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What Game of Thrones Can Teach You About Customer Service

As the final season of Game of Thrones has arrived, White Walker style, people around the world close their eyes and stick fingers in their ears, so as not to encounter any spoilers.

What do we say to the god of spoilers? “Not today.” (Thank the Old Gods and the New, we won’t be spoiling anything for you today.)

Though one could call GoT your typical fantasy adventure series, the show has a lot to teach about leadership, loyalty, responsibility for one’s choices (hey, Theon!), and… customer service.

Yep, this show about dragons, snow zombies and god-knows-what is a good source of lessons on customer experience. Think we’re pulling your leg?

Here are 6 great customer service lessons, as taught through Game of Thrones quotes.

Winter is coming

game of thrones gif

When it comes to customer service planning, there’s no such thing as operating by the seat of your pants. You always need to come fully prepared.

As stand-up comedians often say, improvisation is 90% preparation. If you want to be able to react to situations on the fly, you need to account for every possible outcome and act accordingly.

Having a customer service strategy that works gives you a competitive advantage over businesses that don’t have one. It’s what separates the men from the boys.

Remember what Maester Aemon once said to Jon Snow:

By the way, speaking of Jon! Onto our next point…

You know nothing, Jon Snow

jon snow gif

Success is like alcohol: it is addictive and easily gets to your head. Though it is tempting to think that you know all the answers, you need to stay realistic about you and your business.

Never assume you’re done with your studies. No matter how big your revenue is or how many customers you get, there are still things unknown to you.

Customer service is a rapidly-changing landscape, and what works right now may not work as well the next month, week, or even day. Do not presume you’re safe, even if in the moment it feels like you are.

Never stop learning.

Hold the door

hodor hold the door gif

(It’s okay, you can dry your tears. I’ll wait.)

A lovable giant of a man Hodor, whose heart was even bigger than himself, would be a great customer service motivational speaker. If he could say more than just his name, that is.

Actually, maybe his name alone is good enough. As “Hodor” quite literally means “hold the door”, everybody’s favorite provider of piggyback transportation services has got the basics covered — be polite to your customer and hold the proverbial door for them.

It may not look like much, but small details like that — all the thank-you’s and please’s — is what makes customers like you as a service provider.

Politeness is the name of the game. (Game of Doors? Eh? I’ve got nothin’.)

Knowledge is power

petyr littlefinger gif

(Okay, maybe this gif works better if you ignore how Cersei basically won the argument.)

Look, before Littlefinger’s intelligence got nerfed in the latest patch, the man had the right idea: knowing your stuff is how you move up in life.

Customer service reps may not have to deal much with secret plotting and back stabbing, but the point stands — if you know a person, you can better control help him.

What can truly help customer service evolve is Service Intelligence — actionable service insights based on real-time data. If Littlefinger had access to it, you could be damn sure the man would’ve been the king of Westeros by now.

On the topic of kings, let’s hear it from our boy Tywin Lannister…

Any man who must say “I am the king” is no true king

tywin lannister gif

Tywin may have been an asshole of a father, but he was an asshole with a point. Excellence has no need for pompous words.

Of course, we’re living in the world where every company offers something exclusive, cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, groundbreaking, or any superlative adjective ever. (Speaking of, have you tried the Qminder queueing system? Just askin’.)

The thing is, bragging isn’t something that wins people over; delivering on your promises does. (A Lannister always pays his debts, duh.)

Or, in other words, don’t say you’re the best, BE the best.

The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives

game of thrones stark gif

Customer service isn’t a responsibility of only one clerk or even one department; it is a duty shared between all the employees. The Japanese understand this: good customer service is a collaborative endeavor, and every employee plays their part.

In other words, customer service is a mindset. It does not matter whether you are a waiter or a janitor, everything that you do contributes to how customers experience their visit and service.

Healthy competition between employees is necessary, but at the end of the day, a team that sticks together succeeds together. (Or dies together, if you happen to live in Westeros.)

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