HR & Management


Five of the best – and wackiest – online customer service conversations

6 Mins

Everyone has more than likely had at least one memorable customer service experience, whether that be good or bad. Take US entrepreneur and angel investor Peter Shankman, for example.

While at an airport, Shankman realised that if he didn’t grab a bite to eat he’d be stuck riding the plane back on an empty stomach. He took a shot in the dark and jokingly tweeted his favourite restaurant, asking if it would deliver him a steak.

To his disbelief, one of Morton’s staff drove 23 miles to the airport to greet him with a full meal.

“He proceeds to tell me that he’d heard I was hungry, and inside is a 24 oz porterhouse steak, an order of colossal shrimp, a side of potatoes, one of Morton’s famous round things of bread, two napkins, and silverware,” Shankman said. “It comes to show that customer service isn’t about telling people how awesome you are, it’s about creating stories that do the talking for you.”

This is a stellar example of doing exactly that, and Morton’s deserves all of the attention it received for making it happen. However, when it comes to creating the ultimate customer service, communication has a large role to play. For example, what if you were talking to a client online? Through the crafty use of words alone, it’s entirely possible to turn an angry or confused customer into a loyal one.

We took a look at some examples of customer service exchanges that went viral due to the sheer imagination of employees.

One of the most famous examples is when Amazon managed to get Avengers’ Thor to man the customer service department for a day – and a customer whose book hadn’t arrived on time gained new faith in the power of the Norse gods.

It all started when the Amazon representative introduced himself as “Thor,” and a customer asked to play his father, Odin. The conversation just gets better from there.

Here’s a sample:

Amazon: Warmest greetings. My name is Thor.
Customer: Greetings, Thor. Can I be Odin?
Amazon: Odin, father, how art thy doing on this here fine day?
Customer: Thor, my son. Agony raises upon my life.
Amazon: This is outrageous! Who dares defy the All Father Odin! What has occurred to cause this agony?
Customer: I’m afraid the book I ordered to defeat our enemies has been misplaced. How can we keep Valhalla intact without our sacred book?
Amazon: This is blasphemy! Wherever this book has been taken to, I shall make it my duty to get it back to you! I fear it is Loki, but I dare not blame him for such things. I shall have your fortune returned to you and thereafter we can create a new quest in order to get the book back to you.
Customer: Very well my son.
Amazon: Allow me some time to round up my allies and complete this, my father.
Customer: Do it for me Thor, but most importantly do it for the mortals whose destiny (and grades) rely on this book.
Amazon: Alas, the treasure has been returned to you. You now need to reinstate your book into your archive so that you may yet receive it soon. I shall have the Valkyrie deliver it to you as fast as their wings can move.
Customer: Ok so roleplay aside, I have my money back and reorder the book?
Amazon: haha, yes I have refunded you and you need to reorder the book.

What’s even better, however, is when several other brands pile into the conversation. Back in 2010, Riccardo Esposito told Tesco Mobile that someone had been “mugging [the company] off”. But we won’t start at the beginning of the conversation, we’ll fast forward to the part where the company suggested that together they were Batman and Robin.

Tesco Mobile: We’re Batman, you can be Robin.
Esposito: Anything for you.
Tesco Mobile: Put the kettle on. Our bare feet are killing us.
Esposito: Yorkshire tea alright?
Yorkshire Tea: You rang?

This quickly escalated when follower Hooson suggested that Jaffa Cakes needed to join the party – which the company did.

Jaffa Cakes: Ain’t no party like a Jaffa Cakes party!
Esposito: Cadbury, do you want to join the party?
Cadbury UK: Ke$ha sang “party don’t start till we open a tin”.

Some ten minutes later – and after Jaffa Cakes’ rendition of Sting’s I’ll Be Watching You – a debate sprung up about where the crisp companies were hiding. Phileas Fogg answered the call. I’m sure Esposito never had this conversation in mind when he contacted Tesco Mobile.

Read on to learn about the company that employs ninja’s, and the customer service representative famous for pretending to be a crew member of Star Trek.

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