Many times in life, it’s the little things that bring us pleasure. When it comes to good customer service, subtle touches leave their mark, make for happier customers and create brand loyalty.

On the scale of things that really annoy us, being on hold waiting for a customer representative to pick up ranks somewhere in between nasty papercuts and seeing spoilers to a Game of Thrones episode before you’ve watched it. It’s the same message over and over or even worse: muzak.

To be fair, I’ve never been in an elevator where that genre of music is playing. Elevators get a bad rap from the whole thing. But anyway…

Here are three examples of companies adding a small touch of good customer service. Two of them are large corporations who surprised me while I was waiting on the line. All are examples of customer service which I definitely remember.

Swiss Air

Before speaking to an agent, the opening of the recording states:

“Some calls may be recorded for quality assurance. If you are okay with this call being recorded, press 1. If not, press 2.”

That was the first time I had ever been given that choice. Normally, I’m told that calls may be recorded or monitored but I was never offered the option to decline. For me, that was a nice touch of customer service.

Providing that option costs Swiss Air nothing. They’re not forcing the customer to accept something. They’re giving the customer control over a situation where normally the customer has no control. You’re at the mercy of the automated system. Swiss Air allows me to decide whether I want some manager reviewing the call to ensure the customer rep is doing their job properly. It’s a small gesture but a good one.

For the record, I pressed 1.


The below tweet is from Saturday:

Chubbies should be commended for being sensitive to its customers. For people like Alex, this is a huge gesture. For the rest of us, this is a great example of a company going above and beyond the normal customer service routine. Like Alex, I also hope other companies follow suit.


For a client of mine, I’ve been spending a decent amount of time lately on the line with GoDaddy customer reps. As a business with millions of customers, I know in advance their hold times can be lengthy. Thank goodness for speakerphone.

Last month I was surprised- and extremely pleased!- when I heard this:

“Press 1 to not hear hold music”

YES! I most definitely pressed 1. No elevator muzak for this customer!

To be honest, I was shocked that this option even existed. Years on hold had trained me to believe there was only one option for hold music. Whoever on the GoDaddy team thought to offer the no music option, you have my eternal blessings.

Once again, it’s a small gesture. But offering the customer a choice in a situation where they normally feel “held captive,” you’re allowing the person to choose their own on hold path. Silence or music. And I’m sure plenty of people choose the music option. Bless their hearts.

Will hold options cause me to only fly Swiss Air or send all my clients to use GoDaddy’s services in the future? Nope. But I’d like to think that these small examples demonstrate their commitment to offering excellent and memorable customer service experiences, across all their platforms. The collection of those is what builds brand loyalty.

What would I do?

A business owner asked me about the on hold experience and what I might add or change. I told him that customers today have come to expect having choices available. In cases where they assume no choices will be forthcoming- being on hold, for example- surprise them! Offer them options.

For example, give them a choice of no music and different genres of music. Sure that list is endless but I’d use classical, jazz, rock and country. And of course, 80’s pop.

How about offering a choice of music, news, latest weather updates and stand up comedy as options? Who among us would object to being on hold while listening to a Richard Pryor or Robin Williams routine?

People will not only remember their experience but they’ll head to social media to let their friends know as well. A win-win for the company: provide a small gesture, make customers happy, more people hear good things about you.

Like I said, sometimes customer service is all about the little touches.

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