Can your Customer Service technique stop shoplifting?
In 2006, Bateson, Nettle & Roberts conducted an honesty at an “Honor System” coffee bar, where consumers were expected to contribute payment for their coffee into a box, with no one watching. The study involved switching out the poster above the coffee bar. One poster displayed a bouquet of flowers, while the other displayed a pair of eyes.
Payment per cup of coffee drastically increased when the coffee bar displayed a pair of eyes overhead, and decreased when it displayed a bouquet of flowers.
While we are not suggesting that your eyes follow your customers like a hawk, we think it is extremely helpful for businesses to understand the concept behind this study. Most of these coffee drinkers were probably honest people, but when they felt un-watched, they were way more likely to become dishonest. When the eyes were displayed above, this affected the conscience of many of the consumers, and helped to keep them honest.