Wow moments don’t have to cost anything at all

And they're especially important right now.

This week I was talking with a client about creating ‘wow moments.’ You know those moments when someone makes you feel special, or someone does something thoughtful, or when you get great customer service.  One of their comments was that they didn’t have any budget to do anything. I understand that lack of budget can stop us sending expensive extravagant gifts but it can also unlock different thinking. Wow moments don’t have to cost much, in fact they don’t have to cost anything at all.

Last week I was driving to a client workshop. I stopped at a little petrol station to fill up. I pulled up next to the pump and was rummaging around in my bag for my bank card when I heard a noise at the back of my car. My first thought was had I run something over and not noticed and now I’d stopped it was clambering out from under my car like something out of a zombie film.

But it wasn’t a zombie and I hadn’t run anything over.

It was the guy who owed the petrol station opening my petrol cap and offering to put the petrol in my car for me. Amazing! This has never happened before! I was so happy that someone else was offering to help. We had a lovely chat, I paid and I went on my way not smelling of petrol and feeling good.

It didn’t cost him anything, it was a little gesture, and it was a wow moment for me.

The opposite can also be true. When you have an underwhelming customer service experience that can also stick with you.

After my wow petrol moment I drove to my hotel. I was looking forward to my stay, it looked lovely on the website and it had a four star rating. I parked, put my backpack on, slung another bag across my shoulder, and loaded up I trundled my wheely case across the courtyard. It was a bit confusing working out where to check in. As I wandered about the corridors, I saw a man who said they could check me in. They gave me my keys and walked me round to the staircase (there wasn’t a lift). He pointed upwards and said ‘your room is on the second floor – you’ll be alright with all that won’t you.’ Being British I said ‘of course I’m fine’ and proceeded to lug all my luggage up two flights of stairs on my own.

I know I could have said, ‘please could you help’ but, for many reasons, people often don’t ask for help, especially if the message that you’ve just heard is ‘I don’t want to help you’.

Anyway, I didn’t feel very wow about it and wouldn’t stay there again.

And that’s just it – wow moments are important. They can make your employees feel motivated and valued, they can build customer loyalty and they tell other people, and if you’ve made someone feel good that makes you feel good too.

What about the absence of wow moments? Does that make any impact? I don’t know, but poor service or lack of attention can make employees and customers feel demotivated and undervalued. And often they won’t tell you – they just tell everyone else.

Wow moments are especially important now. Remote and flexible working has its benefits but it can leave teams feeling disconnected. Generally, we’re all feeling the emotional impact of a two-year pandemic. How might you create wow moments to make your employees, supporters or customers feel special? And how might you do that in a way that doesn’t cost a penny?

If you’d like some help to think differently about anything, including creating wow moments get in touch. I facilitate team days and run idea workshops. Drop me a line at lucy@lucidity.org.uk.

Comments welcome.

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