Here Come The Customer Service Body Cameras (and how to avoid them!)

“Extra towels? Are you serious?”

We were recently staying at one of the top properties in the US, part vacation and part scouting a location for an Evergreen Experience.

I asked the attendant in the gym area for a few extra towels and he let out a perceptible sigh, and a visual eye roll, followed by an audible, long drawn out “Okkkkkkkkaaaayy….”

I looked at the person I was with a “Did you notice that?” type of look.

She returned my look with a “Did YOU notice that?” look.

We both noticed it.

Here's a prediction.  I hope it doesn't come true, but it might.

In under five years more and more people in these types of customer-facing roles, especially those interacting with customers regularly (think banks, retail, hospitality) will be required to wear body cameras and recording devices to capture customer interactions.

When United Airlines knocked around one of their passengers, it was cell phones that caught the interaction. For years, cell phones caught every heated interaction with the police, and now most major law enforcement are now wearing cameras.

The question, however, got me thinking more about a theme I’ve discussed many times in these Tuesday Tidbits™.

Do you know what your employees are doing when you’re not watching them?

I’m not talking about "big brother" style of watching. I hope we never get to that point but are you confident they’re doing what you want them to be doing?

I wonder about customer service, especially personal interactions.

Many calls are already recorded, and everybody has a bad day, but there are also a lot of lousy customers.

But for me, I just needed a few extra towels.

How do you measure "Jerry," the towel guy? 

How do you ensure that a single employee isn’t messing things up for everybody else?

The problem is you don’t… and he is.

Unless of course, you have a culture of service and one where all employees understand how customers are meant to be treated

The towel guy is a bit more difficult. 

The towel guy means hiring someone that fits the right profile for your company. It means a company-wide understanding of customer value. It means a positive customer-focused culture that’s reinforced and tested regularly.

Because the towel guy is only going to work if you did everything else right. 

Did you hire right? 

Did you train right? 

Do you continue to offer training? 

Or did you just throw a manual at the employee and hope they would get it, or did you take the appropriate time to train, observe, and ensure they “got it?” 

But here's the most critical point,

If Jerry's doing this in the gym, 10:1 says your other people are doing this as well.  

Here's the difference: We can fix the sales department right away. We have more control over these areas than others. Jerry in the gym is going to need a little longer.

Jerry just knows he can get away with it.

Track the things that you can measure, first. Start there. Use that as a starting point and expand from there.

Your Challenge For This Week:  

Think about the following a few of the areas you CAN and SHOULD be tracking.


  1. Do you know activities your sales/service/customer facing people are engaged with on a daily basis to bolster retention and enhance loyalty?
  2. Do you have different processes in place, and are you confident they’re being completed every time? (examples include: new customer on-boarding, welcome packages, retention process, referral generation etc.)
  3. Do you how many customer complaints your business (store, website, etc.) dealt with last week, last month, and last year? Are these issues more prevalent in one area of the business, Jerry?
  4. Do you know with definitive certainty how quickly your company responds to customer service related issues?
  5. Do you know that every quote sent by your team is followed up on?

I sure hope your company doesn't need body cameras. This is a great way to avoid them.