Great Customer Service vs. the WOW Experience

There is a difference between great customer service, and an experience that knocks a customer off their feet and turns them into a lifelong supporter of your company. The difference is the “wow” experience, a more personal experience that exceeds customer expectations.

To explain more fully what a wow experience is, here is an example of a situation where there’s good customer service versus a wow experience.


Version 1 – Good Customer Service


You go into a coffee shop near your office to get a latte before an important meeting. The place is a little crowded but you get in line and start watching your time. When the barista comes around with a menu to take your order, you let them know you’re a little pressed for time. The barista tells you they can go ahead and get started with your drink so that once you get to the counter, it’ll be ready for you to simply pay and then go.


This is an example of excellent customer service. When you told the barista you were in a hurry, they did everything they could to get you out the door so you can make your meeting. Now, here’s an example of the same story, but with an added “wow” experience.


Version 2 – The Wow Experience


You go into the coffee shop and see that it’s a little crowded. You get in line but you’re not sure if you’ll make it or not, so you check your watch. A barista sees you checking your watch and comes over to ask if you’re in a hurry.


You explain your situation and the barista asks you the location of your office. You tell her and she says, “How about this – Let me know what you want and we’ll send someone over to your office when it’s ready and you can pay then?”


You place your order and then head to your office. The coffee arrives just in time and with a smile. Attached to the cup is a handwritten note saying “Thanks. Hope your meeting goes well.”


The Elements of a Wow Experience


What is different about the second example, other than the fact that it’s amazingly good service?


The main difference is that the experience exceeded your expectations. In the first case, you asked the barista if they could hurry it up. They offered to help you in the fastest way possible. This is great customer service and it’s likely that you’ll visit this coffee shop again when you need a cup and you’re in a pinch.


The second example didn’t just provide good service. The staff went well beyond the call of duty to save you time and make sure you didn’t miss your meeting. It’s quite likely that after this experience, you’ll feel a close connection with this store. Not only will you go there next time, but you’ll sing its praises to everyone you know. You’ll remember this experience for a long time.


Your goal shouldn’t be just to offer great customer service like in Version 1, but to differentiate yourself by exceeding your customers’ expectations like in Version 2 – the baristas who went above and beyond.

For more information on how you could improve and how we could help you, please contact us, or enrol to our workshop “Above and Beyond”.