What does ‘wow’ mean? The dictionary definition of the verb ‘wow’ is “to impress and excite (someone) greatly”.
So, do we actually need to be delivering ‘wow’ customer experiences?
An interesting question.
As reported in our article Why Reducing Customer Effort is Better Than Delighting Customers – a major Gartner quantitative research study concluded that customer delight (eg: ‘wow’ moments) is expensive to implement and did not have a measurable correlation with an increase in customer loyalty.
Right. So what should you do then?
Moments of ‘wow’ or delight are not necessarily defined as going above and beyond, or doing something extraordinary.
The ‘wow’ moments truly occur when we are impressed. When someone makes us feel appreciated, respected and heard, we are impressed.
‘Wow’ is down to how you make your customers feel. That is what they’ll remember.
What makes up ‘Wow’ customer experiences?
Author of “Invisible Profits: The Power of Exceptional Customer Service”, Robert Moment defines the six key ingredients of the ‘Wow’ experience:
1. Seamless service
Imagine how impressed you’d be if you rang a contact centre and when your call was answered, the Customer Service Representative (CSR) greeted you by your name immediately before you’d even spoken. And not only that – he didn’t ask you to repeat everything you’d just entered into the IVR system. What a relief!
This can easily be achieved with the right technology. We can integrate our cloud contact centre solution Premier Contact Point with your CRM system, and screenpop the caller’s CRM record straight into your CSR’s desktop before the call is connected. Your CSR will know who the customer is on that waiting call, see their history, and possibly already know what the customer is calling about. Now that would be impressive.
2. Trustworthy service
Ever had to give your credit card details over the phone? It’s a scary thought, trusting those details to a stranger on the other end of the call. With all the reports of fraud today, it’s something we need to think twice about doing.
How about this scenario?
What if the CSR said to you:
“Okay, it’s time to take your payment for that lovely bunch of flowers you bought your mum. I’m going to send you an SMS, which has a link to a secure payment page. As soon as you receive the SMS, please put me on speaker phone so I can guide you through the payment. And don’t worry, your credit card details will stay secure and I won’t see any of the card information.”
You open the SMS on your smartphone, tap on the link which opens your browser to a secure payment page, and confirm the amount you’re going to pay. You then enter your credit card details, and click pay.
The CSR is still on the line, and receives an on-screen notification when payment has been made. She says, “Thanks very much, your payment has been successful, and I’m now going to SMS you the receipt number.”
3. Attentive service
How many times have you contacted customer service and been subjected to an obviously scripted response from the CSR? You feel like they aren’t really listening, but just trying to get to the end of their canned presentation as quickly as possible.
Compare that to when you actually speak to someone who really listens, and speaks to you like a caring human being.
Listening isn’t just about hearing. It’s about understanding what’s really being said. It’s about training your team on responding to different customer moods – anger, disappointment, frustration. Showing genuine compassion will dissipate anger and move the conversation forward. Following up after the exchange will also provide confirmation that they were listened to and that the CSR has made every effort to resolve the issue.
4. Resourceful service
An incredibly frustrating experience that happens all too often is when Customer Service tells you something like “That’s outside our policy or procedures, sorry, can’t help.”
This kind of response gives you one of two impressions. Either the CSR doesn’t care and is quoting policy to get rid of you, or they’re genuinely hamstrung and have no power to do anything else.
When a solution isn’t immediately apparent, a resourceful CSR will take ownership of a customer’s issue and do their best to find a solution. It may mean initiating an escalation before the customer demands to talk to a supervisor. It may mean advising the customer that they will explore the issue further with other team members and call them back.
Companies with excellent customer service empower their agents. Give them the ability to come up with creative solutions on their own when it may be necessary, rather than parroting a tired line that frustrates and upsets your customers.
When a customer senses that you’re making the extra effort to help them, they will feel valued and respected. And they will be impressed.
5. Courteous service
Outbound calls: How many times have you had a telemarketer ring you with a “Hi, this is John from XYZ company, can I speak to the business owner/homeowner?”
Whatever happened to “please”?
And how do you really feel about being interrupted? Maybe if they had said “Hi, this is John from XYZ company, could I speak to the business owner/homeowner please, if now is a convenient time to talk? I promise it’ll only be 3 minutes…” This shows respect for your time, and you may just be more inclined to listen.
Inbound calls: Have you ever called an organisation and gotten the dreaded “All our operators are busy at the moment, please call back later”? Sure, they said ‘please’. But it’s a dead-end message, and you feel totally unimportant. The business is too busy to deal with you, and it’s entirely on you to keep trying to get in touch to have a query answered, or an issue solved.
What if this message was changed to “We’re so sorry, all our operators are busy at the moment, and we don’t want to keep you waiting, so if you’d be happy to leave your name and phone number we’ll keep your place in the queue and call you back shortly.”
Premier Contact Point can be configured to provide this callback option through your IVR or through our Mobile Customer Service solution.
Being courteous is essential. No customer should ever be made to feel that they are an unwanted interruption. Being treated courteously and being shown respect is always impressive and makes you feel important.
6. Pro-active service
Have you ever received a follow-up call or email, done in a sincere and friendly way, with absolutely no ‘sell’ involved?
Maybe it was from the plumber two days after he fixed your leak, or from your physio after your last treatment. They’re just getting in touch to see if everything is okay. They’re showing that they genuinely care.
Or maybe you got an SMS from your water service provider to let you know the water will be turned off for 4 hours next Monday while they do some maintenance in the street. Yes, it may be inconvenient, but the fact that they let you know in advance indicates that they care, and softens the impact of the message. Imagine your reaction if they hadn’t let you know!
Providing a proactive customer experience takes customer service to a whole new level, and is the way forward when it comes to keeping your customers loyal and continuing to purchase your products or services.
In our article Providing Proactive Customer Service in Contact Centres we outline three proactive support strategies to improve customer experience and reduce the inbound load on your contact centre.
Surely these 6 ingredients of a ‘Wow’ experience are just standard Customer Service?
Well, yes, they should be – and that’s the whole point. Nearly every week, many of us experience bad or mediocre customer service on the phone, in-store, or online. And how many times while reading the above points did you think, “Yes! This doesn’t seem like too much to ask, why can’t every business serve me this way?”
When you deliver customer service that includes all these 6 ‘ingredients’, you’re delivering the type of customer service you yourself want, and, concurrently, that your own customers want and expect.
And that’s how you can truly ‘wow’ them, and stand out from all the companies who don’t.