Create Your Own WOW Experience

Kara Powell | May 21, 2012

How can we make sure our message, product, or service creates a wow experience?

According to Michael Hyatt, author of the new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, this is one of the most important questions we can ask. As someone selected to be part of the Platform Launch Team, I received an advanced copy of Michaels new book, and I must say, Im impressed. As someone who spends a fair amount of time and energy on social media and thinking about how to turn research into the best resources possible, I was both affirmed in what FYI is doing well, as well as challenged to do even better. This book officially releases today and the great news is that anyone who buys it this week receives over $300 worth of special bonus materials, so if you’re going to buy it, do it this week!

In the first part of Platform, Michael focuses on this idea of a WOW experience. According to him (and I think hes right), the key to a WOW experience is that we must exceed the customers current expectations. In order to do that, Michael offers five questions:

1. What is the product or experience I want to create or transform into a wow?

2. How will the customer or prospect feel as a result of this experience? (In other words, what is the specific outcome you want to create?)

3. What specific expectations does the typical customer bring to this experience?

4. What does failing to meet customers expectations for this experience look like?

5. What does exceeding customers expectations for this experience look like?

One of the most memorable parts of the book is when Michael paints a picture for what it would look like to exceed customers expectations in the greeting they experience in your office lobby. The description is too long to post in full (youll have to get a copy of the book to read it yourself) but here are some of my favorite parts in describing a guests encounter with a female receptionist:

The receptionist always refers to visitors as guests. The term visitor implies someone who doesnt quite belong and whom everyone hopes leaves quickly. The term guest implies someone who is to be honored and shown hospitality.

The receptionist warmly greets the guest by name. The guest wonders, How did she know that? The receptionist extends her hand and introduces herself. She says, It is so nice to meet you [or see you again]. Were glad youve come by today! or Its so nice to see you again. The weather is a lot warmer than when you were here in March.

The receptionist asks the guest if hed care for something to drink. I have bottled water, soda, or freshly brewed Starbucks coffee, she says. If the guest says, Coffee, the receptionist asks how the guest likes it.

The guest sits down on a comfortable chair and notices a selection of the most recent edition of several popular magazines, as well as a few industry journals. In addition, there is a stack of one of our new products. A small card next to the stack invites guests to take a copy with our compliments.

Within five minutes, the person with whom the guest has an appointment steps into the lobby and warmly greets the guest. As they leave the lobby, the receptionist says, It was good to meet you, [name]. I look forward to seeing you later.

Maybe at one of your next team meetings when you have some time for big picture thinking, it would be worth it to ask these 5 questions and dream, especially about the fifth question.

As a parent, Ive also wondered what it would look like to create a sense of WOW in our family times together. A particularly fun game night in which I never glance down at my cell phone. A weekend picnic lunch in our backyard with a water fight to follow. It doesnt have to be all that elaborate or costly, but I do have to think about it ahead of time and make sure I have enough energy to be present.

So often we assume that good enough is just that good enough. What if we went for WOW in our lives, ministries, and families? What ideas do you have to create a sense of WOW in your spheres of influence?

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.

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