Study shows women
tend to smile more and be friendlier to customers than
According to Israeli psychologist Anat Rafaeli,
store clerks smile more often when serving customers of
the opposite sex and women make friendlier employees
As reported in Psychology Today, Rafaeli sent teams of
observers into nearly 600 convenience stores, all part
of a national chain, to clandestinely observe more than
11,000 clerk-customer exchanges.
He discovered that more smiles, greetings, and eye
contact occurred when female clerks waited on male
customers and vice versa. Rafaeli says, that because
people are warmer and friendlier in social situations to
members of the opposite sex, that some of this naturally
spills over into work situations.
His teams also saw more positive emotions when clerks
were wearing name tags and company smocks, regardless of
the sex of the customer. Rafaeli believes “this reflects
the process of employees ‘putting on’ an organizational
face when they put on their smock and name tag.”
Uniforms act as cues for employees to take on their
business identity and to com ply with company policy.
Rafaeli wasn’t surprised to learn women were friendlier
to customers than men were, thanking people, smiling,
and making eye contact more often. He believes this
reflects traditional expectations that women should act
in a warm and friendly manner.