Sometimes it’s the sense of humor and human touch that all a tiny store may need to separate itself from the online behemoth retailer.
Humor has positive benefits such as promoting social relationships, reducing stress, and strengthening the immune system. Working in environments that favor humor will definitely bring benefits not only for employees, but also for companies.
6 Reasons Why Humor is a Competitive Advantage
1. Humor makes you memorable.
For many people, contacting a customer service number is a terrifying interaction, accompanied by a fear of not receiving adequate assistance or attention. But imagine what is possible if, all of a sudden, that interaction turns into something that will make your client’s day.
AllBusiness.com writer Glenn Ross explained through a personal example how humor can be used in interactions:
Glenn: “Hi, I lost my battery charger for a 12 volt drill, style # 2466. Can you tell me how much a replacement would cost?”
ATC Agent: “Yes, it would cost a billion dollars.”
Glenn: “(Surprised that an agent has a sense of humor and uses it on a client) Well, I hope not. Can you give me a discount? ”
ATC Agent: “Let me see what I can do. (Several seconds pass as you scroll through the screens.) Good news! I think I can get you a considerable discount. How about $ 17, including taxes and shipping? ”
Glenn: “Well that sounds better than a billion dollars. I will take it.”
ATC agent: “How would you like to pay? We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover ”.
Glenn: “Determined to even things out, answer, Won’t you accept my Starbucks gift card?”
ATC agent: “(Laughs.) No, I’m sorry.”
Ross and the customer service agent finalize the shipment and other details and end the call.
Glenn fondly recalls the interaction, saying, “This is the first time I’ve been positively surprised by a customer care executive.”
2. Humor makes your company stand out
Memorable and unique experiences make your business stand out from the competition, and can be great for word of mouth. Today, almost every interaction with a business can be transformed into a viral video, turned into a popular screen image, or circulated as a social media post.
This is great for some companies, whose positive customer experiences can turn into free advertising, and a disaster for others who let poor customer service sit on the record for the world to see.
Examples: Two companies that have nailed the art of using humor professionally
One company that knows the power of humor is Southwest Airlines, which is why they give their flight attendants creative freedom when making their announcements. The success of this policy can be seen in a video of one of their flight attendants rapping the ad before the flight takes off. The video, which went viral, is titled “Hilarious Southwest Flight Attendant,” generating free publicity for the airline and many accolades through social media.
Another company that uses a sense of humor to communicate with its audience is Wendy’s, whose witty stories on social media have generated a large following and of course engagement.
The fast food chain has been responding to almost every Tweet it has received from fans and haters alike.”
By using humor in its interactions with its customers, Wendy’s has shown that consumers want to laugh and appreciate a company with a sense of humor.
3. Humor brings the human side of your business.
Customer service can often seem robotic. Humor helps bring the human element back into the game and opens up person-to-person connections. According to corporate humorist Tim Washer, using humor can help humanize both your agents and your brand. “The humor shows authenticity. And cut the noise.” says Washer. By allowing your customer service reps to play with tasteful humor, you are helping your brand, not hurting it.
4. Humor makes reps feel good.
Like all professionals, customer service representatives do a better job and are happier when they feel they have a purpose. Making a client smile can give them that sense of purpose and help make their work feel meaningful.
Not only that, but studies show that the sounds of laughter have a direct effect on the listener, inducing positive emotional responses that reflect the emotional state of laughter. This warm “feel good” effect means that hearing a customer laugh can also brighten an agent’s day.
5. Humor brings more productivity.
Offering customer service with a sense of humor can be much more fun for agents and can even make them more productive. Lynn Taylor, an expert on work environments and an author says that “Humor creates a Upbeat atmosphere that encourages interaction, the creation of new ideas, and the feeling that there is little risk in thinking outside the box. All of this leads to higher productivity ”.
6. Humor helps forge loyal customer relationships.
Humor is a crucial stepping stone in building new relationships and social ties. It helps the customer relationship go from being cool and formal to friendly and comfortable. It opens the channels for honest communication and can help your client trust you. As a result, if a customer has to call again in the future, they will not be anxious or stressed to start the conversation with you.
Conclusion: hit the right note
Humor in the workplace is important because it promotes employee satisfaction and thus contributes to the success of the company. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds to hit the right note with your wit. Whether boss or employee – everyone should remember that they use humor correctly while remaining respectful and appreciative. Jokes should never be at the expense of employees, colleagues or even customers.