Step One on “How to Wow”: Remove all the dissatisfiers.

The goal of any business is to attract and retain customers. In order to retain customers, you must provide service that will exceed the expectations of the customer. If you only meet the needs of the customer, there is a possibility that the customer will defect if there is a future choice of something new, different or less expensive. So how do you wow the customer? The very first step is to “Be the Customer”. Identify all the touchpoints within the interaction your customer would have with your business and remove all the potential dissatisfiers.

Imagine your business’s customer experience as a flipbook. Remember flipbooks, a booklet of a series of pictures that changed slightly from one page to the next so that when you thumbed the pages, the pictures appeared to animate. If one of those pages were upside down or blank, you’d actually go back to each page and find out if, in fact, one of the pages was defective. Of all the pages in the flipbook that were right, you focused on the one that was poor. It is no different for a customer interacting with your business. While most of the interactions with you and your staff were good, it only takes one associate to taint the entire experience.

So define each touchpoint and remove any potential dissatisfiers. As I conducted customer service seminars, I’d ask the audience to “Be the Customer” and write down what dissatisfies them. Over the course of the seminars, I collected a long list of customer dissatisfiers. They are found on my website at Download the list and if they could pertain to your company, then find a way to eliminate it. If you want to start creating your own list of potential dissatisfiers, then start asking your customers, “Is there any ONE thing we could have done to make your experience more enjoyable?” Each one of those answers is a dissatisfier. If you ask 100 people you certainly will get a list of potential dissatisfiers for any returning or future customer.

Eliminate even the smallest potential dissatisfier. For example, one of the key touchpoints is the arrival experience. The potential dissatisfier is that the person who has first contact does not consistently smile, maintain eye contact or greet each customer. Even if that associate does it 97% of the time, there are 3 out of 100 who will be dissatisfied with the arrival experience. So fix it and make sure it is done every single time. Now that you have made sure that the frontline associate knows to smile and make eye contact with every guest, then scrutinize the greeting. Is the first contact associate greeting the customer with “May I help you?” Believe it or not, that is a potential dissatisfier. Why should it be considered a forbidden phrase? If they are in your establishment, they obviously need help. Be the customer. Do you walk into a bank with absolutely no intention? Of course not. You are there for a reason. So the first contact person should greet each customer with “How may I help you?”

QUI TAKEAWAY: The first step in “how to wow” is to define each customer touchpoint. Then scrutinize each one to define if there is a potential dissatisfier and remove it.


Filed under Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Hospitality, Training

4 responses to “Step One on “How to Wow”: Remove all the dissatisfiers.

  1. Great article Bill, I have printed it and will be sharing this with my management team this week. I particularly enjoyed the analogy of the flip book…so true. -Erle Webber

    • Erle,
      Thanks much for the comments. It is always great to read that my blog was well received.
      The flip book analogy is especially true for a golf club. Each page in the flip book represents a Moment of Truth impression that a member has with your club’s setting or with one of your staff. Every club member has an expectation based on the perceived value he expects in return for his dues. Just one interaction that does not meet his expectation sours the entire membership experience. The good news is that if there are no dissatisfiers, then each page becomes a little wow and the overall experience leads to big wow and a happy member. And in the golf club business, a happy member is the best source for a new referral. All the best to your and your team as you drive to enhance your members’ club experience.

  2. Hi there, I recently came acrsos your weblog in a new directory site of weblogs. I dont know how your website came up, must have been a typo, Your site looks very good. Also i wanted to take your rss feed but i couldn’t. Don’t know why!!?

    • Hafshah,
      Thank you for your feedback. I’ve checked the RSS feed widget and it does seem to be working. It should bring you to a page that allows you to choose how you would like the RSS to be delivered, be it via Google Reader or other platform. You can also receive it via Networked Blogs. Or feel free to connect to my Facebook page at where I share information about customer service from various sources. Thank you again for your comments.

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