It's WOW Time!

Having extolled the virtues of “Delivering Wow” in my book The New Gold Standard. I am constantly on the lookout for “wow” service moments and the ingredients necessary for a customer to conclude that service reached the level of a “wow”. The Verde Group, in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business, released a study of retail service experiences that “delivered wow.” According to the Verde Group’s research there are 5 essential components to a wow experience. Before I get to those elements, allow me to offer some other fascinating findings from the Verde study:

1) For those shoppers who reported great shopping experiences, less than 10% said it was due to a single element. Nearly 70% said their shopping experience was great due to six or more elements occurring during the shopping trip in question.
2) When a shopper enjoys great shopping, they are almost 80% more likely to definitely recommend the store to their friends and associates than those shoppers who experience “standard shopping.”
3) The higher the number of elements in a shopper’s great shopping experience, the more people
they tell about the experience.

Okay, on to the 5 categories of WOW shopping experiences! According to Verde these categories are:

1 – Engagement. Being polite, genuinely caring and demonstrating sincere interest in
helping, acknowledging and listening.
2 – Executional Excellence. Patient explanation and advice, checking stock, helping
find products, having product knowledge and providing unexpected product quality.
3 – Brand Experience. Exciting store design, consistently great product quality,
making customers feel they’re special and that they always “get a deal.”
4 – Expediting. Being sensitive to customers’ time and long check-out lines, and being
proactive in helping speed up the shopping process.
5 – Problem Recovery. Helping resolve and compensate for problems, upgrading
quality and ensuring complete shopper satisfaction.

One of the most fascinating findings is that, while these 5 ingredients are involved in achieving a wow experience, only two of the five great shopping experience categories – “Brand Experience” and “Engagement” – have a meaningful impact on shopper loyalty. Of these two, “Brand Experience” is the more important factor by nearly 40%. These findings led Verde to conclude that “although ‘Brand Experience’ elements are by far the most important for creating shopper loyalty, they are less frequently experienced by shoppers. Retailers do a much better job at delivering ‘Engagement’ experiences.”

Whether you are in or out of the retail sector, the questions of the week are:

What can you do to consistently maximize product/service quality?
How are you designing “exciting” product/service delivery? and
What are you doing to make customers feel they’re special and that they always “get a deal?”
…the elements of “Brand Experience”, if you will…

What you waiting for it’s show time? Or, should I say it WOW time?

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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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