It’s Tuesday evening, I walk up to that tiny fast food place a few meters from my house. It’s a place I frequent every time I need supper but I am unable to put in some work in the kitchen.

So just like any other day, I place my order and start chatting with my shopkeeper- (His shop is right next to the fast food). He is chatty, something that used to bother me before, but somehow, I like it now. He gets one smiling after a long day.

So in his customary way, he calls me by my name and asks if I want anything. Please note, it is obvious that I am actually waiting for my chips order, but hey, he is a shopkeeper, anytime is selling time!

I answer in the negative and he proceeds to ask if am sure I don’t need a liter of coke soda – (That is one of my common purchases). Heehee, I smile and say “no thank you, I am good”, to which he proceeds and says “ok, today I will buy you the small one to drink while you’re waiting”. Right then, a customer approaches the counter and I step aside. The customer proceeds to make an M-pesa withdrawal and after confirming the monies, I hear my shopkeeper say thank you. I am taken aback and playfully cheer him for the gesture to which he informs me that he is so used to saying thank you that even when he is being served, he finds himself saying thank you.

Mmmhh…now that’s interesting, my shopkeeper is so used to saying thank you that it’s become second nature. So whilst I am wondering about this, he jolts me up by asking if I would like a Coke or Fanta. I smile and remind him I am good and he too reminds me that he is buying me a soda.

Now that makes me wonder, how do you describe wow experiences and what makes a WOW experience?

  • Is a free 500ml soda from my shopkeeper a WOW experience?
  • Is my shopkeeper’s mastery of saying thank you to every customer a WOW experience?
  • Is my shopkeeper’s constant greeting and calling me by my name definition of a WOW experience?

I can guarantee you that I am not about to shop anywhere else, and my shopkeeper is going to be in good business for a long long time. See, the secret is simple- If I buy milk and bread daily for seven days a week, it simply means that he is guaranteed of my Kshs 100 X 7 X 4= KSH 2800 per month. Now imagine if we are 50 customers, that means Kshs 2800 X 50 = Kshs 140,000 just from milk and bread. One customer, receiving daily simple WOW experiences becomes a loyal customer, making the shopkeeper happy in business.

So I ask, what does it cost to give a WOW experience and can WOW experiences contribute to an organization’s P & L?

By Loise Mboo
Head of Customer Service
Kenya Wildlife Services