_Uniformity Cues

Is there a business case for requiring sales team workers to dress and behave similarly? A Drexel and University of British Columbia study proves that uniformity increases customer satisfaction…but not for allgoods.

_Chen Wang

Wang is an associate professor of marketing in the LeBow College of Business

Do sales team uniforms create uniformity in rates of customer satisfaction? According to research from Drexel and the University of British Columbia, customers feel like they are getting the best customer service when sales associates share an air of uniformity, by dressing and acting alike.

However, this isn’t the case when the products being sold require some level of creativity, according to research led by Chen Wang, associate professor of marketing in Drexel’s LeBow College of Business.

Using four different studies, researchers looked at how appearance entitativity cues and behavior entitativity cues can impact a sales team’s perceived service quality, which in turn influences customer satisfaction.

According to their analysis, retailers should consider four key factors to enhance customer satisfaction:

01 / ask sales teams to dress alike

02 / train sales team members to act with the team in mind.

03 / do not encourage entitativity for industries involving creativity.

04 / ensure that entitativity cues are consistent.

“If one of them is off and one member of the team doesn’t dress like the others or isn’t coordinated then any positive effect can be undermined,” says Wang.