Jokes in the store and its effects on customer satisfaction

Magnus Söderlund*, Eeva-Liisa Oikarinen, Eija Liisa Heikka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study assesses the impact of employee use of jokes embedded in face-to-face conversations with customers. Our main finding–derived from experiments in which employee use of jokes was manipulated–was that jokes reduced customer satisfaction. This reduction occurred regardless if jokes were related or unrelated to the employee’s overall message. Our results also indicate that the use of jokes had a negative impact on perceived message relevance, and that perceived relevance mediated the link between employee use of jokes and customer satisfaction. In addition, our results show that no joke usage vs. joke usage did not produce different emotional responses. This suggests that the impact of jokes on affect is attenuated when jokes are embedded in conversational content.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)260-283
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • customer satisfaction
  • humor
  • jokes
  • perceived relevance
  • service encounters


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