Tickle The Customer Experience

laughing-is-the-best-exerciseI was leaving a voicemail for a customer. During the message, a really great coworker, who I won’t bring too much attention to (shh, don’t tell, it’s @jdmaalopez) sneaks up on me and tickles my armpits.

Of course, not expecting this imposition on my armpits, I make a sound of surprise along with some giggles, all during the recording on this customer’s voicemail.

I somehow end up finishing the message and emailing the customer with the information as well as an apology for the laughter on their message since I wasn’t sure how they would react.

I then took a friendly retaliation on my coworker by hiding some objects that were on her unoccupied desk, which included hanging her glasses on the potted plant, dropping her cell phone in the Peer Recognition box and putting her coffee mug on a desk across the room. All in good fun, of course. Because at our office, it’s fun to do these sort of things and we laugh. A lot.

I received this email reply back from the customer:

“I did listen to your VM and have a question, was it a feather or a poke that was tickling you? It was very cute, good to have a fun day at the office once in a while. Makes for great customer service to know there is a real person behind the voice.”

I appreciated the lighthearted reply from the customer. And, he points out such a valuable part of the customer experience:

“…knowing there is a real person behind the voice.”

Customers want to be heard and valued, all while having their issues fixed quickly. And, in most cases for those of us that work in call centers, customers really do appreciate knowing there is a real person taking responsibility for the situation. If it means laughing during a voicemail to enhance the customer experience, let it happen!

My original concern was maintaining a professional sound during the call–the situation wasn’t the easiest to deal with and I didn’t want the customer to think I was making light of the issue. However, after this reply, I am able to understand who this customer is, their sense of humor and can develop a relationship with them more so than I would have before, keeping it just business about the issue.

With so many different types of customers, you never know what will truly enhance their experience.

Loosen up and go make one of your coworkers giggle today.

And, thank you, my lovely co-worker, for tickling my armpits!



Jenny Dempsey is the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. With over a decade of customer service experience, Jenny has been recognized through social media channels as a thought leader. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. When she's not helping or singing to customers, she is studying to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Be sure to check out DempseyWellness.org and follow her on social media!


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