How to wow your customers

Marilia Mag Wow

If you want to know how you can wow your customers, you must first understand what a wow is.

Let me start with an example. I was checking into a hotel in New Delhi, some time last year. I had stayed in that hotel five years ago. When I was at the guest desk, a gentleman approached me.

“Good evening Mr Sridhar. It is so nice to see you again after so many years.”

I could not recognise the man, nor could I remember him. He gave me his business card – the President of the Hotel.  I smiled, shook his hand and asked

“How are you? How is business?”

“You may not remember me sir, but I remember the workshop you conducted for one of our customers. I was managing that workshop from the hotel. So I got an opportunity to see you in action.I keep talking about it to my colleagues. Especially one idea you shared.”

“Oh! What was the idea?”

“It was on how to wow your customers. You said Wow = Experience/Expectation. You create a wow when you create an experience that far exceeds the customer’s expectation.”

“Amazing that you still remember it. Does that work for you?”

“Of course Sir. Every time. All my people are trained to far exceed expectations and wow their customers. We carry a wow pass book. One wow a day is mandatory. In the evening all the managers have a huddle and we share how we wowed our customers. Each manager has a wow meeting with his people: including the bell boy, the door man, the chef, the waiters in the restaurants, room service, laundry – every where.”

“Oh! Wow!”

“This has helped us a lot. Especially in retaining frequent business travellers.”

“I am delighted to hear about this. Has it brought you new business?”

“Yes indeed. Some really good corporate customers. It has also brought in very good conference business. All through word of mouth and referrals.”

“What exactly did you do? How did you put that idea into practice?”

“It was a massive exercise Sir. Every department manager created a list with his team. What satisfies the customers, what bugs the customers. We first focused on fixing the bugs. Then we focused on the satisfiers. We realised that our customers were satisfied because we met their expectations. I remembered the example you quoted. You open the hot water tap, you get hot water. You open the cold water tap, you get cold water. We just fulfil customer expectations. They are merely satisfied. That won’t help us”

“So what did you do?”

“We listed all customer contact points, and identified opportunities to far exceed customer expectations. We focused on that. All of us try as much as we can. For instance, I know that you are quite surprised that I remembered you, your name etc. You merely expected an efficient check in, so that you go to your room fast. We can’t make it faster beyond a point. So we said we will look for an idea outside the checking process. That is when I hit upon this idea of recognising the customer.”


“Here we are sir. This is your room. Call me anytime you need something. Even if I am not there one of my people will look after you. They all know that you gave us the wow idea!”