What Customer Service Can Learn From the Wendy’s Nuggets Guy

Carter Wilkerson, the Wendy’s Nuggets Guy, broke the record for most retweets. Discover what customer service trainers can learn from viral tweets.

Published on 11 May, 2017

The world record for the most retweets has been broken by a Wendy’s aficionado/ teenager named Carter Wilkerson.

The tweet surpassed the previous record holder, Ellen DeGeneres taking a selfie at the Oscars.

A surprising number of media outlets around the world picked this up, giving Wendy’s an endless amount of free, positive publicity. At a time where many companies are struggling to adapt their public relations and marketing strategies to remain relevant in the age of social media, this is crucial. Most recently, major airlines have faced by a wave of negative events escalated by their visibility on social media (as well as their less than ideal responses to these events).

Although he didn’t reach the 18 million retweets (it’s currently under 5 million), Wendy’s awarded Carter the nuggs. Wendy’s corporate also donated $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding homes for children in foster care, created by and named after Wendy’s founder.


What Does #NuggsForCarter Teach Us About Customer Service Training?

Customer Service Needs to Be More Human

It may seem obvious, but customer service teams need to treat customers like humans. This response, aligned with the brand’s voice and tone didn’t say that this request would most likely be impossible, but instead joked in its response with a seemingly impossible number, turning a negative machine like response into a comical one. He was along for the joke, which triggered one of the most successful social media campaigns this year.

Humor may not always be the most appropriate tactic, particularly when customers are reaching out to complain about your product or service. But at times where they are reaching out to provide feedback that may better your brand, or simply say hello, making it a memorable experience with humor is a positive tactic.

Customer Service Should Be Aligned With Marketing & PR Initiatives

In smaller organizations, marketers or social media managers often act as an extension of their customer care team on social media. In larger organizations, many customer care teams use this as a growing channel to manage their interactions with customers inquiries in place of more traditional mediums such as toll-free customer care lines.

Aligning customer service messaging with your brand’s voice and tone can help strengthen your company’s narrative, even in otherwise mundane communications. Rather than simply saying “Thank you!” to a comment, personalize the interaction or provide additional value to the customer that may make them engage with other services or product that your company has to offer.

Use Customer Conversations to Set Your Company Apart

“We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.” reads Wendy’s Twitter profile description. For years, Wendy’s has differentiated themselves through television and print advertising campaigns that unlike their competitors, their beef is “Fresh, never frozen.”  

Now instilled in pop culture, Wendy’s has taken this competitive differentiation and diffused it in both their marketing and customer service messaging on their social media. The majority of tweets are witty and creative, something that separates their brand from others on social media (as does their food offering within the fast food landscape).


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