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Politeness matters: iOS 8 helps you to be polite

First of all my thanks to our client Florence for bringing this to our attention. A while ago I wrote with my colleague Laurence Rosier an article entitled “Politeness strategies in firms’ answers to customer complaints“.

We made an argument that politeness strategies developed by firms help increase customer satisfaction and analyzed which leviers to activate to effectively make your unsatisfied customer more … satisfied. Being polite was one aspect and our expertise shows that firms often neglect that aspect or at least are not aware of how they –unwillingly- upset customers with their impoliteness.

Well, it seems that Apple wants us to be more polite. As the screenshot below shows, the new iOS 8 suggests a polite answer to a SMS you have just received (which means that the software actually reads what you write … Big Brother).

When I was presenting my research at the Politeness conference in Huddersfield last July, a discussion got started on the opportunity to develop a software (as a plugin of Outlook) that would check whether what you just wrote can be perceived as impolite by the receiver; in other words a plugin that would verify the absence of face-threatening acts (FTA) for the receiver. I found the idea so appealing that I talked about it with fellow linguistics researcher … but no one knew how to realize something like this. Well, it seems that Apple is at least trying to do something for it …

And to finish, if you want to discover another amazing functionnality of iOS8, read this article of TechCrunch.

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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