Communicating with customers is based on priming; according to Cusik in his book, All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back. We are all influenced by outside factors, and our irrational subconscious (making 95% of our decisions for us) can sometime make us oblivious to that fact. It is important to recognize the way we come off to people, much like the way most of the US thinks about New Yorkers. Test different behaviors, when interacting with your customers, and see which ones work the best. The more you test, the more you’ll be able to understand what customers respond to as a whole…and in specific geographic locations. Once you’ve established a behavior you want to standardize in your company, do it.
Personal Note: The issue I have, personally, with the thought process on this is that even if you standardize a behavior in your company, and your employees buy into it, then they will still act according to the way they have been personally primed to do so (according to previous arguments made by Cusik). We can be aware of these situations, and try to [consciously] be aware of these things, but we wouldn’t be able to do it 100% of the time. I also think that’s the point, though. If we standardize these behaviors that customers respond to, positively, then we will get it right more times than we get it wrong. We, as business owners, can’t expect to get it right 100% of the time when dealing with customers and their qualitative needs.