JS Tip 40: From the Customer Service Workshops: Using Humor

Humor is an important part of business. A funny remark or a good joke breaks the tension and bonds the group. Business life would be dark and dreary without a sense of humor.

But . . .

But . . .

But . . .

Be careful of at least two things:

Don’t be too funny too early. We recently coordinated a workshop with a client we’d never met. The training director asked us what we’d like in the training room. I flippantly responded “A yellow Corvette.” Long awkward silence. It’s not funny when you have to explain the joke.

Never, ever, come close to questionable humor. In another meeting, with another client, I jokingly referred to an acronym about protecting yourself: “CYA.” I was wrong. The client wasn’t amused. We lost the opportunity.  

Once you’ve established the business relationship, you understand the customer’s sense of humor, and the customer understands yours. And life is good.

But, as we said, be careful.