So here’s something cool that happened recently.

I listen to Pandora a lot. It really helps me focus while working, and it’s easily accessible no matter where I am.

A while back though, I started having trouble.

TL;DR: I submitted a support ticket, found the solution on my own and then quickly sent another email letting them know I was all set – now you can skip ahead a bit if you’d like ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d be all set up to work: ear buds in, and the station of the day selected.

As I listened however, the volume level kept fluctuating up and down, up and down.

Up and down.

Maddening.

I quickly realized it was triggered when switching tabs in my browser – but that fact didn’t get me any closer to solving the problem.

Both Google and Pandora’s support documentation failed to provide an answer, so I sent off a support request, sure the fine folksย at Pandora would save the day.

Then I kept searching on my own, because that’s just how I am ๐Ÿ™‚

Shortly after submitting the ticket, I picked up on the (now obvious) pattern I’d previously overlooked: the volume dropped whenever I pulled up a Google search page.

Why would Google searches impact music volume?

Lightbulb!

A few days previously, I’d stumbled across Chrome’s “Okay, Google” setting, which would enable the same kind of voice searching I enjoy on my phone.

I immediately turned itย on and proceeded to test it once and never use it again, quickly forgetting all about it.

Some features are just more practical on a mobile device, and for me this turned out to be one of them.

Once those dots connected, it made sense that this might be the culprit: Google lowering the volume to listen for voice commands!

Sure enough, disabling voice searches did the trick. I could once again switch tabs to my heart’s content.

This all happened within about 15 minutes of my original Pandora support request.

I sent off another email, hoping to save whoever opened the first one the trouble of replying:

Hopefully you see this along with my last message – I already found a solution. Sorry.

Chrome’s voice search “Ok, Google” setting was turned on, so it was dropping the volume to hear me better. I turned it off and it’s all good.

Pandora vs. Voice searching? Pandora wins…

Thanks and sorry again!

A few hours later, I heard back from Warren, one of Pandora’s Artist Advocates. Turned out they’d gotten both emails:

That’s very kind of you to say. ๐Ÿ™‚
We really appreciate your support and we’d love to send you a gift. If you’re interested, please reply with:
* Name

* Mailing Address [US, NZ and Australian addresses only]

* Shirt size

So I asked a question, didn’t need an answer, and you want to throw some free stuff my way?

Okay!

I sent a reply with the requested details, my gratitude, and how cool I thought the whole thing was.

A few weeks later, a t-shirt arrived accompanied by a letter thanking me for being such a “great listener,” a witty play on words that I enjoyed very much ๐Ÿ™‚

The best part: it’s actually a really nice shirt – super comfortable, and one of my current favorites.

Ultimately though, the thing that impresses me most isn’t that I got a free shirt – that’s cool and all, but it’s the mentality behind the shirt that really gets me.

It’s the demonstration of appreciation – an important thing that a lot of companies can miss if they aren’t careful.

Doing it well can be huge. It’s something that can turn a happy customer into an evangelist, someone who will want to tell the world how great your brand or product is.

Someone who will turn around and write a blog post about their support experience, for example. You know, hypothetically speaking.

It’s an important thing for a solid customer support team – are you fixing your customer’s problems? Or showing them that you appreciate them, that you’re actually happy to be able to help them?

It’s a simple thing, but often overlooked. People like to feel appreciated. Friends, family members, employees, and customers alike.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I completely get that sending me a free shirt essentially turns me into a walking Pandora commercial. There’s a benefit to them there.

wpid-wp-1441932551368.jpegConsidering how much I like Pandora, that doesn’t really bother me!

Warren also asked if I’d send them a photo of the shirt once it arrived – so here you go, Warren, and thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

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