When a customer experiences WOW, you are giving them a pleasant surprise. You are exceeding their expectations. You are addressing their needs thoughtfully and in unexpected ways. It is an expression of your authentic interest in the person who seeks your services, not just in the transaction.
It is about making enduring personal emotional connections with empathy, generosity, and gratitude. It is about awareness of common human concerns that make a difference to each customer. It is about truth, it is about meaning, and it is about details that cannot be measured by KPIs.
In today's ultra-competitive markets, enduring businesses call for enduring customer relationships. How can you deliver products and services with a WOW Customer Experience built into them?
You must make the WOW Customer Experience part of the product/service design, and that requires a continuous culture and happiness decision-making context, not only once for purposes of definition, but as a foundation for day-to-day operations.
WOW Customer Experiences are about meaningful details, they are unique, and not part of a mechanical scripted process. They are unique gestures, not born out of rules or “best practices,” but as an expression of your company's culture, its shared values, and ideals. These values and ideals inform the employee's decisions that create exceptional outcomes.
When delivering a WOW Customer Experience, the number one challenge is for the whole organization to remain aware of its value, to live it day in and day out, and to take proactive action in caring for it. The entire team must remain focused on this effort, otherwise, it can be derailed by either the urgency or the litany of repetitive tasks.
Oftentimes, a discussion on Customer Experience happens only for the purpose of definition. However, the only way to deliver true WOW continuously is through constant evolution, adapting quickly to changing needs, and fine-tuning what's most useful to your customers. This requires conversations on a wide range of decisions where culture should be the key criteria.
Given this challenge, we are keen on the idea of creating simple tools to facilitate these conversations. Your team could use the Culture Canvas as a day-to-day design tool to provide culture criteria for your product/service design decisions. You and your team can continually deliver a WOW Customer Experience.
When designing a new product or service: Is the product/service-aligned and consistent with the stated values and purpose of the company? Are there any values not yet considered that could push the team to excel in delivering WOW? What actions should be in place to strengthen the culture that is in charge of delivering the product/service?
When creating a team or division to deliver a new product or service: When WOW Customer Experiences are a priority, the team's alignment on values and purpose is of the essence. Decisions on who should participate in the design, launch, and operations of new products or services should also be addressed following culture criteria.
When pursuing constant evolution to sustain the WOW Customer Experience: It must continually adapt to changing needs for the WOW effect to prevail. It requires constant innovations that should always remain aligned with the company's culture. Decisions on adding or retiring features should always be consistent with the shared values. Sustaining a WOW Customer Experience requires a constant product-culture fit.
1 – Print the Culture Canvas [life-size] and glue it to a rigid surface so that you can easily move it around.
2 – Place the Culture Canvas where your team works in design or project management sessions.
3 – Use post-it notes to fill each block in the Canvas. You could color-code different situations using colored post-it notes.
4 – Keep these post-it notes on the Canvas for reference in future work sessions.
5 – When making product-market fit decisions that respond to customer feedback or when you are considering the intended evolution of product/service features ask whether the integrity of the product-culture fit is preserved.
6 – When facing a crisis situation, refer to the Canvas for reference. In light of impending chaos or unexpected challenges, following your values is the best course of action.
7 – When doing competitive analysis, assess what values/purpose would improve your WOW Customer Experience.
8 – When assessing your WOW Customer Experience, record on the Canvas the most meaningful stories and metrics that express their impact.
9 – When improving your product/service assess what actions should be in place to enhance the Culture that is delivering your WOW Customer Experience.
10 – When product/service performance decreases, assess whether all necessary values are being expressed to sustain the WOW Customer Experience.