A study by Howard (1990) proposed a compliance technique built on a social routine. We tested a technique based on an alternative routine. Our hypothesis was that asking people about their availability before making a request would result in increased compliance. A group of 1,791 participants were asked to answer a questionnaire by phone for a consumer survey. The results showed that compliance rates were higher when the requester inquired about respondents’ availability and waited for a response than when he pursued his set speech without waiting and inquiring about respondents’ availability. The results are discussed based on 2 complementary consistency mechanisms (Aune & Basil, 1994; Tedeschi, Schlenker, & Bonoma, 1971).
Source: “I Hope I’m Not Disturbing You, Am I?” Another Operationalization of the Foot-in-the-Mouth Paradigm” from Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 41, Issue 4, pages 965–975, April 2011