Before you dive in, ask yourself this: What are you doing to make your customers say WOW? If you find it difficult to answer this question, your business might be missing out on the opportunity to keep your customers coming back for more.
According to the Chron, "The "WOW" factor is a commonly used slang term in business that most often depicts what a company does to go above and beyond customer expectations in delivering a great product and service experience." As a small business you actually have an advantage of size and mobility when it comes to the WOW factor. It is much easier to add a personal touch or go above and beyond for every single client when you have a smaller customer base. This will give you a leg up against your big brand competitors.
Even more so, the WOW factor is so important for small businesses that it needs to be incorporated into your customer relationship and marketing plans. Why? Because if you can genuinely WOW your customers, they could be loyal customers for life. They could also become brand advocates on your behalf, referring new customers by bragging about your brand.
So what does it take to make your customers say "WOW!"? The first step is to let those creative juices flow. You know your customers, so you will know what will WOW them. Here is some inspiration that might help you to develop your own WOW factor.
1. Signed and sealed
What shows your customer that you went that extra mile? A handwritten note! We don't get enough (or any) handwritten notes these days. But remember when you used to receive a letter or postcard in the mail from your best friend, and how excited that made you. I got that same feeling when I ordered an item on Etsy -- a community where people buy and sell handmade, vintage or craft items. The product came with the a handwritten and personalized "Thank you, Kimberly. I hope you enjoy your purchase!" My first reaction was "WOW!," my second reaction was to grab my phone and Snapchat it. It was the first time I had ever received a handwritten note from a company, so I kept it. For the business owner, it means adding a little extra time to every order, but the effect is worth it.
2. Packaging is half the product
In 2016, shoppers were making 51 percent of their purchases online. With all these online purchases, products need to be shipped to the consumer which requires a whole different way of packaging a product. Use the excitement of unwrapping a package to create a memorable moment. For example, when I ordered a piece of jewelry from a local company, I received it in a small drawstring bag placed in a sleek-looking box. It also came with a small brochure about the company and a few stickers. Everything was carefully curated, making the unboxing experience almost as fun as receiving the product. Thinking outside the box (or inside the box) when it comes to package delivery can help to create your WOW factor.
3. Trust your customers
Sometimes simply trusting your customers can be a great way to WOW them. This WOW moment comes from our Director of Marketing, Kevin Schrage, who purchased a lamp from a home goods company. After unwrapping the item, he noticed one of the holders was slightly damaged. He contacted the company, already dreading the fact that he would have to repackage and ship this big and expensive item back to the store. But to his surprise, they simply sent over a new lamp and told him to keep the other one. Now that's customer service! The company didn't even ask for proof, they just made it as easy as possible for their customer. Who wouldn't be left feeling "WOW"? And even more important, who wouldn't come back for more?
4. A gift says a thousand words
People love free stuff, but even more impactful is receiving an unexpected and thoughtful gift. One of my friends had his wisdom teeth taken out last year. While the wisdom teeth extraction wasn't the most fun, the experience was a pleasant one. But what really impressed us, was the card he received in the mail the following day. In the envelop was a $10 gift card for frozen yogurt. The note from the dentist said frozen yogurt would help to sooth his gums. You can imagine our reaction (WOW!), as this was the perfect gift for the occasion.
5. And then some
The WOW factor happens when you choose to turn ordinary into extraordinary experiences. We've all undergone the frustration of a beloved product breaking after using it for a while. An ordinary experience would leave you looking for the receipt and determining whether it is still covered under the warranty. But a local knife company in San Diego -- set up by two veterans who build knives for the military -- takes a different approach. They take absolute pride in their handmade product, therefore guaranteeing it for life: "Your life depends on your blade, so we guarantee our blades for life." The ordinary experience of buying this product is made extraordinary by its lifetime guarantee, allowing customers to feel more comfortable with their purchase. Adding the "and then some" to your product or service can produce that "WOW" factor.
Satisfied customers are nice, but delighted customer are the fuel to your business growth. Incorporate your own unique "WOW" factor, going above and beyond, to earn yourself some raving fans. The most important thing to remember is that consistency is key, delivering an experience that consistently satisfies and delights customers will help you rise above your competitors.