Do You Provide "WOW" Customer Service?

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"Whenever you see the opportunity to create a WOW! moment, act on it!"  - Shep Hyken

Every 4th of July, I pack the kids into the car and head off to the fireworks show at the local park.  And while it is always entertaining, this past year we started whispering half way through that maybe we would not come back next year.  Been there, done that.  Seen one, seen 'em all.  Then, all of a sudden, it started.  The mother of all finales.  Explosions of color and sound all over the sky and around us.  It lasted for more than 15 minutes.  Incredible!  Definitely worth going back for.

How many of your customers feel the same about your service?  Even if it's good, is it enough?  Is there a wow factor, something unexpected that is worth coming back for?  Remember the three possible outcomes of a customer interaction with your company.

1. Expectations not met - We know what happens then.

2. Expectations met - Do you really only want a 50/50 chance of retaining customers?

3. Expectations exceeded - Now we're talking!

Now, one carload of kids, even my gang of 8, would not dramatically alter the economics of a community fireworks show.  Sure, a few less glow-sticks and buckets of popcorn, lemonade and hotdogs would be sold, but the vendors would not go out of business.  But multiply the not-coming-back effect slightly and it just may.  Try losing 3 or 5 or 10% of your business because you provide only average service rather than something special and see what happens.

In this day and age of choice and global competition, deliver only the basics and consumers are likely to judge you unfavorably.  Deliver the basics along with what is expected and you might get a middle of the road rating.  Only when you start to exceed expectations do you begin to gain loyalty from your current customers.  That will keep them coming back on a regular basis and they will also be more likely to refer their friends to you as well.

Happy 4th of July.

(author's note: an older article, but one that still very much applies)

Brian Butler is the VP Business Development of The Allied Group and TAGmedica.  He is also the author of two books: Find 'Em Get 'Em Keep 'Em and the recently released In Search Of...Customers!

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