Has the “special request” section of your website’s online form ever landed you in a pickle? Most of you have probably heard about the “three red M&Ms ” request. Reddit user Dustin Wray typed “Three red M&Ms on the counter. Not packages, just three single M&Ms. One for me, one for my girlfriend and one to split if we get hungry late at night. And a picture of bacon on the bed. I love pictures of bacon.”
When the people at Woodlands Resort near Houston actually fulfilled the request (complete with a framed picture of bacon resting on the pillow), the guest was surprised and delighted, and posted the story soon after his trip, resulting in lots of positive buzz about the hotel.
The best part of fulfilling the silliest requests is that you give the customer a story to tell. Everyone loves to be recognized by brands they have connected with. Usually, a thank you for your business postcard or a discounted return visit is enough to gain a measure of loyalty. But sometimes it’s fun for your staff, your guest, and the public when you come up with an over-the-top response for requests.
Domino’s Pizza has taken over the Internet with their literal take on special requests for deliveries. Most of them are for pizza box art or slicing a particular way, but some customers claim they have even had food delivered from other establishments along with a pizza.
This becomes a much bigger deal when customers take to their various social networking sites to post photos and tell the story to their friends. Eventually, as in the case of the red M&Ms, the story goes viral and generates an organic buzz around the brand. This is a win for everyone – a customer is happy to have the story to share and to be singled out for special attention from the brand, and the brand gets their story told with a customer service message they can stand behind. And the Internet is happy to have something new to talk about.
Do you have a special requests box in your online forms? What is the most buzz-worthy request your staff has taken on?