The “Wow” Factor

A post by customer service expert Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling business author who works with companies who want to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.

This is a powerful one. You may have recently noticed a number of books and articles about a concept called the “Wow” factor.

Many consultants and business experts have been talking about this for years, but it was probably Tom Peters who really brought it to the forefront.

The “Wow!” factor boils down to one thing; not just meeting, but exceeding the expectations of the customer. In short, the basic idea is to bring the element of surprise into your business. The concept of Wow! yells out, “Surprise! Aren’t you glad you decided to do business with me!”

A couple of years ago I bought my wife a new car. Normally the quest for purchasing a new car is not one I look forward to, and this time was no exception. However, to my surprise, the experience was great, and the follow-up even greater. The owner of the dealership knew I was surprising my wife with the car. He called the next day, on a Sunday, to see how she liked the surprise. Wow! A few days later we received a thank you note and a fruit basket. Wow!

Bill Gates, multi-billionaire and chairman of Microsoft, recently wrote a book on the future of technology, The Road Ahead.

Surprise! The book included a CD with the entire book and more on it to be popped into your nearest computer. He predicts that books on CD ROM 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 CD ROM drive you don’t have to even take the book with you. Just take the disk and read from the screen. Wow!

A few years ago I bought some fruit baskets from Harry and David for some of my clients. Harry and David is a high-end catalog retailer that sells food through the mail. One day the mail came and I was surprised to find a gift box from Harry and David. I couldn’t wait to open it to find out who sent me this delicious box of chocolate truffles. Surprise! It was a gift from Harry and David saying thank you for doing business with them. Wow!

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 marketing and business strategy? 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 client feel good about doing business with you. I remember getting a phone call from a restaurant that some friends and I had been to the night before.

I wondered why they would be calling me. Did I leave my credit card there? No, they just wanted to follow up with me to make sure I had a great meal and experience at their restaurant.

That’s all. Wow!

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