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Diary of a CEO - Part 7: Friend or Faux

My Search for How to Truly “WOW” Our Clients

8-Part Blog Series by Omar Soliman, Founder and CEO of College Hunks

Hi everyone. As always, I’m Omar Soliman, Founder and CEO of College Hunks Hauling Junk and College Hunks Moving.

For the past several weeks, we’ve been talking all about how College Hunks “WOW’s” our clients and staff. I’ve even shared my own personal “WOW” story. But, since the ultimate goal is to have the “WOW” movement extend beyond our own company (and beyond our industry, for that matter), I wanted to see what other companies are doing to surprise and delight their customers.

I found some that are really doing a great job, and some that, well, aren’t quite understanding it.

Here’s what I mean:

The ones who get it are the ones who actually live the “WOW,” just like Ignacio Torano in the example from last week’s blog.

Zappos is a great example. When you call their call center, they want to do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable. They don’t have scripts, they just talk to you like an old friend. I heard one story where a customer called in and enjoyed the conversation so much, he stayed on the line… for 8 hours!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t even like talking on the phone with people I actually know for more than 10 minutes at a time,let alone staying on the line with a call center for that long.

The point is that Zappos gets it. They aren’t just talking “at” customers, they’re talking to them. And they don’t view them as “customers,” for that matter. Instead, they look at them as friends.

On that note, there are some companies that just don’t get it, or that have tried to act like they get it, but really don’t.

Now, I’m not going to call anyone out. I mean, I guess if they’re trying, then that’s better than not trying at all. Still, I’ve been listening to friends tell me about different companies that make claims in advertisements and then fall short in their actual relationships with customers. It amounts to a lot of talk and not much walk.

At first, when I’d hear these types of stories about companies failing to “WOW,” I’d get discouraged. But, eventually, I realized that no one said this movement would be easy. If the Zappos and the College Hunks of the world continue on the right path, then at some point these other companies are going to get dragged into “WOW-ing,” whether they like it or not.

I’m convinced that, in the future, customers will demand over-the-top service. They’ll reward companies that care enough to develop a real relationship and punish the ones that only claim to. It’s already starting, and it’s only going to get better as we head into the future.