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Using Google in front of your customer?

Updated: Jul 10, 2018

If you’re an IT person and your customer sees you using Google, you may be hurting your credibility. When you use Google in front of a client, here’s what you’re probably thinking:

  • “There’s no way they can possibly expect me to know everything.”

  • “They trust me.”

  • “My client understands.”

Here’s what they may be thinking:

  • “If it’s that easy, I can get on Google and do it myself.”

  • “I’m getting the idea they haven’t done this before.”

  • “I’m paying them to learn on the job.”

As always, perception trumps reality. So is it really necessary to search on Google away from your client? Do we have to play these kinds of silly games?

Imagine for a moment you’re at the doctor and after you describe your symptoms, they say “I had a class on this in medical school, let me check my textbook.”

How would that make you feel? Nervous? Doctors do this all the time, but they don’t SAY what they’re doing, because that would hurt your perception, and hurt their credibility. Same thing with your car mechanic. If you actually saw the mechanic reading through the manual and scratching his head, you’d really worry about their ability. But they work in private, so you don’t worry. And neither do they.

And yet IT people repeatedly brag about how they “have nothing to hide” – that may work when you’re not charging anything at a Genius bar at your local Apple store. But if you’re charging by the hour, consider the perception factor.

And for those of you hiring IT professionals, here’s a tip: if they get on Google, it’s not a big deal. What you want is the fastest result with the highest level of accuracy and quality. Do you really want to know how the sausage is made?

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