Groupon’s three steps to ‘customer service that doesn’t suck’

The fast-growing online deals company shares its philosophy of treating customers like adults and engaging them with humor.

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In three short years, Groupon has amassed 100 million subscribers worldwide and an estimated value of $12.8 billion. Clearly, the company’s doing something right.

According to Joe Harrow, Groupon’s director of customer service, the philosophy that led to the daily-online-deals seller’s meteoric rise has been pretty simple:

“Whatever we do, we can’t become the things we don’t like.”

That ethos means Groupon doesn’t give a script to its customer service reps; instead, it gives them the freedom to joke around with customers. The company eschews hyperbole. Transparency and trust are a big part of the culture.

Those things, Harrow told an audience at Ragan Communications’ recent conference at Southwest Airlines headquarters, are all part of how not to suck at customer service. He offered three main steps.

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