NCBI ROFL: Getting bad customer service? Maybe you should change your clothes.

By ncbi rofl | May 21, 2012 7:00 pm

Customer service as a function of shopper’s attire.

“A field experiment explored whether a female shopper’s appearance would influence the customer service she received. Specifically, a female confederate dressed in formal work clothes (skirt and blouse) or informal gym clothes (tights and t-shirt) entered a series of randomly selected women’s clothing stores in a large mall and proceeded to “shop.” The amount of time that passed before an employee approached and acknowledged the confederate served as the dependent variable. As hypothesized, she was acknowledged significantly sooner when formally attired than when informally dressed. Thus, clothing, like other aspects of appearance, influences how people are evaluated and treated by others.”

Photo: flickr/Tsar Kasim

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  • Ronmikenewton

    Perhaps in business clothes she was assumed to be time limited.

  • Bee

    Hmmmmm. Do I really want to get all dressed up just to be acknowledged by a store clerk. And, how dressed-up do I have to be? More important why do I need to do anything more special than to be in your store with a wallet full of money. Last time I checked, it is sometimes very difficult to get a customer into your store.

    If you don’t want to acknowledge the customer; whom ever he/she be, then, perhaps, the customer will go to your competitor’s store. When the layoffs come to your store because sales are in the dumps, only then will you figure out that the customer service that you provide today, may come back and haunt you in later years.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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