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The Intuitive Customer - Improve Your Customer Experience To Gain Growth

Jul 9, 2022

When I was still a lad, around 10, I brought home a school report that read, “Colin is the class clown.” I am still proud of that report card to this day. Humor is an essential part of life and, surprisingly enough, business. There are numerous ways to use humor to your advantage in your customer strategy.  


You might have heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.” That’s because it is. There are many health benefits of laughter. Laughter reduces tension and increases trust in relationships. It can make an uncomfortable situation more bearable, which is good for everyone’s mental health, too. 


Laughter is an excellent strategic tool in business, as well as in life. When we laugh, it feels disarming, and we are more willing to listen to people who make us laugh—because we hope they will do it again! When people are listening to you, there are many more opportunities to be persuasive. 


I always want my team to use humor, appropriate humor, of course. I also encourage them to read the room, or, to put it another way, ensure that their joke is coming at the right time. 


In this episode, we explore the many ways that humor can encourage your customer strategy in a positive direction. We also talk about the four theories behind what makes something funny, and have many clips that demonstrate what we mean. 


(Also, it is important to note that the comedy clips have a bit of fruity (aka, bad) language, so be careful if you play them at work or around your mum.)


Key Ideas to Improve Your Customer Experience


We discuss the four theories of humor, which, to be honest, don’t sound funny at all. As we go through them, some of you naturally funny people will understand these concepts intuitively. However, for those that want to be more amusing and use comedy more effectively in their customer strategy, it is helpful to be familiar with what makes something funny to people. So, consider how you can apply these concepts to business, whether through the contact center and account management interactions, or marketing messaging, or even in the conference room.


Here are a few key moments in the discussion:


  • 09:05 We begin with the first of four theories of humor, Superiority Theory, which is much better than the other three for sure.
  • 14:51 Ryan talks about the second theory of humor, Relief Theory, and we all felt a lot better afterward.  
  • 19:50 Incongruity Theory is the third theory we discuss, but it didn’t go at all like we expected.
  • 25:05 The last theory, Benign Violation Theory, explains how breaking social norms or language meaning is what makes this type funny that Ryan probably made up because he needed a fourth one to finish out the list.   
  • 27:03 Colin asks Ryan to explain where sarcasm falls into all of this and then proceeds to use a bunch of British slang that really cleared things up for all of us.
  • 35:51 Colin and Ryan break down how all of these theories can be useful in your customer strategy.     


We hope you enjoy today's show. If you do, could vote for us in the People's Choice Podcast Award? It doesn't take long to cast your vote and it would really mean a lot to both Ryan and I. Thanks very much. Cheers!


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Customer Experience Information & Resources


LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the 'World's Top 150 Business Influencers.' As a result, he has 290,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy as one of the best management consultancies for the last four years in a row. Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University. 


Why Customers Buy: As an official "Influencer" on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 35,000 subscribers. 



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