My name is Thor. That is how one customer service rep for Amazon opened his exchange with his customer in an online support chat. In the chat transcript that went viral recently, an Amazon customer service rep named Thor went deep into character with a customer who had joked around with him about his name.
The rep began the conversation with “Warmest greetings… my name is Thor.”
The customer responded, “Greeting Thor. Can I be Odin?”
(They are referring to the Norse gods Thor and Odin.)
What ensued was a customer service conversation that was light, funny, and still got the job done. The beauty of what Amazon’s customer service rep did was that he read the customer. The customer started the joking, and the customer service rep picked the ball right up. While he maintained the joke throughout, he also stayed focused on a solution and doing his job. As you can see from the screenshot below (click once to go to original, then click again for full size), the actual customer service interaction did not last that long. The service rep was able to have fun with the customer and to still get the job done efficiently.
While humor can be risky in customer service, there is almost no better way to create rapport and liking quickly. Customer service doesn’t have to be stuffy, and it is often more effective when it isn’t. When you feel like you have a good read on the customer and the customer is open to it, don’t be afraid to interject humor into your service interactions. If you fail to do so, you risk the wrath of Thor himself.
Photo credit: http://imgur.com/IDFkz82
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.