Happy staff make customers happy too

Positive emotion displayed by staff members working in retail can have a contagious effect on consumers. This is the suggestion of new research published by Sage in the journal Human Relations, which also showed a salesperson's mood can be boosted when their customers are satisfied.

Investigators from the University of Western Australia and Carlton University discovered employees feel satisfaction when they help solve a problem, pride when they receive recognition for their services and happiness following pleasant customer interactions.

In addition, workers feel excited and relieved when their assistance leads to a successful outcome.

The authors of the report noted: "The customer interaction may need to be recast in the context of a dynamic interplay between salespersons and customers, where the affective state of each may influence the other."

It was demonstrated that staff members are able to become more effective problem-solvers when they take responsibility of a consumer problem and use their ability to fix it.

Chartered Psychologist Professor Robert East from Kingston University says:

"Work on retail atmospherics has suggested that the pleasantness and activation of retail settings can boost customer response and this evidence of contagion between customers and staff adds to our understanding of shopping dynamics."