|M.Sc Student||Zahavi-Riechstein Nurit|
|Subject||The Relationship between Politeness, Expressiveness and|
Special Requests of Customers
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Anat Rafaeli|
This study examined the extent to which customers in a fast food restaurant maintain the expected script of behavior. Specifically, it examines the influence of politeness and expressiveness on customer violation of the expected script. The study separates between two types of scripts: the “skeletal script” and the “tissue script”. The assumption is that fast food service is based primarily on a standard “skeletal script" as part of the accomplishment of service uniformity. The research questions were whether customers maintain the skeletal script, and what customer qualities best predict a violation of this script.
Data was gathered by observing 120 customers in fast food chains in Israel. In addition to demographics, three variables were noted about each customer: politeness, expressiveness and the number of special requests placed. The presentation of special requests was viewed as an indication of the customer breaching the `skeletal script`.
Consistent with the first hypothesis it was found that all customers presented special requests, hence violating the basic fast food efficiency premise. i.e., skeleton script.
A second hypothesis - of a negative linear relationship between politeness and special requests - was not supported. A third hypothesis, of a positive relationship between customer expressiveness and the amount of special requests was confirmed. In addition, the data showed that gender moderated the relationship between politeness and special requests.
The findings of the study present important implications for understanding delays in service delivery, and it presents the importance of the customer’s cooperation. By suggesting the new concept of “special requests”, the study begins to unravel cases of breaching of the premise of fast food efficiency - the “skeletal script”.