve the problem of what to do with my old printer. They were so helpful, in fact, I recommended that someone else, who was also looking for a printer go there. And I told my problem with the first company to everyone, whether or not they were genuinely interested.
I know I am not alone.
In fact, I would guess that the very same people whose businesses provide rude service or have rude employees would take their business elsewhere if they encountered those issues.
I guess my biggest problem with this whole thing is since when do you need analysis to be polite to people, or to instruct your employees not to be downright rude? Why do employees need to be instructed not to be rude?
It’s a strange phenomenon, everyone wants politeness and respect, and yet no one seems willing to give it.
Unless a study tells them to.