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I’d like a pizza with extra unicorn: Meeting bizarre customer requests

 

Customers think art goes great with pepperoni.

Customers think art goes great with pepperoni.

Customer care centers interact with a variety of consumers who have very unique needs. What happens when a customer’s request is not only original, but seems pretty weird at first glance?

Entrepreneur Magazine offered the example of how the musical group Van Halen put a request in their venue contract for a bowl of M&M’s in their dressing room with no brown pieces. Initially, it seemed like rock star self-indulgence, but members of the group came forward to explain the brown M&M rule was there to see if the venue paid attention to the contract. If they saw brown candy in their dressing room, they knew the facility didn’t care about their more important needs.

By responding to requests other companies would ignore, a business shows it is truly invested in their customers’ success. Here are three stories about bizarre requests that got serious results:

“One couple had very particular dietary and decorative desires.”

Hotel brings home the bacon
People staying in hotels need a good night’s sleep. This is why many high-class establishments offer a special request slot on their reservation forms. Usually customers ask for special medical considerations or room locations. One couple, however, had very particular dietary and decorative desires.

ABC News detailed how Dustin Wray and his girlfriend booked a hotel in a Texas resort. In the request box, Dustin wrote he would like the room to include a picture of bacon and three unpackaged red M&M’s – a popular candy for special demands. The couple needed three so they could each have one and split the third for a midnight snack.

The hotel provided the candy while the staff framed a picture of bacon and placed it on the bed to greet the guests. The story not only went viral, it was shared on many national publications and news sites. For the price of a frame and a bag of candy, the hotel got widespread marketing for its commitment to customer care.

Pizza box artwork sweeps the nation
When positive customer care solution stories spread online, they provide great publicity for the companies responsible. They can​ also give future consumers ideas.

Restaurants who offer pizza delivery include special request options on their online forms. Recently, customers began making requests for delivery boxes rather than the pizza. Unmotivated, an entertainment blog, posted several pictures of customers who asked for unique drawings on the inside of their food container. Restaurant staff members drew bears, dragons and unicorns. Some were ornate while​ others were stick figures, and the customers were just happy the company tried.

Patrons make these odd requests to multiple brands across the country, and the Internet is full of companies that complied. Serious Eats shared Domino’s Pizza​ official stance on the new craze. Workers at franchise locations have illustrated jokes that consumers have written in. The business’s spokesman, Chris Brandon, told Serious Eats he enjoys the trend and the company is ecstatic so many individual stores meet the unique demands. When fun requests break up mundane routines, it’s a win-win for employees and customers.

Doesn’t hurt to ask
Many businesses monitor social media pages to see how consumers view their companies. Morton’s The Steakhouse​ used its online prescence to fulfill a request a customer didn’t realize he made.

Business Insider said Peter Shankman didn’t really expect the restaurant​ to pay attention to his tweet asking for a steak waiting for him when his flight home landed. Shankman was about to board a plane to New Jersey and he decided to jokingly tweet the company requesting a meal at the return gate. He was surprised to find a gentleman in a tuxedo greeting him with a porterhouse when got off the flight.

Shankman had over 100,000 Twitter followers and every one of them saw the excellent customer experience response. The story was shared across social media and other online sites. Morton’s The Steakhouse showed it listened to requests no matter where they come from.

 

Social media changes that affect customer care centers

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