The term “The WOW Factor” in customer service can be daunting.
But it doesn’t have to be. In a world where poor customer service is expected, it’s often the little things that elicit WOW’s from customers.
As we discussed in a train-the-trainer program I led the other day, it’s about “making them happier than they were 10 seconds ago.”
I had a great 3 days with a group of 12 people who are now set to spread the message of “GRACIOUS” Service throughout the rest of their company. They had many insights and kind comments to share with me, as well as a lovely unexpected gift. The best part was watching them get on their feet and deliver the material they had just learned two days prior. They were amazing!!! They rose to the challenge and did MORE than I expected! I love walking away confident that the customer service training is in good hands. Plus, having team members deliver customer service training to co-workers adds to the buy-in, commitment and, we’ve found, improves internal communication. But…I digress.
What this group of people didn’t know is that in other areas of my life, I was having a rough week. Nothing major, just a challenge that business owners go through from time to time. Each day that I spent with them energized me and definitely made me happier than I was 10 seconds ago.
That’s the thing. Sometimes, it’s just the energy of the people around you that can lift you up. As one of the “GRACIOUS Guides” (trainers) said, “You never know how the interaction you just had with someone will affect them. You may be the best thing that happened to them all day.”
When you think of creating the WOW Factor, start by thinking small. Start by thinking about how each of your team members interacts with each customer. Do they know how to make that person in front of them happier than they were 10 seconds ago?
For instance, after that training in Grand Rapids, I stayed in Lansing, MI for the night.
I was looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the television and getting rested up for travel the next day. First, I walked over to Washington Square (in Lansing) and stopped into a Firehouse Subs location to pick up dinner to go!
There I met Jordan and Theresa. I’m not sure they realized it, but they were creating a WOW Factor in customer service moment for me.
They didn’t do anything elaborate. It was simply the way they engaged with me.
As I walked in, Jordan greeted me immediately with a smile and a hearty welcome. He chatted with me as he took my order and then asked my name. Somehow, we got into a conversation about how my husband once called me “TaDonna” (as in Ta-Dah-na) and he loved it! From that point forward he called me TaDonna.
The entire time I was there, I felt I was being entertained and engaged. I felt as though he was really happy to see me!
Then Theresa came out and began to make my meatball sub. Jordan said, “TaDonna, you’re in good hands. Theresa makes the best meatball subs in the world.” (I’d have to agree. It was delicious!) Then Theresa joined the conversation and we all chatted some more.
Now, truth be told – it was late and I was the only customer at the time. However, I suspect that their friendly, welcoming nature would be present during busy times too – even if the conversation was abbreviated.
As I left, I asked for their names as I didn’t know them at that point. “Jordan,” the young man replied, “but I think I’d like something creative like TaDonna. You can call me the Incredible Mr. J!”
I took my sandwich and walked down the street thinking, “Now that was an example of making someone happier than they were 10 seconds ago!” So I turned around, walked back in and asked if I could snap their photo and write this blog post. After getting permission from their boss, they posed for this photo.
Adding the WOW Factor to your customer service doesn’t have to be elaborate.
At this Firehouse Subs, there were no free gifts, no red carpets, and no major surprises. There was only Jordan and Theresa, doing their best to make their customers feel sincerely welcome and making us happier than we were 10 seconds ago. Not to mention the yummy meatball sub!
Perhaps this is fodder for discussion in your workplace. What are small things each person could do to sincerely welcome customers, and create that WOW factor in customer service? How could each person make the goal of each interaction to make their customer happier than they were 10 seconds ago?
What about you? Comment below and tell me how you or your team add the WOW Factor in customer service?
Donna Cutting is the Founder & CEO of Red Carpet Learning Systems, Inc., a firm that provides training and tools that help leaders engage their team members to roll out the red carpet for customers. In essence, the team at Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. turns your workforce into your sales force by improving the customer experience. Donna is also the author of two books on the topic, including 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers: Easy-to-Implement Ideas to Inspire Loyalty, Get New Customers, and Leave a Lasting Impression.