6 min read ⌚
Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight
Everybody wants to please the customer nowadays.
The point is – to delight him!
Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell give the full details in “Woo, Wow, and Win.”
Who Should Read “Woo, Wow, and Win”? And Why?
By its own profession, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is a thorough investigation of the “what, why and how of service design and delivery.”
Consequently, it’s a book which specifically targets the service sectors.
So, if you are in retail or banking, health care or other public services – do consult this book and try employing the strategies it offers.
About Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell
Thomas A. Stewart is the Executive Director of the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
A summa cum laude Harvard graduate, Stewart is a respected management thinker, ranked #17 in European Foundation for Management Development’s “Thinkers 50” list in 2005.
He has authored two more books: the 1997 seminal classic, “Intellectual Capital” and the 2003 “The Wealth of Knowledge.”
Patricia O’Connell is a writer and the president of Aerten Consulting.
In addition to this one, she has co-authored (with Neil Smith) one more book: “How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things.”
“Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary”
For all intents and purposes, Disney is the paragon of customer service.
And Thomas A. Stewart could only back this claim when he arrived, exhausted after a long flight, at a Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida.
He couldn’t wait to go to his casita to lie down a bit, so he was more than grateful to see how much the front-desk clerk was professional and how quickly he was able to register.
And then came the problems: in the absence of markings and employees, Thomas Stewart wandered for more than 20 minutes around the hotel in an attempt to find his room.
This had nothing to do with customer service, though – that part was excellent; however, it had everything to do with customer experience, which almost all companies neglect.
Even though it may seem like they the same thing, customer service and customer experience are pretty different; in fact, even though you’ve read hundreds of books about the former, chances are you haven’t read one about the latter.
Well, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is interested in changing that – in addition to your mindset regarding customer service and experience.
What Walt Disney World lacked in the case just described above was something Stewart and O’Connell dub “service design and delivery,” or SD2, for short.
In the words of Victor Ermoli from the Savannah College of Art and Design:
Service design is a system for developing the relationship between an entity – a bank, a law firm, a health care system, a store, a church – and its customers.
And this system starts with a simple equation:
Ahhh + Ow = Aha
An Ahhh moment is the moment your customers experience something positive enough about your company to instill in them confidence that you are going to provide them with the experience they asked for – and some more.
An Ow moment is the very opposite of an Ahhh moment, i.e., the moment when your customers realize that “something is broken.” True, they may complete the deal – and may even come back – but the bittersweet feeling guarantees that they will never recommend you.
Finally, an Aha moment is the result of your analyses of all Ahhh and Ow moments you’ve noted. An Aha moment, should be followed by an appropriate remedy, and Stewart and O’Connell believe that they have a panacea:
It’s based on ten elements and five principles.
The ten elements of SD2 form a neat mnemonic: E10!
#1. Empathy – put your customers first.
#2. Expectation – understand what you are expected to deliver and what you can realistically deliver.
#3. Emotion – never take the customer’s emotions out of the equation.
#4. Elegance – take a lesson from Steve Jobs’ book: make everything clean and simple.
#5. Engagement – include your customers in the design.
#6. Execution – Don’t be a politician: deliver on your promises.
#7. Engineering – your products and services should always demonstrate technical excellence.
#8. Economics – don’t exaggerate with your prices.
#9. Experimentation – test and innovate.
#10. Equivalence – may your customers be happy as much as you and vice versa.
The five principles of SD2 are the following:
#1. The Customer Is Always Right – Provided the Customer Is Right for You
Basically, the first principle boils down to THIS: focus on your most valuable customers. Don’t spend any of your time on retaining demanding clients.
#2. Don’t Surprise and Delight Your Customers – Just Delight Them
Surprises are fine for birthday parties; but not for customer service. Simply meet the expectations of your customer over and over again.
#3. Great Service Must Not Require Heroic Efforts on the Part of the Provider or the Customer
Your goal is to provide service which is “efficient, effective, scalable and, if not error-proof, error-resistant.” Which means: minimal effort with maximum results. Think of the intuitiveness “designed into an iPad” – that’s great service.
#4. Service Design Must Deliver a Coherent Experience Across All Channels and Touchpoints
“Wherever and however you choose to play, you must play well.” It’s pointless to have a great telephone customer service, but a bad online platform.
#5. You’re Never Done
SD2 is a cycle. Constantly check your service against its 10 elements and improve wherever possible.
Key Lessons from “Woo, Wow, and Win”
1. In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha
2. Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2
3. Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design
In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha
Your customers experience either ahhh or ow moments in relation to the products you offer.
The former are a signal of positive experience and should inspire you to improve in the same direction.
The latter indicate trouble, and you should correct the areas which have caused them.
Analyzing the ahhhs and ows results in your aha moment.
Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2
Give yourself a score on a zero-to-four scale in each of these 10 categories and see how well your service ranks on an SD2 scale: empathy, expectation, emotion, elegance, engagement, execution, engineering, economics, experimentation, equivalence.
A score about 30 means that you’re doing a good job; but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t improve until you score 4 in each of the categories.
Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design
No matter what you do, always adhere to these five principles:
#1. Focus all your energy on your most valuable customers.
#2. Delight your customers by meeting all their needs – don’t surprise them even if you think it’s for the better.
#3. Always aim for minimum effort on the part of your customers – and try to achieve this with minimum effort on the part of your employees as well.
#4. Be coherent – offer the same quality of service across all checkpoints.
#5. You’re never done: always modernize and improve.
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“Woo, Wow, and Win Quotes”
What are you doing about your customer capital? Are you growing it, or are you living off it? Are you actively managing it or letting it fend for itself, like money in a checking account? Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
“Woo, Wow, and Win” may have a somewhat silly title and an unattractive cover, but it’s actually a pretty great manual to have on hand if you are in the service sector.
To quote Steve Case, the author of “The Third Wave,” “Woo, Wow, and Win” is “a roadmap for success in a landscape being rapidly transformed by technology and entrepreneurship.”
Don’t be afraid to use it.
Learn more and more, in the speed that the world demands.