So, how’s your customer satisfaction these days? Is satisfaction what your really want from your customers? Wouldn’t you like a little more than that? Wouldn’t it be nice for a change to have a customer leave your premises with a huge grin on her face? Just ticked to death with how her purchase went?
So what do ya’ say we change the game a little. Instead of just satisfying our customers, let’s WOW them. What do ya’ say we shower them with so much love, friendliness and helpfulness, that they are simply “blown away”! In fact, they are so blown away that they go and tell everyone they know about you and how awesome your company is.
Does that sound like something you’d like to try? OK, here are seven ways to make that happen. Guaranteed!
1. Focus on your first experience with that customer
Start you new experiment at the very first interaction with your customer. If this customer has a product or service problem, that issue is the very first thing you deal with. And solve it fast! And for new customers, offer to help, but give them some space.
2. Always have a solution
Your mindset should be to do whatever it takes to solve a problem, or to make a customer delighted. In the case of Zappos, they very often get emails, where customers ask to get something shipped outside the US, which they don’t offer. Instead of saying that, they explain very detailed how they can get the exact same pair of shoes from a different website, that delivers to their country.
3. Get it done quick!
If a customer is contacting you for support, the number one thing that person needs is speed. We know that if we respond in minutes, they will Tweet about it and tell their friends. Plus, try answering all emails within 60 minutes. If speed is a priority, you’ll WOW your customer every time.
4. Add Personality to every response
Don’t just do things like everyone else. Add personality to your transactions. It’s not that hard to do. One easy way to do it is to add the first name of the person replying. That way, people feel like they are talking to the actual person-which they are.
Some people try to shortcut this by using initials. When someone replies to me with my initials GC, it just isn’t quite the same as Gordon.
You can take this a little further in an email by adding a nice PS where you can emphasize your personal touch.
5. Free vs. paid customers – they’re all the same
Some companies have paying customers and non-paying customers and they don’t offer the same level of personal service to the non-paying ones. There’s a huge advantage to offering the same level of service to everyone. And in all cases, try to WOW them all. That non-paying customer could one day become a paying customer-if you treat her right. Plus, the positive tweets you can get from a happy free customer, who has been treated right, is icing on the cake. Many highly successful companies can attribute their success to word of mouth. The best part? You don’t have to do more support to get this.
6. Refund money whenever asked – and suggest if not asked
Here is one of the most powerful ways to WOW your customer and not simply satisfy them. Offer the option to get a refund. Any time, any condition. This
will work wonders for you. It’s hard to accept as normal procedure, but over time, the more you do it, the less you will have to do it. It’s all about trust and transparency. The more you do it, the more you’ll want to know why and the more you’ll work to improve those pain points that cause the problems.
Here’s a suggested guarantee:
If you’re not satisfied, for any reason, within 90 days you get a full refund, period, no questions asked. We don’t want your money if you’re not amazingly happy.
7. Do unexpected stuff – here are a few ideas
When you’re trying to WOW customers, you’ll do whatever it takes. Unexpected stuff. And the cool thing about this is that it feels awesome when you’ve delighted a customer with a totally unexpected crazy thing.
Here are some examples:
Trader Joe’s Delivers (Literally)!
An elderly 89-year-old man was snowed in during a Christmas snowstorm in Pennsylvania.
Given the extreme circumstances, Trader Joe’s told his daughter that they would gladly deliver groceries directly to his home, and even suggested additional delivery items that would fit perfectly with his special low-sodium diet.
After the daughter placed the order for the food, the employee on the phone told her that she didn’t need to worry about the price; the food would be delivered free of charge. The employee then wished her a Merry Christmas.
Morton’s Steakhouse is Full of WOW Surprises
While at an airport, Peter Shankman realized that if he didn’t grab a bite to eat he’d be stuck riding the plane home on an empty stomach. Not one for fast food, Shankman took a shot in the dark and jokingly tweeted to one of his favorite restaurants, Morton’s, asking them if they would deliver him a steak!
Even though he’s a longtime customer of the steakhouse, Shankman admits that he had no expectations when he sent out the tweet. After all, who ever heard of steak on wheels?
To Shankman’s utter disbelief, one of Morton’s staff drove 23 miles to the airport to greet him with a full meal:
“He proceeds to tell me that he’d heard I was hungry, and inside is a 24 oz. Porterhouse steak, an order of Colossal Shrimp, a side of potatoes, one of Morton’s famous round things of bread, two napkins, and silverware.”
United Airlines Delays Flight for Dying Mother
When Kerry Drake got on his United Airline flight, the mother he was en route to see was facing her final hours. Drake knew that if he missed his connecting flight he would likely not see her before she passed. After his first flight got delayed, Drake broke down into tears on the plane. Within minutes, Drake’s dilemma was relayed to the captain, who radioed ahead to Drake’s next flight. The flight’s crew responded by delaying the flight’s departure to make sure he got on board.
When Drake finally sat on the second flight, he realized how much went into getting him onto the plane. The result of many staff members working together to go above-and-beyond the call of duty to help this customer was that Drake made it to the hospital in time to see his mother.
“Around 4 a.m. she had a real moment of coherence, a last rally, although we didn’t know it at the time. It was the last time.”
She died that very morning.
Gary Vaynerchuk said it best.
”I genuinely believe that any business can create a competitive advantage through giving outstanding customer care.”
Over to you now. What are you doing to work with your customers? Do you think a change in mindset from “satisfying” to “WOWing” could work for you too? I’d love your thoughts on this.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.