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Newsletter #1007: The “Lessons from’s Super Pickles” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.] has this crazy customer service program called Super Pickles. We’re not sure where the name came from, but we’re impressed with its mission: Blow customers away with great service.

Here are our five favorite examples:

1> Listen closely
2> Nix the annoying stuff
3> Always hang up last
4> Don’t upsell
5> Add a little extra
6> Check it out: The Super Pickle Way

1. Listen closely

On every customer service call, employees are looking for a reason to surprise and delight and build a deeper relationship with their customers — not to get off the phone as soon as possible. For example, when one customer told a rep about the stressful work week ahead of her, they sent her a gift certificate to a nail salon to relax later. That customer wrote them back, saying she would tell everyone who would listen about their amazing customer service.

The lesson: With day-to-day customer service, it can be easy to go through the motions: passively listening while you fix the problem. Instead, employees listen proactively and empathetically.

2. Nix the annoying stuff

Phone trees are one of those advancements in tech that, in the process of making things more efficient, forgot that customers are human. Everyone hates phone trees, but so many businesses use them that when an actual person answers the phone, it’s remarkable. That’s why every call you make to will be answered by a real person.

The lesson: Get serious about customer experience and get rid of as many of these annoying details as possible — even if it makes the job a little less efficient.

3. Always hang up last

How many times have you thought of that one thing you forgot to ask after a customer service rep has already hung up? employees will always make sure their customers have the last word by waiting for them to hang up first. That gives their customers the opportunity to add something at the end of the conversation and not feel like they were cut off.

The lesson: These small details in the everyday jobs of your employees make a big difference to your customers. Are you looking for them?

4. Don’t upsell employees never pressure a customer with upsells. In fact, they’ll often talk customers out of buying stuff they don’t need. Your customers are smart. They know when you’re trying to squeeze a little more out of their business, and they figure it out when they’ve been sold stuff they didn’t need.

The lesson: Instead of losing their trust and their business for a little extra cash, why not show them you’re trustworthy and earn them as a loyal customer?

5. Add a little extra

Did you know that is the second-largest buyer of Tootsie Rolls in the world? That’s because they ship a handful of them in every package they send. That’s a small surprise for the person receiving those packages, and a great word of mouth tool, but it also shows they care about the details that make their customers happy.

The lesson: These little gestures are much easier for your customers to talk about than your customer service philosophies or your company culture. They can just say, “They send me Tootsie Rolls in every package,” and people will get the message.

6. Check it out: The Super Pickle Way CEO Mike Faith shared this slide deck with us of “16 Customer Service Secrets We Learned at” It’s another great example of word of mouth marketing: Give people something they can share.

Check it out: The Super Pickle Way

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