A few months ago, my boss Helen and I pulled a nice email prank on our customer services colleagues. We’re a team of about 30 sharing an office but, for long periods this year, we hadn’t seen much of each other with the pandemic around. That actually helped us with the prank, because it meant we could simply send it out per email without having to face any confused or curious colleagues.
What was it about? It started with a message announcing we were working on the details for a fun teambuilding event. The email’s subject line “Let the battle begin…” suggested excitement and suspense, but I didn’t reveal anything more at that point.
Subsequent emails added to the mystery using meme-like images and phrases like “Who knows what might come…”. I promised that all would be revealed at an online meeting two weeks later.
Curious, everyone saved the date.
When the date came, I deliberately let it pass without saying a thing — complete radio silence. Imagine the reactions, ranging from confusion, disappointment and bewilderment to downright anger.
The next day, at our daily meeting, I explained what it was all about. It was meant to raise awareness of how our customers might feel if they would be treated in the same way. I watched as the expressions on my screen turned to surprise.
My colleagues have a challenging job. Some of the more difficult incidents need laborious investigation that could take days, if not weeks. Our prank came as a gentle warning for colleagues to regularly inform the customer where we are with their ticket. No one likes radio silence, even when they understand that thorough investigation could take a lot of time and effort.
I’m sure it worked because when colleagues learned why we pranked them, they thanked us for the useful reminder. But they also gave me a taste of my own medicine. “A promise made is a promise kept,” they cried out in unison. And so the teambuilding event we teased in our emails also went ahead. Well, that was fun too.
Do you have the brains and the empathy to reinforce our Customer Services team?
BiographyIf you call OMP support, Danielle is one of the first people you’ll talk to. She is there to make sure your question is dealt with and handled effectively. Liaising closely with colleagues, she is a reassuring voice for customers on the status of their tickets. She’ll happily make your day!