How to Create WOW – Five Ingredients for Customer Delight

Do you satisfy your customers? Let’s hope so because, if you don’t, your customers will soon deem you incompetent and seek greener pastures.

Now to the more challenging question, do you “wow” or delight your customers? Let’s assume that answer is either “I’m not sure” or “Yes, but only some of the time.” If so, your customers probably won’t seek other options, but they are ripe for a competitor to lure them away.

In many of my books (such as Driven to Delight, The Zappos Experience, and The New Gold Standard), I detail a multitude of business benefits that come from “wowing” or “delighting” customers. For this post, I’ll simply highlight “delight” research conducted by the Verde Group in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business.

Verde identified five critical factors needed to produce delight for retail customers. Their research concludes that delight is a multifactorial phenomenon and maximizing key elements increases the likelihood that customers will be “wowed.”

According to Verde, the five delight categories are:

1 – Engagement. Be polite, genuinely care, and show sincere interest by acknowledging, listening, and helping.

2 – Executional Excellence. Provide helpful and constructive explanations and advice. Eagerly check inventory and help find products. Possess substantial product knowledge and maintain operational consistency.

3 – Brand Experience. Design tangible elements (e.g., web design or store environment) that have an exciting “look and feel” and provide product/service quality that exceeds customer expectations. Ensure customers feel special and that the value of what they purchase is more than what they pay.

4 – Expediting. Be sensitive to your customer’s time, reduce friction, and proactively speed up processes.

5 – Problem Recovery. Help resolve and compensate for problems, upgrade quality, and ensure complete satisfaction.

Verde’s research suggests that engagement and brand experience powerfully predict customer loyalty.

Are you ready to increase customer delight in your business? If so, start by maximizing engagement and elevating brand experience.

When it comes to customer loyalty – NOW is the time to WOW!

To discuss ways to drive delight in your business, please get in touch with me at

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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