South Florida Hospital News
Monday May 25, 2020

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November 2014 - Volume 11 - Issue 5



Mark Kent's Book Explains 'Wow Moments'

When was the last time you had a "Wow Moment"? You know, when something happened that was so much better than you expected, that you just smiled and said "Wow"? That is the premise of Mark Kent's book entitled Wow Moments.
As Kent describes it, a Wow Moment is "what you create in order to have a really engaged workforce or engaged customers." He gave an example about his experience at Starbucks: "I go to Starbucks every day. I go in and I have an expectation, in my book I call it a 'service basic' – it's what we basically expect when we engage with a brand. So at Starbucks I expect the facilities are going to be clean and orderly, I'm going to the counter and the person is going to be nice and courteous, they're going to take my order, give me the correct change, my drink is going to be put there correctly, I'm either going to sit and enjoy it or I'm going to walk out with it, and everything's fine. That's a service basic, because I expect that to happen."
But what happened to Kent at Starbucks created a Wow Moment – one that is beyond the service basic. He said the person behind the counter engaged him in small talk, then began to ask questions conversationally, not probing. "The first time she says, 'I'm a big foodie, I like restaurants.' She did this very naturally. And I said, 'You know I'm a foodie, too.' So the next day when I go in, she's clipped out restaurant reviews, and she says, 'I know you're a foodie, I've tried these restaurants, have you?' She's gone above and beyond by taking the time to clip reviews out of the newspaper."
As Kent continued to go there, he realized his drink was being prepared while he was in line, and as he went to pay, his drink was already there. "She's gotten to know me as a customer, and I'm now in a Wow Moment. Over a period of time, I moved away, but I'm attached to that Starbucks and to her. It created an engaging environment that I'm willing to go seven miles out of my way for."
He said as part of its training, Starbucks wants to engage you in more of an experience. "They've done a great job of mapping out what that experience should be, and that's what my book gets into. It's not by chance that you create this – either in your personal relationships or in your business."
With a 20-year background in health care, Kent is currently regional president of all Humana-owned, Florida-based primary care practices, including CAC-Florida, MetCare, and Continucare – comprising 58 medical centers across the state. It's a $1.2 billion organization with 2,000 employees and more than 200 physicians.
How has Kent applied Wow Moments to Humana? "It's a member experience," he said. "For the medical centers across the state, it begins with mapping what I call the touch points, and then deciding what the service basic should be for every point where we touch a patient, or a member – and what a Wow Moment might be."
He said it can't be scripted because everyone is different. "You don't want to be so specific that there's no sincerity into it. You have to map them out for your own business. So, for instance, when someone walks into one of my medical centers, they expect to be greeted, they expect you to smile, they expect the waiting area to be clean. But a Wow Moment happens when they maybe recognize that the patient has been there for a while, and they acknowledge, 'I realize, Mr. Kent, that your appointment was for 8:00 and it's 8:15. The doctor is running a little behind. What can I get you while you're waiting?' That begins to make people feel you authentically care about them. You may get somebody a coffee, or in certain of our centers we'll say, 'There's a seminar in our wellness center. Why don't you go over and when the doctor's ready I'll come and get you.'
"You have to enable and empower your employees and associates to think about it, think about what they would like to have happen to them in that same scenario.
"No matter what your industry is, it all starts with focusing on the other person, your customer, your associates. It starts with mapping those touch points, understanding what customer service expectations are, and designing your Wow Moment. And then hiring associates who are able to deliver."
For more information, visit or purchase the Wow Moments book via Amazon.
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