Customer service can be amazing when you connect with someone on a personal level.
Jenny Dempsey is a master at doing that. Her day job is the Customer Care Manager at DMV.org, where she helps people navigate the complexities of dealing with their local department of motor vehicles. She's also the co-author of the excellent Customer Service Life blog.
Jenny recently posted a story on her blog about a customer named Ben from the UK who wrote her a "song of gratitude" to say thanks for helping him. I was impressed but not surprised. If you know Jenny, these kind of things happen.
Still, I wanted to see what lessons other customer service professionals could gain from Jenny's experience, so I reached out and asked her a few questions.
Me: How did you originally help Ben from the UK?
Jenny: Ben sent an email to DMV.org customer care asking for advice on taking a road trip in the US. He needed to know how to purchase and register a car, as well as how to obtain insurance as a non-citizen. I replied with advice on the steps to take.
Me: Do you know what prompted Ben to write a song and put it on video?
Jenny: In my reply, I also told him to enjoy the road trip and send me a postcard. He mentioned that he may not remember the postcard, but his housemate was impressed with the advice given [so they] wrote/recorded the song. (You can watch the video here.)
Me: Was there any hesitation to reply with a song of your own?
Jenny: Initially, I wasn't 100% sure. But, we're given lots of freedom here to showcase our brand personality, which is friendly, personable, and creative. I took the risk to write a song and send back to him. (You can listen to Jenny's reply here.)
Me: Have you gotten any more videos since then?
Jenny: Actually, YES! While unrelated, a visitor to our website wrote in sharing her song of sadness about an experience with the Florida DMV. (You can see her video here.) With the trending DMV musical, I replied with a song to encourage her to have some faith. (You can see Jenny's song reply here.)
Me: I have no musical talent whatsoever. What advice would you give to people like me who want to connect with customers in interesting, unique, and impactful ways?
Jenny: Think about what creative avenues you enjoy and make something happen. Is it a thank you card drawn with crayons? A custom photograph that you took, relevant to the situation you are working on with the customer? A Snapchat? A personalized meme? A poem? Even if it seems silly, if your company allows you the freedom to communicate creatively with the customer, do it! Your customer will never forget you or your company.