It seems like nowadays if you’re not super nice, you’re rude. If someone gives you a smile and you aren’t in the mood to smile back, there must be something wrong. If you enter a restaurant or a store and someone doesn’t greet you with a smile, that’s not good customer service!

But… now we have masks to hide our faces. How will that change how we act among strangers? In a shop/restaurant? How will that impact the employees? Will they still smile beneath their masks? Or, will they have a sigh of relief that they don’t need to put on that face all the time. Could wearing masks have the side benefit of allowing store employees to return to their “real self”? And, could this lead to less emotional stress (and less drinking) as this article suggests? Will the (hopefully) short-term mask culture be sufficient enough to bring about some positive social behavioral change?

Customer service has been part of the consumer experience for so long - will the introduction of facemasks enhance this or detract from it? With health, habits, home and hygiene being the new priorities, the short term “need to smile” stresses may be outweighed by doing what is best for yourself at a time when health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.