Whether you’ve worked in retail or other customer service-related jobs, you have experienced communicating with bargain shoppers’ unpleasant attitude or mindset who don’t seem to see you as a human being.
Unfortunately, that’s part of dealing with shoppers who want their problems fixed right away. On the other hand, they only need someone to voice out their wrath.
Furthermore, some customers will behave even more rudely towards employees who work at a discount stores. Why do they behave like that?
In a recent study printed within the Joournal of Consumer Psychology, researchers from the University of British Columbia found that shoppers at discount retailers are more likely to treat employees as “less human” than people who work at high class establishments.
Explanation of the Rude Attitude of Bargain Shoppers
The authors explains, when consumers see discounted tags, sales, and cheaper price, they have this “price-conscious mentality,” meaning “a singular focus on getting the cheapest deal.”
It may be an advantage for customers, but not for the workers, as the researchers discovered. The employees are humans too, that’s why they deserved some respect from the customers.
As part of their study, they ask participants to converse with a rude customer service representative via live chat, with the option of filing a complaint.
Those who went in with the above-stated mentality were 18 percent more likely to give a rating that would lead to the employee being punished as opposed to when they didn’t adapt to the bargain-hunting mentality.
They’ve shown photos of flight attendants wearing uniforms from the discounted airline Ryanair, the pricier Lufthansa airline, or just neutral uniforms.
In the reviews and comments about these people, the researchers found more dehumanizing descriptions of Ryanair employees than Lufthansa employees.
“When shoppers focus only on paying the lowest price, they become less attuned to understanding the human needs of others, or even recognizing them,” said study co-author Johannes Boegershausen.
“But it doesn’t take much to be human and to let others know you recognize them as human. Everyone has the right to be considered human.”
The next time we go thrift shopping, it’s important for all of us to keep this in mind. We should always be friendly with the workers and respect them because they are humans too.