The last time you got a WOW … ?

Summary: We all experience customer service, we share with friends and family when we are delighted, and we tell probably the entire world when we get frustrated. This blog shares some experiences, good and bad of the last few weeks (3 minutes read, audience: anybody involved in Customer Services).

Last week I attended a very ‘energy-rich’ event of the Customer Experience group in Auckland (NZ). The audience shared with Diane Magers and Tony Hillson their experiences when it comes to the WOW effect of customers. Here are some good and not-so-good experiences shared.

Situation Imagine, you went into several supermarkets searching for poppy seeds but had no luck: In the first supermarkets, nobody even noticed that you are searching for something. But then, in the last supermarket, this “WOW thing” happened. Imagine this situation:

The supermarket employee notices that you are searching for something and kindly asks if you need help. You explain the case, and then the employee asks you to wait briefly and disappears. Five minutes later this employee returns and hands you a little sachet of poppy seeds, just for you and free of charge! WOW! So what happened? It is pretty simple: The employee went to the nearby bakery and got 50 grams of poppy seeds from the baker!

Learning: Show empathy with your customer, and they will love you forever! Make an effort, go the extra mile!

Situation Recently, I experienced this situation: My top-up for a travel card was accidentally credited to my partner’s card rather than to my card. I called the helpdesk, which was very friendly but couldn’t help to credit my payment. The only action the helpdesk could take was to log an internal support ticket about my credit request (for just $20!). Guess what: The internal support team had misunderstood my credit request because the helpdesk (I suspect) didn’t summarise my credit request correctly. Now I am stuck with different teams and get no traction.

Learning: Treat your customer with the necessary respect and willingness to help, put your ego behind! Tear down internal silos in your organisation, empower your staff!

Situation: One person shared that she will never go back to a specific retail shop. This happens when you enter their store: First, upon entering the store, your bags are controlled. And they are “re-controlled” on leaving the shop! And if you have purchased any goods, then you will get a big stamp on your receipt (“Goods taken out”). Tell me: Do you feel treated like a valued customer or more like a potential thieve?

Learning: Think always in a positive way about your customers, don’t just assume bad intentions! And appreciate every single customer: THEY decide if they stay with you or if they leave! Remember what Gandhi once said, love your customers!

Your take home message

Look at customer interaction from the customer’s perspective, NOT from your perspective! If you have done your homework well, your business will do exceptionally well, and your reputation will go a long way.