We talk a lot about creating WOW experiences – but how do we go about doing it? I’ve created a simple template, in the form of a target that will help you put every aspect of any experience into it and figure out what kind of experience you’re already delivering. If it’s not where you want it to be, this template will guide you on how to change it so it does reflect what you want to deliver. The target is below:
To use the target, think of every aspect of a customer service situation. Then think of where that aspect falls on the target. Does it completely miss the mark? Then it’s an OW! Does it just barely make it onto the target? Then it’s “OK.” Maybe it’s a little closer to what you want it to be, so it’s “Really Good” but still not a WOW. Only when an experience hits the bulls-eye is it a “WOW.”
For example, let’s say you own an auto body shop. Where do all the aspects of the customer experience fall? Let’s look at just a few (by the way, before you roll your eyes at the details below, remember that while many men don’t care about these things, some men DO care about them, there are lots of women who must get their own cars serviced and do care about them… AND there’s a tremendous body shop in Orlando, FL called Universal Auto Body that does ALL of the WOW actions listed below – proving that the seemingly impossible is often possible if you really want to do it):
1. Customer greeting: how are they greeted? Where are they greeted? By whom? Is that person neat and clean? Friendly? Do they take the time to explain the process?
OW: Customers are not greeted, or wait in a long impersonal line before speaking to anyone. They often have to find someone to help them because no one is at the desk.
OK: Customers are greeted by someone who’s also answering the phone, ringing up purchases and is otherwise distracted. Often they are not neat, clean or friendly.
Really Good: Customers still have to wait in line, but the person greeting them is neat, clean and friendly; they are still handling other duties while waiting on customer.
WOW: A dedicated person who is neat, clean and friendly greets customers outside, explains the process, takes their car to the work area, then comes back when the car is done, explains what was done and all the charges, gives the customer their paperwork and brings them back to their car once they’ve paid for the work.
2. Waiting area: Is it large enough for your customers? Is it neat, clean, quiet, inviting? Are there sufficient places for them to sit?
OW: Waiting area is cramped, noisy, dirty, and there is almost no place to sit. Grease, dirt and grime cover everything in the waiting area.
OK: There are a few chairs placed around, but they are not great quality and are often cheap plastic chairs around the sides of the waiting are, with people walking or waiting in line very close to them. Noise from the shop is very loud in the waiting area.
Really Good: The waiting area is sufficiently large and the chairs are better quality. The floors and furniture are clean and there is a vending machine nearby for customers to use. Noise from the shop is limited.
WOW: The waiting area is large and the furniture comfortable. Tables and reading materials are available; there are photos/pictures/awards decorating the walls. Free WiFi is available for customers to use. Free beverages are provided (coffee, tea, water) for customers. No noise bleeds through from the shop.
There are other experiences to consider here (the shop itself, the outside of the building, its landscaping, cleanliness, ingress and egress of traffic, parking spaces, signage, etc.), but you get the idea.
Now take every aspect of YOUR customer experience, put it into the target… and see how many WOW’s you’re already creating, as well as how many more you can create by using this easy template.