A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pair of red stiletto shoes on the web. I received them the next day (free delivery of course). They didn’t fit quite right so I decided to send them back. The return instructions were in the box. I got online, printed a pre-paid return label & dropped them off at a UPS outlet. Two days later, I got an e-mail confirming receipt of the return and crediting my charge card. During this same period of time, I had ordered another pair. Again, they were delivered the next day. They were a perfect fit. The whole shopping experience was W.O.W. I will use this web store again and will also recommend it to my friends.
On the other hand, last night I stopped by a store to pick up a few things. Seems like everything was lined up for a W.O.W. experience. I promptly found the products I needed, they were priced appropriately and there was no one in the checkout line. But as I approached the cashier, the scowl on her face was enough to trigger the music from JAWS to start playing in the back of mymind (dun-dun dun-dun dun-dun). She provided a fast efficient transaction but her unpleasant disposition turned a possible WOW into an OW. I don’t think I’ll stop by there again.
So what does all this have to do with Six Sigma? Everything. Improving processes and bringing value to the bottom line is really good stuff. But let’s not forget that being Six Sigma also means figuring out how to make your customers feel like it is all about them. Only then will your Six Sigma GPS help you find a way to “Walk on the W.O.W. Side.”