Using humour in the workplace to improve customer service isn’t about cracking jokes, putting on a happy face or adding superficial additives to your customer service mix. It’s about using humour in the workpalce to stand out from the herd.
It’s also about all those basic customer service things we need to do help make our customers feel better after they left us than when they arrived. It’s not about blindly smiling at the customer, it’s about getting the customer to smile at you.
And it’s about the small things you do differently to exceed basic expectations, and about eliminating the small irritants that drive your customers crazy. Because often it’s the small stuff that make the difference, and it’s the small stuff that kills you.
Here’s a very small example. Over the last three days I have been given three different reservation confirmation numbers and customer code numbers. Fine. No big deal.
But why, oh why, do we need numbers that stretch as far as the U.S. budget deficit? I actually started laughing this morning because the customer service rep kept going on and on with my number, to the point that I thought I was in a Monty Python sketch! There would be a pause, and then he would keep going, with a seemingly endless supply of numbers: “416…379845….20345…11908…223… blah blah blah.”
How many customers does this company have?!
Sure it’s a small thing, maybe most folks could care less, but really, why do hotel confirmation numbers and customer codes have to be this long?
Just once I want to hear a reservations operator say, “And your confirmation number Mr. Kerr is 45.”
Or, hey, better yet, how about a cool code name? Put my hotel confirmation number under the name “The Owl Flies at Midnight” or “Thunder Bunny.”
Now THAT would make me smile.
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics