Customers' manners will tend to reflect the attitude of the person behind the counter, Blenheim retailers say.
Online daily deal operator GrabOne's nationwide survey of 318 New Zealand businesses in May found businesses generally rated their customers highly on the politeness scale.
The survey found that 91 per cent of businesses surveyed said their customers were always or mostly polite, and although Blenheim retailers said they were not about to criticise customers, they agreed most were polite.
Mortimers and Frasers Pharmacy co-owner Stuart Curnow said they only had negative experiences with customers "once in a blue moon".
"If I had a customer who was unpleasant to deal with, it would upset me for the rest of the day," he said. "We are on first-name basis with most of our customers and try to engage with them and have a bit of a chat. They are not just here to pick up their medication, it's the therapy goes with it."
Perry's Book and Map Shop owner Denis Jacques has been at the Arthur St bookstore for 17 years and said many of his customers have been there longer than him and know what to expect from him.
"We set out to have a bit of fun really ... I think you'll find the person behind the counter sets the level of manners. If they are a positive person, they will receive the same courtesies back from their customers."
The survey found 56 per cent of customers under the age of 18 and 67 per cent of customers aged 18-25 always or mostly said "please" and "thank you", compared to 88 per cent of customers aged 35 and over.
The survey found 25 per cent of businesses said women were more polite compared to 12 per cent who said men were more polite. The vast majority, 63 per cent, said both sexes were equally polite.
Market St's Matthews Eyewear Eyecare manager Anna Gellatly said the only problem they had with young people was keeping their appointments.
"Once they get here, they are pretty polite and use their please and thank yous," she said.
"Us women are naturally more polite. It's not that men are not polite, they are just more casual.
"Generally everyone is pretty polite, but you always get the few that aren't."
Just Jeans in Market St manager Sarah Hughes said she received mixed responses to her greetings and some customers did not appear to know how to respond. "Some people can be difficult to talk to, but once you get them talking they are much easier to help," she said.
- The Marlborough Express