It’s been nearly 15 years since the 90’s sitcom Friends aired it’s season finale, 15 years since Rachel got off the plane and the group went to Central Perk for the last time. Since the last episode in 2004, the popular show seems to still get visibility from super fans begging for a reunion to binge watching season 1-10 over and over again.Those who are a fan of the sitcom hear the three little words, “the one where” and recognize the Friends reference, as every episode began with that title.
For those who aren’t familiar with the show, the 20-something, Manhattan crew developed a lifestyle by representing young people living unconventional domestic lives.
I consider myself a Friends super fan, based on my near-perfect scores on “How well do you know the Friends cast?” quizzes, and my ability to speak fluent Friends quotes. I can’t help but think (and wish) if the show was airing today and how each cast member would be in modern customer experience situations.
It would go something like this…
Joey: Before he heads into his next audition, Joey is of course hungry and needs to eat before an afternoon of reading lines and impressing producers. He grabs his smartphone and orders a meatball sub from his Doordash app. His dasher shows up right on time with extra napkins. As Joey finishes up his sub, and lightly wipes his face and hands with the napkins, he gives his Doordash experience five stars.
Rachel: There’s no hobby Rachel loves more than swiping a credit card at her favorite department store. Best part is, nowadays she doesn’t even have to leave her Manhattan apartment because she’s a frequent online shopper. Today, right when she clicked to buy items in her cart, she realized she ordered the wrong size dress. While still on the department store website, a chat feature pops up asking Rachel if they can assist. She types her confirmation code into the chat box and requests to change the dress size for her order. Never having to pick up the phone or be on hold, Rachel is satisfied with her online shopping experience.
Chandler: Jokester Chandler is always searching the internet for the best memes to send his friends. Multi-tasking at work he comes across an advertisement for a trip to London (baby) and starts to book a vacation. Still laughing at the meme he sent to his friends he forgets to complete his purchase. The airline company sends him an email with a discount coupon in order to bring him back to complete the flight purchase. He’s pleased with the experience of getting a personalized email that took him to the site right where he left off. He books the trip and immediately receives a confirmation email “Thank you for your purchase Mr. Bing!” He loves that he can communicate with his favorite brands while mutli-tasking at work.
Phoebe: Even though Phoebe makes a living as a masseuse, she still enjoys going into the spa on her day off. She’s familiar with the Booker app so she schedules a massage and facial at her local New York spa based on the best reviews. She just got a new credit card so it takes her a bit longer than normal to see a confirmation. An alert appears on her phone to remind her to complete her transaction. Once she’s at home from her late night open mic night she logs back on to Booker, adds her new card, and sees the confirmation she’s booked for a massage tomorrow afternoon. To show her brand loyalty Phoebs tweets @booker to tell her FRIENDS about her great #CX.
Ross: It’s time to purchase a new couch and this time he’s not going to walk it home from the store, he wants it delivered. You may remember how the last couch purchase went (Pivot!). After picking out his new couch at the store, he gets home and realizes he’s lost his receipt. Ross, the older brother and father figure, is sticking to what he knows best, a good ol’ phone call to the furniture store. He calls in, the lady on the phone knows he’s Ross Geller based on his past purchase, and emails him the receipt. Job well done.
Monica: It’s the week of Thanksgiving and Monica is preparing to host dinner for the group as per usual. Monica, the organized and strategic person she is, has already ordered a delivery of red wines from Total Wine & More. She receives an SMS message from Total Wine that says her delivery may be one day later than expected due to seasonal requests, but will still arrive before her Thanksgiving feast. Monica is pleased with the proactive communication in the channel she prefers (text message) and gives Total Wine two thumbs up.
“I’ll be there for you, ‘cause you’re there for me too” is the last line of the Friends theme song, and this couldn’t be more relevant to the experiences mentioned above. The brands were there to communicate with the consumers on their terms, and in the channel they preferred. Modern day Friends going through these modern customer experiences, whether it’s email, phone, chat, social media, is a series I’d binge watch over and over again.
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