What does it mean to 'WOW' your customers? That's a good question that can have many answers. Essentially, WOWing your customers comes down to doing the unexpected. It means going above and beyond and exceeding customer expectations. It doesn't necessarily have to be a big thing and it doesn't have to cost money. It's whatever you can do to make your customer stop and say WOW!
I remember a big WOW moment we had this year. We had recently moved to a new hosting company called Media Temple and we ran into an issue trying to configure one of our servers. We sent in a support request to Media Temple. Even though we were completely stuck and needed this issue resolved, we assumed we'd have to wait until the morning for an answer, as it was after 10pm. That was not the case. Media Temple responded within a few minutes. However, they didn't just answer our question, they went ahead and completed the configure change for us and gave us the script they had used to do so. Problem solved. Expectations exceeded. WOW!
Another WOW experience I had recently was with BOOQ. BOOQ makes exceptional quality backpacks and other carrying bags. Within the first two months of owning my bag one of the seams on the strap ripped. Although they guarantee their bags I was still prepared for somewhat of a hassle in getting a replacement when I emailed their customer support. That was not the case. BOOQ simply asked for my address and a copy of my receipt. When I provided both they sent me a new pack, no questions that. In addition, the bag I purchased was now out of date so they sent me the new version. WOW!
Both of these instances we're relatively small gestures toward customer happiness. However, they both had the same effect – they have me as a customer for life. Now, anytime someone asks me for a web hosting recommendation I introduce them to Media Temple. Whenever someone asks about where to get a great new carrying bag – I link them to BOOQ.
I've personally worked for companies in the past that would have seen both of these customer service examples as being too costly in terms of time and real dollars. However, companies like BOOQ and Media Temple obviously know the value of providing exceptional customer service. This type of customer service focus mentality has to be a part of the entire company culture. It has to be started and promoted by the owners and executives, and believed and practiced by every employee.
The great thing about all of this is that making your customers happy makes your employees happy. There is no greater feeling than knowing the service you provided solved someone's problem or made someone happy. Empowering your employees to WOW your customers and instilling in them the virtues of doing so, will pay off in big returns for any business.
More and more companies are embracing this belief and implementing systems to give employees immediate feedback about how they have WOW'd their customers, or how they can improve their service and WOW them in the future. Giving your employees the chance to make a real difference in the day to day activities of their customers is one of the greatest investments you can make in the personal growth of your employees, and your business as a whole.