Customer Service: humor

Companies are getting a lot of attention. Positive or negative, friendly or funny and from everyone worldwide. These days, with social media and social networks, the whole world is able to see the opinions and troubles of customers and companies. It is hard to deal with complaining consumers, tough competitors and the amusing people behind their computers and smartphones. I want to focus on a point which is able to turn this threat into an opportunity:  the use of humor.

Let’s start with the business-to-consumer communications: a company responding to (one of) their consumers.  For example the customer service team of JetBlue. They responded very quickly to a complaining tweet in a funny way. When Lindsay Kolowich landed, a parade was waiting to welcome her at the airport.

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Besides that, another group to discuss is the business-to-business.  Below you see an example of two Dutch beer companies. Bavaria thanked Heineken for being useful to open their beer bottles. Heineken responded to that with a 180 degrees turned  picture where Bavaria was opening their beer bottles. [Heineken: ‘Thanks, we would like to give our own spin on it! RT @Bavaria We love you @Heineken, seriously. #WorldKindnessDay’]  Don’t let people walk all over you! This is an example of reacting in a fun and friendly way.

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This social media posts will provide more satisfying and higher brand loyalty for customers. Comments and responses like these will be shared, liked and discussed by lots of people. Companies can get incredible attention without spending costs on billboards and commercials. Recently, when I am scrolling through my Facebook timeline, the posts of the Facebook page ‘Klantenservice’ [Dutch word for ‘customer service’] got my attention. They are tracking the social media pages of companies for complaints. They comment on these complaints as being the customer service their selves.  A lot of people think these comments are meant seriously. (Let’s hope for them that’s because of the adrenaline through their complaint..). Hilarious and entertaining conversations are results of that. ‘Klantenservice’ takes screenshots of this conversations and put them on their page. The real customer service of the companies  is responding very differently to this. Let’s call the communication  to these type of attention: business-to-‘amusing people’-to-consumer.
Picture left: woman complaining the staff did not speak Dutch in Germany, ‘Klantenservice’ responding in German to her. Picture right: Specsavers (glasses company) responding to ‘Klantenservice’: “Thanks for the sharp respond, we bet your glasses came from us”.

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My opinion is that humor in the communication of companies can be extremely important. The responds from, for example KLM and Heineken, contribute to a high brand loyalty for myself. All companies should respond in a business-to-consumer, business-to-business or business-to-‘amusing people’-to-consumer’  right and funny way;  they have to use these attention as a challenge and opportunity!



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