I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou
I have spent much of my career focused on creating and building WOW customer experiences.
WOW experiences are built upon emotions. Emotions determine memory. When we recount a memory we are sharing our personal view of the experience – not the actual experience. Take a moment to think about your favorite memory over this past holiday. Recount it in your mind and then think about the emotions it evokes. When you tell a story, you are sharing more than just the details, you are recreating feelings.
Webster’s dictionary describes “Wow” as an impressive and impactful personal element of an interaction which is used by the presenter to reinforce particular aspects of the participant’s experience, usually resulting in particular connection to the participant’s senses (visual, auditory, emotional, etc) which can be used to assist in reminiscence and retention afterwards.
Creating WOW experiences for your customers is about evoking a positive emotional response when interacting with your brand. If you WOW your customer, they will remember not only you, but the brand that you represent, becoming loyal patrons and brand advocates. WOWed customers will look beyond the best price, and will give a company their business because they connected with the brand emotionally. These brand advocates will share their experience with others.
Ask yourself at the end of every interaction: “Will my customer remember me and the brand that I represent after their interaction today?”
So how do you create WOW experiences for your customers? It is very simple. Cover the basics and show you care.
- Connect emotionally – Show that you genuinely care. Make an effort to build rapport. Be personal.
- Attentively listen – Engage in the conversation and listen to both the verbal and nonverbal clues.
- Build trust and relationships – Demonstrate empathy and integrity. Do what you say you are going to do within the timeframe committed.
- Assist and educate – Help people make informed decisions. Explain the options and guide them through the process.
- Own the interaction – Show confidence and engage. Make sure you are always resolving any issues.
In the end customers want to know that you care about their individual situation and you will do the right thing to take care of them. This concept is also applicable to both internal and external customers. It is the secret to creating WOW employee experiences as well.