Satisfied customers are nice, but delighted customers are more likely to return. Delight customers repeatedly, and at every touch point, and you will earn yourselves some raving fans! The first key is to nail the basics. It doesn’t matter how many red-carpets you roll out if you’re not delivering good customer service consistently. You can only dazzle people for so long. Eventually, they’re going to see behind the curtain. However, once you’ve got a good handle on the basics, to move customers from satisfied to delighted, add a little WOW Factor! These are the unexpected moments that surprise and delight your prospects and customers. Here are five ways to add the WOW Factor to your work.
Create Customer Delight and Add the WOW Factor!
1. Personalize Your Service: My friend David Glickman has a saying: “The more specific, the more terrific!” When you provide a personalized experience for your customer, he or she is bound to notice. For instance, the team at Leisure Park in Lakewood, NJ, a Red-Carpet Learning Systems client, keeps a secret stash of swag. These are little inexpensive gifts in a variety of categories (gardening, reading, children, pets, sports teams, veteran status, movies, etc.) they keep stocked in a closet. When a prospective or new resident is expected, they pull out the specific category of gift that is just right for them. Instant Delight!
2. Do the Unexpected: Rick Salmeron, of Salmeron Financial, knew that his clients were struggling mid-July to beat the heat and that National Ice Cream week was coming up. So he sent out an email to his clients, prospects and partners all over the country (he’s based in Texas) promising to deliver ice cream to their door during a specific week if they simply responded. For less than the cost of a newspaper ad, Rick delivered (or had delivered) over 120 scoops of ice cream, and earned a lot of social media love and customer delight! Stop by the drive-through at Western Bank in Devils Lake, North Dakota and you’ll find yourself in the middle of Wacky Wednesday. Bank tellers take turns outside washing windshields of customers, firing up the grill and handing out treats and prizes as people drive through! It’s the unexpected that gets people talking.
3. Add the And Then Some: The WOW Factor happens when you choose to turn ordinary interactions into extraordinary encounters. Because I travel a lot (a lot!), I sometimes have the pleasure of being bumped up to First Class. Recently, this was the case on a Delta airlines flight. The pilot typically gives a welcome over the loudspeaker. Nice. In this case, however, the pilot came out of the cockpit before taking off and personally welcomed each of us on his plane. He spent a few seconds explaining what weather was expected, what states we’d be flying over and when we might want to look out the window. He thanked us again and went back to the cockpit. Everyone looked around and murmured “WOW! That’s never happened before!” We were impressed. This pilot added the “and then some” and turned an ordinary interaction into an extraordinary encounter.
4. Discover and Delight: Practice listening and looking for opportunities to add the WOW Factor. One of my audience members once told me about a car mechanic that noticed her grooving to the sounds of the O’Jays over coming from his iPod. She mentioned they were a favorite band and she hadn’t heard them in forever! When she came back and turned the key in her ignition, she was greeted with the sounds of her favorite band. The mechanic jumped on the opportunity to create customer delight by burning a CD and surprising her. If you actively listen for opportunities, you will discover ways to delight your customers.
5. Anticipate Wants and Needs: When our Director of Training and Possibilities, Katie Locke, was on vacation at the Little Cayman Beach Resort, swimming was the activity of the day. Her daughter Annabel is (in Katie’s words) “a fish” and there are no TV’s on Little Cayman. So when Annabel was rushed to the Doctor and diagnosed with a raging ear infection, she was left wondering how she was going to entertain her child for the rest of the week. Before she even had time to think of it, a hotel employee arrived with a HUGE bag of sand toys. This wasn’t just a pail and shovel, but castles, water wheels, molds – enough toys to keep her daughter busy for days. That hotel employee anticipated Katie’s need and created a moment of customer delight that saved their vacation. The key to moving delighted customers into the realm of “raving fans” is consistent use of the WOW Factor. Pam Huff, former Director of Celebrity Services for the Gaylord Opryland, encouraged her team to hold back a few surprises and spread them throughout their VIP guests trip. I call it making “Movie Moments!” Create unexpected moments of surprise and delight that cause your customers to start spreading the word about you and your business.
About the Author: Donna Cutting, CSP is the Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. and an in-demand customer service speaker on conference stages all over the country. She leads a team of customer service experts who provide training and tools to help organizations create culture of customer service excellence. Donna is also the author of The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red-Carpet Customer Service. She can be reached at 800-519-0434 or via email at Donna@RedCarpetLearning.com.