Write a discussion and response one of others’ reply.

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Post A

I’d like to go in another direction in this discussion than service stinkiness. Some firms are providing very innovative service.

Read the story below about a Bonobos ninja. It is adapted from a WorkLife podcast by Adam Grant entitled “How to love criticism.”

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Like everyone else on earth, I hate calling customer service. It’s hard to get a human on the line, and if you do, they’re usually stuck reading from a script. If you want to get anywhere, you have to ask for the manager over and over and over. But that’s not how things work at Bonobos (a menswear company – https://bonobos.com/about). They make great fitting men’s clothes, and if you call them with a problem, you get a real person empowered to actually help. Bonobos calls them Ninjas.

Kelsey Nash is one of them. His actual title is Creative Customer Engagement Lead. He’s on the management team of the Ninjas.

Kelsey Nash and all the other Ninjas at Bonobos have something pretty rare in the world of customer service. Freedom.

This is one of his stories.

Every Ninja is empowered to take care of a customer in the moment, in whatever way that they think is necessary. There’s no real sending it up the ladder and down the ladder to find a resolution, like, “We’ll call you back within 24 to 48 hours.” So every day, we ask Ninjas, “What would you want if you were the customer? How would you feel?”

There was a guy named Derek, and he wrote in to the company and he said, “I had a fire at my house and one of my favorite flannel shirts was damaged. Do you know of some way to recuperate this or repair it, I see you don’t really have any on the website anymore.”

Kelsey wrote back right away. “We’re happy to replace your shirt, I’m so sorry about that, is everybody alright?”

Derek wrote back and said, “Actually, everybody’s fine, except our 15-year-old dog was trapped in the house and we lost our dog and that’s been the only thing.”

Kelsey heard that and went into Ninja mode. He got online and found Derek’s dog on his Instagram account. So he got a picture of the dog, he commissioned this portrait and then he got a couple flannel shirts and sent it to the guy.

Derek’s response, “I’m not an emotional guy, but with all that had happened, it was still very fresh. I definitely cried when I saw the painting.”

Kelsey said, “At Bonobos, what we pride ourselves on, above everything, is that we’re human. Like, we deal with every contact on a one-to-one basis: as a human answering a phone call, talking to another human, like, “Yeah, let’s work this out.””

This action clearly meant something to Derek, who recently started a new job. He said, “The only picture I’ve put up on the wall so far is that painting and it’s right above my desk on the wall above the window. When I walk in the door every morning, that’s the first thing I see.”

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Discuss an innovative service provision that you have experienced? How did it make you feel toward the brand?

Post B

Review the replies your peers made in Post A. Select a peer’s response to the innovative service discussion.

Discuss what resources you think that company must have to provide innovative service. Discuss three ways in which a competitor could respond to this company providing innovative service.


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