The Groupon CS Talent Show: Not Enough Tiaras

The Groupon Customer Service Talent Show — the one time a year when bright-eyed, hopeful employees compete savagely for the acclaim and respect of their peers and the utter humiliation and ridicule of their opponents.

The Brother Cottermans

A fun time was had by all!

After introducing three fierce Talent Judges (each specifically schooled in the art of judging people based on their superficial qualities), the ceremonies were underway with a harp and acoustic guitar performance of Pachelbel’s Canon. James and Chuck, our hosts, greeted the audience with solemn respect, shaking each audience member’s hand while the rest awaited the Bonanza of Talent yet to explode onstage.

The night began with a pitch-perfect rendition of the national anthem by our hosts, reminding everyone that the best way you can express your patriotism is by avoiding tone-deafness. And as the contestants got underway, the audience swooned and swayed to the sounds of Alicia Keys, Brian McKnight, and a golf ball bouncing on the end of a golf club for almost a minute straight. Magic fire nearly burnt down the sound system, a psychic taught us all that it’s best to look into our own future, and an interpretive step-dance of Customer Service expertise had the whole house wishing they weren’t so utterly talentless.

When the dust settled, only Sam C.’s performance of “Back at One” proved him a courageous crooner, an expert at counting to four, and the most talented representative in Customer Service History This Year. He has received the gloriously beautiful Tiara of Talent, and is honored to wear it to work all day, demonstrating just how big of a winner he truly is.

But really? We all won.

The Cottermans, James and Chuck

Maverick II

Remember Maverick? We’re very proud of the level of dedication he adds to our Customer Service team and thankful for the home grown tomatoes he brings to the office.

The men behind the man, Ben, Brandon and Andrew, have been busy documenting Maverick’s adventures again.

Here’s a preview:

Groupon Engagement

When a Groupon employee uses a Groupon to propose to another Groupon employee, not only do the eyes involuntarily cross at the concept, but the heart swells from happiness.

Self-proclaimed “huge nerds”, Tabitha (Customer Service) and Zach (Editorial), purchased the Wizard World Groupon the second it went on the site. There was no need to roll a perception check, they knew it was the right thing to do.

With the video help of another Customer Service representative and friend, Haily, they were able to capture the adorable proposal at the Chicago Comic Convention with a perfect celebrity cameo at the end. Tabitha told us:

It’s hard to hear, but it starts “Tabitha I love you so much,” and ends with “Will you marry me?” I can’t remember the middle part, because I was feeling too many feelings.

Congratulations, Tabitha and Zach!

A Soda with Kathie Lee and Hoda

Groupon’s Customer Support department has been known to march to the beat of a different drummer.

Keeping with this spirit, everyday four ladies and one lad get together to watch the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

They call it “A Soda with Kathy Lee and Hoda.”

Sarah, one of the five, explains how it got started. “Last month I found this clip from the show where Kathie Lee and Hoda drink wine and bike during this Aspen Wine Festival, and I thought, ‘This is so funny and so much fun,’ so I passed it around to a few co workers that I thought would like it…and they did! From there we started watching the streaming episodes at our desk during lunch. Then we were like, ‘What are we doing? Let’s watch it together!'”

And that’s what they do. Everyday at lunch they find a conference room, grab a soda, and watch most of the show (streamed online) during their lunch break.

Wes, the only male in the group, sums it up. “Well, it’s a lot of fun. The two of them are fun, easy, and self-deprecating at times. I only wish we were splitting a bottle of white wine instead of sodas, but oh well.”

The group vows to keep watching the show at lunch and they are also planning a “margarita night” sometime soon.

Thanks to Eric in Customer Service for writing about our new favorite lunch time pastime.

PAWS! Volunteers

Warning: This post contains little text and a majority of cute pictures of puppies and kittens. Thanks to Emily in our Customer Service department for giving us our daily dose of cute community service.

What’s better than working at Groupon?  Playing with adorable animals before your shift, of course!

Back in April, the Groupon Customer Service Night Team had the warm-fuzziest bonding experience when we volunteered for PAWS! Chicago, the city’s largest no kill shelter.

A dozen of us invaded PAWS! on an April afternoon.  Our brains were stuffed with kibbles and bits about how to handle the animals and sanitize their play areas.  We were allowed the opportunity to mosey between the many dog and cat rooms at the cage-free facility.  Our day ended with fierce competitions between ourselves and the animals to see who could amuse the other more.

Defeated, but still smiling, we carried our newly-minted hearts to work with hopes to return again.

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Customer Service Philosophy

Every week we send a list of @groupon mentions to our customer support team with the feedback we receive. It’s overwhelmingly positive and it’s quite a sight when over 200 employees collectively blush.

Not everyone can see themselves working customer service. It requires listening, patience, empathy and a large amount of desk trinkets. We asked a few CS representatives on the “M. Team” night crew to toot their horns and explain their CS Philosophy:

Philosophies of the CS team?

Emily W. said: Be AWESOME, understanding, and work for everyone! Love the customer, the merchant, and Groupon!

Thomas P. said: Treat every customer honestly and fairly as you would want to be treated or better still, how you would want your grandma treated.

Samantha L. said: Always keep it classy, Five-Star-Gourmet-Restaurant-customer-service classy.

Customer Service Inspirational Art

Paul R. said: To provide for the customer that “feel good customer service experience” that sets us apart from everyone else our customers have to call. That our customers are the reason why we exist so they are important to keep on our side. Kind of like a band. You have to make sure your fans are digging what you are doing, so we are there to “keep the experience alive” To  help each other out when a problem arises because we are in this together. And look good while doing it. Continue Reading

Meet a Groupon Employee

Though Groupon culture is best witnessed in person, wearing goggles to shield your eyes from sparks, we’ve asked a few of our eclectic, hard working employees to answer a few questions about what makes them tick.

Name: Shawn

**Dept./Position:**  Customer Support

**Other Talents Include:** I’m a writer and performer and all sorts of other things.

**What should people know about Groupon?**
We want you to have a good time and we want to help you. The whole company is kind of built on that basic foundation, so people should know that we’re very approachable when it comes to things like having an issue using a Groupon or needing help figuring out how to redeem it.

**How high can you jump and why?**
I don’t jump for height, I jump for distance. You can put that quote on my IMDB page (please let me have an IMDB page).

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Maverick: Customer Service

Like a boastful mother, we always mention that our Customer Service team contains a pack of multi-talented artists, plate jugglers, and flame throwers. Not only are they dedicated to helping customers, they’re dedicated to their art outside of Groupon. Today we bring you a combination of the two with another video by Ben and Brandon featuring additional CS reps, Andrew, Megan, and James.