The danger of over-investing in a WOW Customer Experience

It is no surprise that the term WOW Customer Experience has gained a lot of traction in today’s ultra competitive world. It stands for going that extra mile to not only meet your customers expectations but to exceed them to the extent that you give them a pleasant surprise that WOWs them. 

When businesses think about ways to improve their customer experiences, they often make a big mistake of overinvesting in the add ons and overlooking their core competencies. Here is a good story to portrait the danger of falling in this trap…

Imagine you went to try out a new barber shop to get a haircut. You arrive 15 min before your appointment, and the lady at the entrance greets you with a mojito while you wait. “Welcome!!”. That for sure is a pleasant surprise. Then she introduces you to another customer that is also waiting so that you can get to know him and mingle. After having an awesome conversation, you realize the waiting area has a massage chair so you can relax while you finish drinking your mojito, and right when things couldn’t get any better, you see an iphone dock, where you can plug your phone and listen to your favorite song while you get your haircut. This is IT you think, you will be coming to this barber shop religiously every 3 weeks to get your haircut. Your turn comes up and you specify the style you would like, but the hairstylist tells you that he is an artist and that you should trust him, and does his own thing. The end result = you look like a soccer player and you start thinking how you are going to just shave it all off the minute you get home. 

Despite the fact that the barber shop spend a lot of time and effort in thinking and creating that WOW experience, let’s face it: you are never going back there. 

The learning here is that before you start thinking about how to exceed customer’s expectations and surprise them with a WOW experience, you have to focus on meeting their expectations first. Plain and simple. Do what you promised and make sure that is what they want. And only after you have done that, then you can start thinking about how to differentiate the entire experience in innovative ways without forgetting about what your customers came to you for in the first place.