If you’re familiar with the Kano Model of product development you may recognise that the three levels of service we’ve been covering follow a similar pattern. On the Kano model the last level is “Excitement”. Product features the customer had not considered but now desires.
Similarly with our three levels of service, the last level is exciting service. These are the things you can do that the customer won’t ask for and may not have even considered, but when they happen they are incredibly grateful and impressed.
The “Wow Factor” is a term that gets thrown around too loosely for my liking, especially by businesses that wouldn’t know “Wow” if they fell over it. But for want of a better term, what we are talking about here is the true meaning of the “Wow Factor”.
In the 90′s I worked for one of the world’s legendary service companies, Ritz Carlton Hotels and this is where I learned a service ethos that has stayed with me over the years. They have a unique way of teaching staff to engage with their guests, pick up on cues and then think creatively about how they can use this information to create a special experience.
There is a key difference between this exciting level of service and the first two we have covered previously - basic and expected. The first two are dependent on ‘ways of doing’. This is the procedures you have in place to ensure the basics are done properly. It’s the policies, procedure and organisational structure you have to ensure that customer requests can be met.
But stepping up to the level of truly legendary customer service doesn’t involve ‘ways of doing’. It involves ‘ways of being’. It’s a genuine desire to look for opportunities to surprise and delight your customers. If you are the leader, it is how effectively you instill that desire in your staff and how effectively you empower them to deliver.
That is the three levels of service. Each one involves a different aspect of the way you manage and lead your business, but the only way to the top rung is to ensure that you have the bottom two in place first - otherwise everything will collapse beneath you.