The "wow!" factor

The "Wow" factor is exceeding the expectations of the customer, according to Shep Hyken, a professional speaker and author of Moments of Magic. "Wow" goes beyond great customer service.

To create it you must bring the element of surprise into your business. There are many ways you and your organization can do it. Hyken gave us several examples of the Wow! Factor.

Follow Up Wow!

Last year he brought his wife a new car. To his surprise, the experience was great, and the followup even greater. The owner of the dealership knew Hyken was surprising his wife with the car. He called the next day, on a Sunday, to see how she liked the surprise. Wow! A few days later they received a "thank you" note and a fruit basket. Wow!

A Little Extra, Wow!

Recently they went out to eat at a nice restaurant. Even though they had ordered a salad and main course, the waiter thought they should have an appetizer. He brought them each a sample of three different appetizers. The waiter was so proud of the appetizers that he didn't want them to miss out. Wow!

More Than Expected, Wow!

In Bill Gates' book on the future of technology, The Road Ahead, a CD was included with the entire book, and more on it. He predicts that books on CD will be the norm in the future. And shouldn't his book "practice what it preaches." If you travel with a laptop computer that has a CDROM drive you don't have to even take the book with you. Just take the disk and read from the screen. Wow!

Turn a Problem Into a Wow!

Several years ago, Jeff was booked for a program in Marko Island, FL. He was the Monday morning keynote speaker. For some reason he got his wires crossed and thought it was the week after. At 2 a.m., Jeff gets a call asking where he is; as you probably can guess, there are not a lot of non stop flights from Columbus, Ohio to Marko Island at 2:00 in the morning. After a brief panic attack, Jeff charters an Ambulance Jet. They're on 30 minute stand-by in different cities throughout the country and the closest was Detroit. They picked Jeff up an hour and a half later and he was in Marko by 7 a.m. with a couple of hours to spare. The cost of this last minute trip was nearly $8000. Obviously, we lost a little money on this program, but the client was so impressed by how we were able to turn around a bad situation that they've called back several times. Plus, it's such a crazy example of going out of your way, that they've told other companies about it. As a result, it's actually paid for itself tenfold.

The list of examples can go on and on. The "Wow" comes from, "Surprise! You weren't expecting this, were you?" How can you build this into your product or service? It doesn't always have to be something tangible that might cost a lot of money. It can be a follow up phone call or a simple thank you note. It is meant to make the customer feel good about doing business with you.