Use the “Wow Gift” to Change Your Customer’s Outlook

There are a few reasons why you want to go out of your way in a customer service environment to “turn around” unsatisfied customers. Remember that only a fraction of your customer base uses conventional customer service. When customers are mad/disappointed/confused enough to contact you and air their grievances, chances are they’re also likely to share their bad experience with others. A customer service truism is that bad news travels much faster and farther than good news. And in a world of permanent chat forums where bad feedback is there—forever—for prospective customers to see, your business needs to be especially alert to disgruntled customers.

Enter the concept of the “Wow Gift.” The Wow Gift is some sort of freebie offered to disgruntled customers that represents your best weapon for turning a mad customer into a glad customer. The secret is in the degree of the freebie. The trick is to offer a gift that significantly outstrips the perceived grievance, to the point the pleasantly surprised customer says, “Wow!”

Offering a gift does several things, the benefits of which FAR outweigh the actual cost to you of the gift. The Wow Gift is: a) a proactive gesture that shows a forward-thinking, engaged service approach; b) a clear acknowledgment of and restitution for your customer’s perceived pain and inconvenience; and c) a way to turn lead into gold, so to speak, and to turn a negative experience not just into a neutral experience, but into a positive one. So instead of complaining to friends, family, or the world, customers will be bragging about you.

What is the Wow Gift? Naturally it depends on your business, what goods or services the customer has purchased, and the severity of the perceived grievance. Here’s a list of freebies to consider:

• Discount on the present purchase
• Discount on a future purchase
• Offering one or more months of subscription-type service at no charge
• Offering free products
• Making the present purchase free of charge
• Adding to the quantity of the present purchase
• Free upgrades of products or services, present or future

Remember, the goal is to overcompensate, to offer a gift that has a “Wow” factor in relation to the customer service issue. By using the Wow Gift, you will completely undermine the customer’s position. In fact, a natural reaction for the customer is a gentle rejection of the gift: “Well, I never expected THAT.” That’s when you know you’ve won the customer over.

Have any other tips for defusing angry situations and getting customers back to your side? Let us know!


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