A Vow to "Wow!"


By
Anuradha Gopal
Lakshmi Priyadarsini
Narmada Gopal
Reshma R. Nair
S2 MBA
Institute of Management in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram
E-mail:
l_priyadarsini@yahoo.com
 


"Wow" is the new marketing mantra in the town. "Wow" is the acronym for customer delight.

We would all agree that with products having become highly commoditized, delivery of quality products / services are a key differentiator in this competitive - materialistic world.

However is it sufficient to ensure mere satisfaction of the customers? Not any more.

A pleasant satisfaction has become the bare minimum requirement a customer expects from a goods / service provider. We, therefore, need to move beyond "satisfaction" to customer delight or customer "Wow!" i.e. to make a customer say - "Wow, I didn't expect this!" This happens when we exceed the customer's expectations. The mantra for customer delight is 'under promise and over deliver.' Doing this again and again ensures customer loyalty.

Is this easy in today's competitive environment, when customer expectations are constantly evolving, customer loyalties are constantly shifting and the bar is rising? While not a cakewalk, broadly all it requires is an attitude that says, "Yes, I will ensure that I will exceed the expectations of my customers."

Customer Delight - A Definition:
"A measure or determination that a product or service exceeds a customer's expectations, considering requirements of both quality and service."


The most successful businesses have discovered a formula that goes beyond product and service and i.e. 'Customer Delight or Customer "Wow"'. The business's main aim is providing delight to their customers by understanding their specific personal interests, anticipating their needs, exceeding their expectations, and making every moment and aspect of the relationship a pleasant - or better still, an exhilarating - experience.

Let us understand the concept better with the help of a real life illustration:

Once an ecstatic / delighted customer recently wrote to the president of an audio video retailer in Cleveland, Ohio (USA) after coming back for his third major purchase, "It is truly a pleasure to walk into a store where the people know your name, know your style, your tastes and your expectations."

For the company to achieve customer delight it must go through an assessment process. The assessment process can be shown up as:


Another way of getting to know more about the customer's expectations, inorder to create customer delight or the "Wow" effect is to use one's active listening skills. To bring out more information from the customers inorder to delight them one must use comments such as:

        * So, you're saying . . .
        * In other words, the real issue is . . .
        * If I can summarize what you just said, you seem to feel that . . .
        * Therefore, your recommendation is that the team should . . .

Thus when a company communicates an enthusiasm for doing business and a love of service, clients/customers tend to reciprocate the feeling. If your clients/customers are satisfied with the service they receive from your company that is a good place to start, but it's just the beginning of the path at the foot of the mountain. These days, it takes a lot more than satisfaction to stand out from the pack and keep clients/customers eagerly coming back for more.

To conclude, we need to acknowledge the truth that our existence is dependent on our customers. Small unimportant gestures like a smile, a thank you, an advice, a communication, an empathy, a visit, a telephone call, an appreciation, a value for time, a small touch.....etc can truly take the product/service to unconquerable heights. The days ahead for the marketing personnel are challenging. They must under promise and over deliver the product / service to create the Wow effect.

So as the marketing personnel of the 21st Century let us all Vow to "Wow!" the customer.
 


Anuradha Gopal
Lakshmi Priyadarsini
Narmada Gopal
Reshma R. Nair
S2 MBA
Institute of Management in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram
E-mail:
l_priyadarsini@yahoo.com
 

Source : E-mail April 5, 2005

 
 
 

 

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