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Friday, March 27 • 08:00 - 17:00
[VIRTUAL] An Analysis of the Impact of Environment on Customer Service Interactions: The Role of Altruism

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In this article, I introduce and test a hypothesis about altruism and prosocial behaviors in the customer service environment. I performed this study in order to examine whether or not specific types of business establishments foster significantly greater altruistic behaviors towards customers than others. In this observational study, I recorded information from 30 individuals at each of two locations: a Starbucks coffee shop and a Harris Teeter grocery store. This yielded a total of 60 participants. These participants didn't have to actively perform any tasks for this study; rather, I noted their public behaviors and interactions. For this study, I recorded helping behaviors shown towards customers by employees at each location, including greetings and kind gestures. The results indicate that a significant difference emerged between the two locations, specifically that employees exhibited more altruistic behaviors towards customers at a Harris Teeter than at a Starbucks, thus suggesting that altruism may be influenced by the environmental setting.


Alexandria Durr

Campbell Online

avatar for Dr. Katherine Van Allen

Dr. Katherine Van Allen

Associate Professor, Psychology, Campbell University

Friday March 27, 2020 08:00 - 17:00 EDT