Consumers are Tired of Jerks; Here's Why That Matters to You

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Oct 1, 2014 12:12:00 AM

Someone has been a jerk to you today.

It may have been during your commute, or maybe someone stole your parking space just as you were pulling in.

If you’re like me, just recalling the incident gets you worked up all over again. Your shoulders tense up, your stomach churns, and you think about all the snappy one-liners and responses you could’ve thrown out to put that worthless, snot-nosed barista right in his place.

If you experienced boorish behavior today, you’re not alone. Incivility may not be a growing problem – it’s always been around in some form and always will be – but people are growing sick and tired of it.

The uncivil world presents an opportunity for businesses: be a part of it and suffer the consequences, or be a personable, polite island of peace to customers, who just want to be treated like humans.

It’s a Negative, Negative World, Baby

According to recent research, 95% of Americans think we have a civility problem in this country, and 71% think it’s getting worse. They see it in their personal lives, as well as in the companies they do business with.

In fact, around 7 in 10 consumers have ended a business relationship due to being treated poorly. Oh, and 58% have shared their distaste for a company with family and friends.

One customer’s experience with a jerk customer service rep even went viral this summer.


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

—Maya Angelou

Despite the overwhelming evidence that consumers are punishing businesses for their boorish behavior, there doesn’t seem to be a marked increase in civility from the professional world. (Granted, these acts are often the work of one cranky individual and hardly corporate policy, but everyone suffers all the same.)

Regardless, that means you have the advantage.

“Kindness” is the hot new business app that separates you from the pack. It’s going to keep your customers returning, and even better, they’ll feel confident in sending their friends and family to your business as well.

Also, being personable and polite isn’t just a good way to earn a few more bucks, it’s actually good for your own wellbeing. Acts of kindness release oxytocin, which is great for blood pressure, and they increase serotonin, which is good for your immune system.

How "Nice" Works

How does this all translate into actions and behaviors? What can you, or your employees, start doing today that will make you stand out to customers and coworkers?

We’ve put together a simple eBook called “Nice Guys Finish First” that outlines specific actions and behaviors that will put customers at ease and give you that status as the “peaceful island” in their chaotic, sourpuss-filled world.

Click the link below for the free download, and please feel free to brag in the comments about the amazing things you do for your own customers and coworkers.


Download the FREE eBook - Nice Guys Finish First

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Employee Discount Programs, Customer Incentives, Viewpoints, employee engagement, consumer behavior, customer loyalty

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding.

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