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Wow Customer Service: Training And Empowerment That Build The Stories That Customers Will Remember And Spread

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at September 30, 2021

Wow customer service is an essential part of becoming a legendary customer-centric business. That’s because customers think in terms of stories, and you want them to retain—and retell—stories of what your company is all about. In my work as a  customer service consultant and customer service trainer, this is one of the key disciplines I try to instill in my client companies.

You don’t always get the chance to wow customers, but when you do, you want your employees fully empowered to make the magic happen, and fully inspired to use all their creativity and all the resources at their disposal to make it happen.

Now, I get some great customer service consulting gigs in all sorts of great industries, observing and improving the customer service in all sorts of contexts. If you’ll indulge me for a moment, let me take you on a voyage to witness a moment of plus-one customer service that happened far outside of the landlocked confines of my day-to-day life.

It’s on an ultra-luxury cruise line, really as close to a five star resort as you’ll find floating on the high seas, called. Seabourn Cruise Line. Imagine that you’re there one morning, and you’re in line with everyone else including a husband and wife going down the ramp for their daily excursion ashore. Now as they’re going down the ramp, the wife is putting lotion on her hand. And a just spectacularly horrible thing happens. Her wedding ring comes loose. It hits the ramp, and takes what we called in Washington DC where I grew up a “Cowboys bounce”—an unfortunate bounce in exactly the wrong direction–off the ramp and into the deep blue sea. 

She is beside herself. Her thoughtful husband tries to comfort her as best as he can. The empathetic crew tells them, “Go enjoy your time offshore. Back here on the boat, we’ll be taking care of the insurance paperwork while you’re ashore, so that you’ll just have to initial it when you come back.”

But it turns out that this is an heirloom wedding ring. So literally speaking, it is irreplaceable. 

Forbes special video supplement: Customer Service Training on Customer Service Recovery (Consultant Micah Solomon’s MAMA Method). Visit or email for more. 

The couple does head off for their day ashore; they don’t have a great time, but they make it through the day and get back to their chambers that evening, where they see the little red light blinking on the phone. It’s a voicemail from the concierge who says, “Could we trouble you to come up to the common area when you’re ready? The captain wants to speak with you for a minute.”

So they think, “Oh, fine, he’s just going to say how sorry he is that this happened, and here’s the insurance paperwork and so forth.”

But In fact, they get there, the captain introduces himself and then hands her a box.

What do you think was in the box?

Another box.

No; maybe if I were the captain, but I like to think even I would realize this wasn’t a good time for levity. 

Rather, inside the box, as you’ve maybe guessed, was her ring.

The moment that the captain immediately called or walkie talkie to some divers that he knew were nearby. He convinced them to drop everything they had planned for that morning, go down and look around for the ring. Fortuitously, it was a clear day with calm seas. And amazingly, they were able to find the passenger’s ring.

Now if that isn’t wow customer service, I don’t know what is. And you may have been thinking that you don’t get any opportunities to do anything as dramatic in service of your customers in the context of your own organization and duties. But there are so many opportunities in every organization to help your customers in ways that you may not have been planning on doing when you woke up in the morning, whether it’s something as simple (but schedule-disrupting)as dropping everything to return a lost wallet or cell phone. 

These kind of gestures, small and large, build stories. And those stories are powerful. And managers, when one of your employees gets diverted from their regularly scheduled activities to provide plus one customer service like this that couldn’t be planned for in advance, be sure to celebrate them for it. Because this is an important part of what world-class customer service is all about.  

If you’d like a free set of powerful customer service training principles including how to deliver Wow customer service, and I’ll send them to you free, or visit my website, Contact me as well if you’re interested in personalized customer service training, customer service consulting, and customer service eLearning.


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