Make Your Customers Laugh Once in a While
Article by, Don Peppers
With all the serious talk about listening and responding to customers, monitoring social media, innovating, cutting costs, recovering from mistakes, etc. etc., the very idea of being customer centric can begin to sound like really hard work!
But maybe it doesn’t always have to be. Maybe you should occasionally just have some fun with your customers. Make them laugh.
My brother Jeff is an Army chaplain. An ex-Ranger, he has no hair on his head (I mean ZERO hair, nada), and he looks like the kind of body builder you wouldn’t want to tangle with.Apparently one of his dietary secrets is the zero-calorie noodles he orders online from Miracle Noodle. The other day, after placing an order with them online, he received this email notification:
Dear Mr. Peppers:
Your noodles (order 221579) have been gently taken from our highly secured warehouse with cotton gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
Our team of employees inspected your Miracle Noodles and polished the labels to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your Miracle Noodles into the finest box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Chatsworth waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, on its way to you, in our private Miracle Noodle jet on this day, (5/6/2013 2:43:00 PM).
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Miracle Noodle. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year”. We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to Miracle Noodle.
Shipped Via Carrier Priority Mail, Medium Flat Rate Box
Shipping Tracking Number 9405510200986079715532
The Miracle Noodle Team
I’m sorry, but I found this send-up of the standard customer-service message that “your product has shipped” absolutely hilarious!
At the end of its email, Miracle Noodle included an acknowledgment that the idea was “inspired by Derek Sivers.” Sivers was the founder of CD Baby, an online music store launched in 1997 (before iTunes) that specialized in music by independent artists. Sivers also represents a great source for original ideas about how to do business, most of which can easily be accessed at http://sivers.org/. And it’s quite obvious that he likes to have fun.
Maybe we should all have a little fun with our customers once in a while!
The very first step in earning your customers’ trust is to “demonstrate humanity.” You want your customers to think of your business not as a big, bureaucratic organization with rules and procedures and lines of software code defining how things are done, but as a human organization, full of warm-blooded human beings with all the emotions and qualities of other humans – like customers themselves.
So yes, part of being “human” is to acknowledge mistakes and vulnerability, but part of it also is to have fun, to play, and occasionally to be silly.
Try it sometime. Your customers will like it, and they’ll like you.