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Bringing a Touch of Humor to Customer Service with ChatGPT



Image generated by Dall-E features a friendly, cartoonish GPT robot holding a humorous letter
Image generated by Dall-E features a friendly, cartoonish GPT robot holding a humorous letter

The Challenge of Standard Customer Service Emails

Working at my day job In retail, we deal with occasional customer service situations. Sometimes, items aren’t available to ship, or we’ve shipped the wrong item. When these things happen, we have to apologize. It’s a reality in every business—nothing always goes perfectly. Until now, we’ve been sending very standard, and if you ask me, rather boring emails to inform customers that an item is out of stock and they're getting a refund.


On top of it, our process involves manually editing an email template to insert the name, item description, and single or multiple items. Since this is a repeated task with multiple points of failure, I thought this task was a perfect candidate for a GPT.


Customer Cancellation Notice Email Template
Customer Cancellation Notice Email Template

Creating ChatGPT-Powered Customer Service Communications

Within a few minutes, we created a custom GPT to write the out-of-stock emails.

This GPT offered a straightforward reply, emulating the email template. What it did for me was human-proof our process as I didn't have to remember to update the template in so many places.



GPT: Email Cancellation Assistant: Helps draft and manage polite email cancellations
GPT: Email Cancellation Assistant

All I had to do was enter a first name and the item or items to be refunded. And within a fraction of a second, the email was ready to copy and paste directly into the e-commerce platform. Below is an example. The customer's first name is Bob and the item description is SHARK BITE TEE BLACK.


Sample Email Output: Notice to Bob that he won't be getting his SHARK BITE TEE BLACK.  This is the direct version.
Sample Email Output

Then my coworker and I had an idea. Why not add a dash of humor and spice to the emails?! We could get tailor-made replies in the same amount of time with the same amount of effort.


Introducing 'Customer Care with a Chuckle'

We duplicated the straightforward GPT and uploaded an example of a hilarious customer reply we had previously generated as a one-off. We named our GPT, "Customer Care with a Chuckle".


GPT: Customer Care with a Chuckle - Crafts witty and politce email cancellations. Helps provide cusotmers with a reason to smaile.  Let them down gently and get them sharing and talking about our emails.
GPT: Customer Care with a Chuckle

We tested it with different first names and products. Here's how it churned out the email to Bob about the SHARK BITE TEE.

  • Subject: Oops, Our Shark Bit Off More Than IT Could Chew

  • Text: We've got a bit of a fin-icky situation... Our team has cast a wide net to reel in those tees but it looks like it might be a while before they surface.


Customer Care with a Chuckle replies to Bob about the SHARK TEE, " We've got a bit of a fin-icky situation on our hands. It seems our SHARK BITE TEE in black has swum off into the deep see of backorders, leaving us high and dry."
Customer Care with a Chuckle replies to Bob about the SHARK TEE

Here's how it handled an email to Ralph about some Mavi Jeans.

  • Subject: Vintage Vexation: A Jean-tle Apology

  • Text:  We're truly sorry for this denim dilemma. Despite our best efforts to bring those stylish jeans to you, they've slipped through our seams.

Customer Care with a Chuckle replies to Ralph about Jake Slim Leg Jeans. "Hi Ralph, we're in a bit of a vintage jam.  Our JAKE SLIM LEG JEANS have taken a detour into the past, leaving us searching for where they've gone."
Customer Care with a Chuckle replies to Ralph about Jake Slim Leg Jeans

Here's one where we tested a swimsuit.

  • Subject: Oops! Your Anchor Shorts Have Set Sail

  • Text:  We have a bit of a fashion fiasco on our hands! Seems the Anchor Short has decided to embark on an unexpected journey. We've scoured every corner, but these stylish shorts are nowhere to be found.

Response from Customer Care with a Chuckle for out of stock Anchor Shorts
Response from Customer Care with a Chuckle for out of stock Anchor Shorts

I'm a little puzzled why it offered up cozy corduroys as an alternative!! Good thing we have humans reviewing each output! I decided to retrain the GPT to remove suggestions, at least for now until we have more time to think through how we might do that better.


Retraining the Customer Care with a Chuckle GPT to exclude recommendations for other products
Retraining the Customer Care with a Chuckle GPT to exclude recommendations for other products


Laughter and Positive Feedback

While we encountered a few small hiccups in training the GPT, most of the results were so clever, that we couldn't help but read them aloud to family and friends. They got a kick out of the responses.


Why Humor in Customer Service Matters: Turning Disappointment into Delight

Here’s why I’m sharing this:

It made me realize that any company could leverage ChatGPT to improve customer service by adding a touch of humor. You don’t need a staff member with a flair for comedy—GPT can do the job. I believe humor can transform a disappointing situation into a memorable, positive interaction. Our goal Is to get even the grumpiest people to smile when they receive their message.


Disclaimer: Considering the Risks

Disclaimer: Although we generated these messages and reviewed them internally with stakeholders, friends, and family, we haven’t yet sent them to customers. We’re currently gathering feedback and carefully considering the potential risks.

We understand that humor can be subjective, and our primary goal is to maintain a positive relationship with our customers. Maybe next week we'll do some A/B testing and see how it goes.


What do you think?

How would you feel If you received an email like this? Would you find It annoying and unprofessional? Or would you welcome the attempt at humor? Please share your thoughts! One thing that comes to mind is if more companies embrace this approach, these humorous emails could become redundant and lose their appeal. Please comment with your thoughts and what you think about leveraging ChatGPT for this purpose.

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