Watching the Oscars is about so much more than the glitz and glam of Hollywood; it’s about the heartwarming experience of watching our favourite movies receive the recognition that they deserve. In the customer support industry, recognition is often woefully lacking, except for the occasional thank-you email. So we decided to have our very first Freshdesk Academy Awards to recognize exceptional support. Because why should Hollywood get all the limelight?
Best Romance Feature Film
Zappos has a corporate mandate that their support agents try and answer any question under the sun, regardless of whether it is relevant to what they do. When writer Haley Nahman decided to test the extent to which Zappos’ agents would go, she had all her notions about customer support challenged. She sent them seven queries in as many days, each one escalating steeply in absurdity than the last. She received a prompt response every day that week, with everything from product links and fashion advice to motivational quotes from Harry Potter.
Zappos is a company much loved for their customer support. If they hadn’t responded to Haley’s ridiculous questions, they wouldn’t have lost anything. But they did anyway. When a brand goes out of their way like this to keep the romance alive, when they never stop courting their customers, that’s how they make the legendary honeymoon phase permanent.
And the FrOscar goes to: Zappos
Much like the weather, social media is an ever-changing landscape. Trying to understand it is like trying to tune into a radio station whose frequency keeps changing every other minute. You’re always left trying to keep up. But if you step your game up and catch on to the pulse, you win. You win the internet. Just like Wendy’s did with their Twitter roasts.
An otherwise docile brand, Wendy’s bold move on Twitter had people questioning if their account had been hacked. A spokesperson had to assure the public in an official statement that it had not. It all began when a Twitter user accused Wendy’s of faking their ‘Fresh, Never Frozen’ motto. Wendy’s tongue-in-cheek response caught the attention of the internet and soon, people were lining up on the fast food restaurant’s Twitter page; some even going so far as to ask for a roasting. They were not disappointed.
Even if it’s all in good spirit, flat-out insulting your customers and competition seems counterintuitive. Wendy’s took a chance in trusting their customers to be good-natured, humorous and to take things in stride. And for that, Wendy’s pwned social media.
Of course, that chance isn’t the right one to take for every business. After all, with social media, one can never be too careful.
And the FrOscar goes to: Wendy’s
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Once again, Zappos proves how much it loves its customers with one of their agents breaking the record for the longest support call, clocking a stunning 10 hours and 43 minutes. Yeah, somebody keeps track of that.
While the customer’s support request was resolved in a matter of minutes, Steven Weintstein, the support agent on the call, said that they just kept talking. 10 hours and 43 minutes. That’s a good hour longer than it takes to marathon Lord of the Rings, bathroom breaks included.
Steven was able to make a connection with his customer because support at Zappos isn’t about resolving tickets; it’s about people and their customer community. You don’t sound like a robot when you’re talking to family. You don’t read scripts. You don’t go through the motions. So kudos to Steven, for making support human again.
And the FrOscar goes to: Zappos
Best Original Screenplay
We text, we chat, we ping, we shoot emails, we tweet, but do we really write anymore? LEGO proved how moving writing can be by replying to seven year-old Luka’s heartfelt plea with an equally heartwarming response.
Young Luka had used all of his Christmas money to buy a Ninjago kit, and was understandably devastated when one of the action figures fell out of his pocket. Taking the advice of his father, Luka wrote to LEGO, asking if they could send him a new one, promising that he would take care of it. Much to his surprise, he received a reply!
The agent wrote that while his superiors don’t let him replace lost pieces, he had called Sensei Wu (a character in the Ninjago universe) and gotten his blessings to send Luka not just a replacement, but an upgrade. The agent made sure to have it delivered within the next two weeks.
For the respect the agent showed for Luka’s feelings, and the care he took to keep the mystery and wonder alive in the seven year-old, LEGO truly deserves the title of the ultimate Spinjitsu master.
And the FrOscar goes to: LEGO
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
You can’t get very far if you don’t treat problems customers have as your own. You do for them whatever would make you happy in that situation, and you win the customer’s heart. And that’s exactly what Amazon’s support agent Simone did for Redditor klimtom when he reached out over chat.
Klimtom contacted Amazon customer support when there was a complication with a replacement request he’d created. He’d talked to the seller in China, who’d promised to send it and begged him to withdraw his request for fear of losing his job. He was connected to Simone, who perfectly understood what he wanted: to receive what he ordered, but not be responsible for someone losing their job. She put herself in his place, and by doing so, she was able to come up with a third alternative that not only worked for klimtom but made him so happy that he put the interaction up on Reddit.
And the FrOscar goes to: Amazon
These companies do not only show us how important customer support is to building a brand and garnering loyalty. They also teach us a thing or two about trying new things and going the extra mile. As it turns out, Zappos takes two of the five awards this year. You could even say they’re the La La Land of customer support.
Who else do you think are deserving of these awards? What other awards should we have added to this list? Let us know in the comments below, or tag them on our Facebook album! Until then, the FrOscar goes to…