How to Get the “Wow” Response From Customers

SEMA Member News—July/August 2014  

How to Get the “Wow” Response From Customers

By John Chapin,

The e-mail came in at 9:07 p.m., and I responded immediately. The customer’s response: “Wow! That was quick. Thanks. Trying to get my staff to deliver those ‘wow’ moments myself.”

 From a customer service standpoint, it’s easier than ever to get noticed. There are four definite steps to making sure you step up, stand out and deliver the wow.

From a customer service standpoint, it’s easier than ever to get noticed. There are four definite steps to making sure you step up, stand out and deliver the wow. 


These days, it’s easier than ever to create the “wow” response with customers, mostly because customer service, follow-up and all related business protocols leave so much to be desired. Even though it’s easier than ever to get noticed, there are some definite steps to making sure you step up, stand out and deliver the wow.

Four Steps for Getting to “Wow”

Step 1: Be Completely Committed.

Wowing the customer begins with a complete and total commitment to customers and making sure they have fantastic experiences. No prima donna, I’m-doing-the-customer-a-favor attitudes here. You must have a customer-is-always-right, go-above-and-beyond and do-whatever-it-
takes attitude.

Step 2: Be Responsive.

You have to do the unexpected, and a big part of that is responding quickly and outside of normal business hours and normal business days. I’ve heard people say, “If I respond too quickly, people will think I’m not busy and thus must not be that good.” Take it from a number-one sales rep for 26-plus years, I’ve always run my business by responding as soon as possible, and it has paid huge dividends. In fact, it’s one of the things I’ve gotten the most compliments on, and it adds greatly to the trust, credibility and likeability factor.

One of the things that sets me apart is that I tell people I have 24/7 customer service. I say, “If you have insomnia and it’s 3 a.m., call my cell phone. Hopefully, I remembered to put it on silent and I’ll call you back when I wake up. However, if I do leave the ringer on, and it rings, I’ll answer it.” It’s simple: I know there are maybe one or two people out there with that kind of commitment. That’s why I do it.

Step 3: Be Proactive.

Keep open, active communication with customers and stay ahead of any issues. If there is a price reduction, rate decrease or anything else that can help them, pick up the phone and let them know. Once you’re responding to a call about a better price, better rate or better anything elsewhere, you’re on defense and behind the eight ball, which makes your battle to keep the business that much more difficult. And all this is assuming that they called you and didn’t simply switch to the competition without letting you know.

Also, build strong, solid relationships that can withstand a mistake or two or an all-out onslaught from the competition. It’s simple: Your friends will pick up the phone before leaving you for something better. In addition, you will miss a delivery, botch an order or make another mistake if you work with someone long enough. If you’ve proactively built the iron-clad relationship ahead of time, you’ll be able to weather a storm or two.

Step 4: Be Original and Creative.

Manufacturers Representative Network (MRN) - SEMA CouncilThe dental rep who hand-delivers emergency items the same day so that clients don’t have to reschedule patients and have dentists with empty schedules stands out from the competitor who Fed Exes the product for next-day delivery. The sales rep at an installation after midnight helping the installers any way possible and giving the customer updates stands out from the competitor who’s never been to an installation and doesn’t even know there’s an issue. The banking equipment sales rep who drives by an ATM on the weekend, notices it isn’t working and proactively calls his company’s service department stands out from the competitor who drives by and either doesn’t notice or says, “I’m sure they already know about it, and they have people who handle that anyway. And besides, it’s the weekend and I’m not working.”

These examples could go under being responsive or being proactive, but they also take original thought and some creativity. You’ve got to constantly ask yourself how you can deliver more service, better service and be different in a good way. How can you stand out and show extraordinary commitment? What can you do to let customers know you care, that they are important to you and that you will do whatever you can to make their experience exceptional?

As with most other things in life, the most important ingredient is attitude. If you have the right attitude and are determined to do whatever it takes, the wows will flow naturally.