They’re wearing a tie – that must be the manager.


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Everyone judges by appearance.

No matter how much of a conscious effort we make to dissuade our initial reactions, how things look affects our perception of them. This ranges from how your product stands off the shelf to how your employees wear their hair. I’m not advocating that everyone in your organisation wears a shirt and tie everyday – but I would be if looking smart and matching corporate clients dress was one of your organisations priorities .

People may later change their judgement following a first impression, but in the cluttered world of brands, services and organisations can you afford to make a bad impression? Similarly, the reverse is true as well. Do your front line employees judge customers on their appearance? The judgemental impact on how your employees deliver your customer experience could be massive.

Have you included employee appearance policies or referred to your customer’s appearances when planning your customer experience?

On a more personal level, how do you think how you look affects your customers or colleagues perception of you?

We’d love to hear some first hand experience in the comments

Dara Chadwick at Psychology Today has written a thought provoking post on Judging on Appearances

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


  1. Colin: thanks for bringing this up. How companies use appearance in decision making has received scant attention. It’s especially problematic in retail, where employees are woefully undertrained in how to deal with the issues.

    “You must be 21 to purchase alcohol.” Who gets asked for ID–and how they are asked–is largely the discretion of the cashier. His or her interpersonal skills factor large in the customer experience. In other situations, judging customer appearance has a more sinister history, and the risks are high for any company with front-line employees. A related article I wrote, Age Verification Bypassed by Cashier describes why.


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