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Humour is the key to quality customer service

Quality services and products will always be the things that keep customers coming back. But if you already offer these things to your customers then what’s the best way to show them a bit of love, and remind them about the human side to your business? 

The key is most often humour. When executed in good taste and not at the expense of the customer or at a part of their experience they are unpleased with, humour can liven up the consumer experience and remind them exactly why they enjoy your services so much.

A perfect example of how well executed humour can get people on board is the recent ‘tweet-off’ between Tesco’s and O2 in the UK. Initially instigated by a follower of the two brands, they tweeted friendly banter back and forth that got a fantastic reaction throughout the twitter-sphere.

The light-hearted chatter not only showed people that friendly people exist behind both corporations, it also gave them a reason to follow the two more closely on social media sites, and inadvertently stay up to date with the news for both businesses.

What is offensive to one is not necessarily offensive to another. And you certainly can’t please everyone, just be sure to think a joke through particularly when over social media.

This post from Playboy model Tricia Evans caused particular outrage when it was posted less than 24 hours after the killing of 12 cinema-goers during the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. Evans’ failure to apologise for the unfortunate remark caused further outrage across the twittersphere.

But don’t fret! If a mistake is honestly made a calm and clever approach can easily put a potential PR bungle to rest. Here’s an example of how to use humour to calm a potentially offensive situation.

After someone mistakenly tweeted a post meant for their personal account from American Red Cross’s twitter the Red Cross deleted the tweet and diffused the situation with the following tweet: “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.” Dogfish Head, the beer company mentioned in the tweet, used the mishap to the advantage of both brands, employing the hash tag #gettingslizzerd to inspire people to donate to the Red Cross.

Your customer wants to know that you take your service seriously as well as appreciating their patronage and suggestions for improvement, but this does not have to be done sullen-faced. A light-hearted joke will always benefit your brand, just be careful that your joke is in good taste! If a miscommunication occurs be calm, rational and try to humbly rectify the situation.