I got a couple emails asking for more examples of Basic to Wow customer service against which you can measure your own business.
Here's one for the simple act of greeting a customer at the front door...
Basic Customer Service: Look up from your station and say "Hello" to everyone who walks through the door.
Good Customer Service: Spice it up with a hearty welcome (and actually mean it).
Great Customer Service: Get out from behind the cashwrap. Greet the customer by name. Speak to their kids.
WOW Customer Service: Hold open the door (especially for people pushing strollers or wheel chairs). Offer to hang up their coats. Greet them like a friend. Chat casually with them, not about why they are there but what's up in their lives. Ask about the previous purchases they have made (what do you mean you don't know?). Customers love to know they have been recognized and remembered. Give them all the time they need to decompress and feel comfortable before getting to the business at hand.
Exceeding customer expectations is your goal. That's what makes people talk positively about you. Simply meet their expectations and at best you'll get a "Thanks". But when you go way beyond what they expect, they'll tell their friends about you.
WOW Customer Service exceeds their expectations every time. It is as much an attitude as a skill.
PS If your staff doesn't already have that attitude there are only two reasons. Either you aren't modeling and teaching it, or they just don't have it in them. More often than not it's the former. But don't be afraid to cut loose those who don't have it in them.