Wowing Your Customers

Last night I was telling my son, Cam, about my weekend in San Diego and the amazing experiences I talked about in yesterday’s blog. Our conversation ended up focused on creating “WOW” experiences. Cam works at Intuit Canada. Intuit is a great company with a fantastic culture and they actually have a process for creating wow experiences for their customers.

The first time I heard about wowing your customers was during a presentation by a past president of Burger King. I don’t remember his name and a Google search isn’t turning up anything. He was the Key Note speaker to the International Door Association’s (IDA) Expo about ten years ago. Through the nineties one of the great business doctrines was about exceeding your customer’s expectations. We had come through focusing on your customer’s needs, to meeting their expectations, and had now developed to exceeding those expectations. This presentation at IDA was my first exposure to the idea that exceeding your customer’s expectations was no longer good enough. You had to create situations that shocked them; you had to “wow” them!

Another way of defining these wow experiences is that your customers have to have experiences they brag about. My “wake up call” experience I discussed yesterday was just such an event. The great part about my discussion with Cam was his explaining that Intuit doesn’t leave this to chance, that they actually have a process to assure that they are creating these wow moments for their customers. This is the process of not leaving exceptional customer service to chance but rather having it become so engrained within your organization that your people do it on purpose. To achieve this level of service you must have a culture that is so customer service oriented that everyone on your team is constantly seeking innovative ways to benefit your customers.

Using that cultural definition as a bench mark, how does your organization measure up? How often do you create stories your customers brag about? How often do you wow them? The even more important question is do you leave this to chance or do you recognize the value of wowing your customers such that you have a defined process in place to assure that it happens regularly?