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The difference between outstanding customer service and wow customer service

What is the Difference Between Outstanding Customer Service and WOW Customer Service?

When a company approaches us about customer service training programs, one of the first questions we ask is, “What are you hoping to achieve with the training?” We know, of course, that the ultimate goal is to improve the experience they provide to their customers, but the more clarity we have around that, the better a program we can develop.

One of the most common responses we get to that question is, “We want to raise the level of our customer service – to create WOW customer experiences.” On the whole, it is a great answer. Unfortunately, though, most people struggle with the follow-up question: “What exactly is a WOW experience for your organization?”

The struggle is natural. Companies looking at training know the importance of continuous improvement in customer service. But most haven’t clearly defined what that outcome should look like. The challenge, of course, is that, without clearly defined outcomes, it’s impossible to create effective training.

It’s the rule of the sharpshooter“You can’t hit what you can’t aim for.”

There are some very effective approaches to creating clarity of purpose for customer service training, but the first step is to understand the difference between Outstanding customer service and WOW customer service. (You can find the definition of customer service types here.)

The best definition of WOW customer experience

The best definition of  Wow customer experience I know is:

An experience that a customer is likely to share with  family,  friends and social media connections.

The reason I refer to it as the “best” definition, is that it is both clear and actionable. It takes the concept of WOW beyond vague terminology, and  provides real parameters that organizations can target in training, coaching and onboarding. It is a foundation for defining what WOW experiences look like, and what skills, behaviours and mindsets can achieve them.

Wow customer experiences are notable and powerful because of uniqueness and memorability. When you have clearly defined them, you can begin to effectively reproduce them.

In 2016, The Belding Group’s landmark Science of WOW research helped to provide clear and meaningful strategies for companies looking to create WOW customer experiences. You can find this here.

“Complacency is the enemy. There is no end to this journey you have begun. The moment that you convince yourself you have arrived is the exact same moment that you begin the insidious descent to mediocrity. Be as vigilant with your customers as you would your dearest friend.”

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Internal Customer Service Training

Internal customer service training

Outstanding Training Courses that will:


  • Employee engagement, enjoyment and retention
  • Collaboration, team alignment, workflow and efficiency


  • Communication errors
  • Workplace stress
  • Workplace conflict
  • Employee turnover

Learn more about Belding Training’s globally-acclaimed Internal Customer Service training