The word relationship conjures up images of friends and family, but relationships are everywhere. Buying a product, joining a company, staying at a hotel, and eating a meal are a few examples.
In every relationship, there will be some selling going on initially. If you’re making a bet of any significance, consider looking behind the puffery to when things fall apart. Uncover the ground truth of the organization, beyond the glossy veneer.
To do this, notice how they treat their current customers. Between sales and support lives the real, beating heart of the organization.
Can a customer talk with a real human, day or night, or are they treated to an anonymous form? Is the company helpful on twitter, or are they a spam bot for the latest press release? Is the tone one of empathy and humanity, or has every note been thrice reviewed by legal? Do they keep their promises? Do they care enough to when it’s expensive or difficult?
Values, shrouded in darkness, are illuminated in behavior.