In a brainstorm meeting yesterday, we were trying to define what constitutes a “Wow” customer experience. The five of us – four customer experience strategists and one brand guru had such interesting viewpoints that I feel compelled to share. We asked ourselves so many different questions including:-

  1. Is it when that hotel has all your booking details and remembers your preferences including choice of room and preferred drink?
  2. Is it when that restaurant welcomes you and has the food just right and the service is both respectfully aloof but warmly attentive at the same time?
  3. Is it when your bank calls you for no particular reason but to appreciate you for your custom over the years?
  4. Is it the government office that you visit and you are mighty surprised at the pleasant service and efficient operations that have you in and out in half the time you expected?
  5. Is it your mobile service provider who not only responds to your enquiry fully but goes on to advise you on how you can make your experience more cost effective for your good?
  6. Is it the supermarket attendant who personally walks you to the shelf and shows you where the product you are asking for is and offers to carry your shopping basket to the till?
  7. Is it when the matatu conductor waits until you get to the door of the vehicle, greets you, asks you where you want to sit and then holds your luggage as you get in and ensures your comfort?
  8. Is it when you write an email to that yoghurt manufacturer and make a suggestion and not only do they respond to thank you, but implement it and provide you samples in gratitude?
  9. Is it when you visit the garage and not only does your mechanic finish repairing the car on time as promised, but also throws in a thorough car wash ensuring your car is sparkling?
  10. Is it when the shop keeper near your house goes the extra mile to pack your eggs in a newspaper first before putting them in the paper bag to ensure your walk home is comfortable?

We had quite a number of examples of what we felt were “Wow” customer experiences and given their diversity, we sought to see if there was a common thread running through them. We sort of agreed on a few things that seemed to be consistent.

What was coming through was that these experiences: had the effect of making the customer feel special; had an element of surprise and delight built in; demonstrated that thought and care had gone into the actions; had the customer feeling like a VIP irrespective of the value of their transaction; and provided an opportunity for the provider to expressly give meaningful attention to the customer’s needs.

If these are the things that elicit enjoyable and treasured customer experience, then it is worth noting that they are not costly initiatives in the least. Some don’t involve any monetary implication at all, and yet have an emotive effect that would have customers very endeared to the brand and have them most definitely regularize their custom.“Wow” customer experiences

Isn’t it time therefore that we bust that myth that seems to imply that to implement customer focused activities big budgets are required? Clearly the evidence on the ground indicates quite the opposite! So yes go out there and “Wow” your customers – they deserve it.