Ways to Have Fun with the Customer
by Michele McGovern
July 18, 2016
Good business doesnt have to be all
business all the time. In fact, the
customer experience can benefit from some
funny business as well. More than half of
customers say humor resonates with them
when they do business with a company, a
Nielsen poll found. Most customers want
to interact with you and have fun doing
But as you may have guessed, not every
situation is suitable for fun. Still,
aside from situations that are upsetting,
frustrating, complex or confusing
a little fun can help improve the
Here are six ways to fit some fun into
the customer experience:
1. Make the Basic Funny
Many transactions are perfunctory.
Customers log on, give and request
information and make transactions with
every company so why should yours
be any different from the basic approach?
Because fun is memorable. For instance,
at Woofuu they dont just ask
for an email address and tell you how
they use it, they remind customers,
Dont worry. This info is
sacred to us. We wont ever sell or
abuse it. And they remind you that
your password is Like a secret
2. Make the Customer King
Use some humor to tell customers you
think the world of them. Photojojo sends
customers a message after they sign up
for the company newsletter that tells
them exactly how happy they are to have a
new follower. Dude, You rule!
3. Own Your Mistakes
Mistakes happen. The little, innocuous
kind like linking to pages on your
site that dont exist can be
fun too. At Kayak, when customers end up
on a page that no longer exists or is
just acting up, they arent given an
Error 404. Instead, Kayak makes a little
fun of itself: Sorry, we could not
find the page. One of our genius
programmers mustve made
a boo-boo. Its followed by a
4. Add a Kick to Your Blog
Many companies have blogs these days to
educate, share successes and give
customers a platform to become engaged
with each other. You can use it to add a
fun element to the relationship as well.
Wistia posts a year-end rap
up for customers that includes a
recap of product developments, office
changes, employee trips, dance lessons
and company progress.
5. Have a Contest Like No Other
People love a little competition. Even a
crazy one can get them engaged
maybe even more so than one that awards
T-shirts or extra loyalty rewards. Case
in point: Dwolla, a digital payment
system startup, hosted a contest for
customers with a cow being the grand
prize. Whether customers wanted a cow
(pig or rooster also prizes)
didnt matter as much as the smiles
it put on customers faces.
6. Let Personalities Shine
Most customer service reps have outgoing
personalities and professional attitudes.
Thats a good combination for
knowing when to use proper humor that
makes a lasting impression. For example,
heres an exchange shared by Glenn
Ross, an expert at allBusiness, from a
conversation he had with a service pro at
Ross: Ive lost my battery charger
to a 12-volt cordless drill, style #
2466. Can you tell me what a replacement
would cost me?
CSR: Yes sir, it would cost a bazillion
Ross: Well, I hope not. Can you give me a
CSR: Let me see what I can do. (Several
seconds pass as she scrolled through
screens.) Good news! I think I can get
you a sizeable discount. How does $17
sound, including tax and shipping?
Ross: Well that sounds better than a
bazillion dollars. Ill take it.
CSR: How would you like to pay for that?
We take Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Ross: (Determined to even things) What,
you wont take my Starbucks gift
CSR: (She laughs.) Im sorry sir.