A few days ago, my GoDaddy account was locked, as it indicated I had tried using the wrong password. It was a great inconvenience, as I called up the customer service team and it became one of the smoothest customer experiences I have ever had over the phone. I got through to an agent within a minute and the issue was resolved in less than 2 minutes. But something about the experience was more important to me and I guess to some other customers. It was something about the interactive voice response (IVR).
It wasn’t anything close to Randy Glasbergen’s statement: “Thank you for calling customer service. If you’re calm and rational, press 1. If you’re a whiner, press 2. If you’re a hot head, press 3.”
The most important element from GoDaddy’s customer experience was providing humour that eased an angry customer like me. The humour was found in option 6 of the IVR which is rephrased: “If your call is in relation with your cat, press 6, we are obviously kidding.” This made me laugh so hard and realised the power of humour in the journey of customer experience. This was one of the best telephone customer experiences I have ever witnessed.
The benefits of humour in the customer experience
1) An Icebreaker: Customer service over the phone seems to be characterised by a bit of tension. When I called up GoDaddy, I was pissed off as to why my account was locked as I felt I had not exceeded my login attempts. The funny IVR message mitigated or to a larger extent eradicated my tension.
2) Generates a smile: An appropriate humour served in the customer experience is geared at attracting a smile from the customer. From a personal experience, I smiled after the IVR message about the cat was played.
3) It shows a fun company: This experience showed me how GoDaddy as a company likes to have fun and create humour. This is not to disregard the importance for brands to be business-like; having a good balance is always golden.
4) It creates surprise and unpredictability: I was surprised by the IVR message from GoDaddy. As I was used to all the common business-like IVR messages like press 1 for sales, 2 for billing and 3 for technical. I was caught by surprise, in a good way, which made me sit on the edge as I expected more funny messages as I interacted with the customer support team.
5) It changes the dreaded to the desired: I sometimes dread having to call up for customer support. In most instances, I have mostly been made to be on hold for a while as I waited to speak to an agent. The moment I heard the funny IVR, I repeated the options just to be served with the funny message. The once dreaded IVR became much desired.
6) It positively impacts on your customer’s day: Fun served right like that of GoDaddy, has a good chance to make a positive impact to the day of your customer. After hearing the funny IVR, I became happier throughout the day. To some, it might be a little message but to me it became a catalyst to how I felt throughout the day.
The most important lesson I learnt from my interaction with GoDaddy was that delivering customer experience is not meant to be too business-like and predictable. ‘Humour’ is a growing element in the customer journey.
Zappos a company big on creating fun and exciting customer experience had an interaction with a customer that went thus:
Zappos: We’ve successfully received your VIP.Zappos.com order, and our elves are working double-time to get it ready to ship. Did you know that elves work at twice the speed of humans and only require sugar for nourishment? It’s a fact.
Jenna McNight: I will be sure to put sugar in my payment envelope. I hope your Receiving Dept shares it with fellow workers.
Zappos: I’m sure they will share, after all, elves are excellent sharers.
My prediction is that companies will continue to improve their customer experience by understanding the role a good and healthy sense of humour plays. Do you think humour is a good element on CX?