TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Rude employee behavior is a major problem that drives customers away from many businesses, a new U.S. study finds.

Researchers surveyed 244 consumers and found that about one-third said they'd experienced or witnessed insensitive, disrespectful or rude employee behavior an average of once a month. The consumers said this incivility makes them less likely to return to those businesses.

The study also found that few customers report unpleasant employee behavior to the workers' supervisors. This can lead to an ongoing cycle of poor worker behavior that angers and drives away customers, according to the University of Southern California and Georgetown University researchers.

The incidents of rude employee behavior that study participants reported occurred in many businesses, but particularly in restaurants and retailing.

The best remedy is an apology from both the offending employee and the supervisor, the researchers found. But the preferred solution is creation of training programs that promote employee civility, they added.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Service Research.

More information

Learn more about the importance of being assertive>.