Customers desire excellent service and great quality products. That motivation is as old as time. However, the ease with which customers can choose where to spend their money has changed. Thanks to the internet, the choice of where you shop has never been greater.
To compete in this changing business landscape, retailers must focus on providing a great customer service experience. If they can’t offer a service that is as good as their competition, they risk losing their customers. The most successful companies go the extra mile and try to provide customer delight.
What Is Customer Delight?
You might be scratching your head at the concept of customer delight.
But I’m quite sure that in your everyday life, you’ve encountered businesses that have delighted you. It might be the pizza parlor around the corner that always puts in an extra slice or a free soda with your order.
It might be that small craft store where you get a personalized keychain with your name engraved in it. Or it could be your ISP that has a very responsive customer service desk.
Customer delight is not complicated. We can define it as the process of consistently exceeding customer expectations to the point that your customers associate your brand with a positive experience.
This process is not just the marketing or sales teams’ job – it involves everyone who’s a part of the process. It covers the IT Team builds and maintains your website, the people who deliver products to customers’ doorsteps, to contact center agents who deal with customer complaints. In other words, customer delight is something that should run in your company’s DNA.
Studies show that acquiring a new customer is five times costlier than retaining a current one. Putting customer delight at the center of your business model will help you keep your current customers and increase their customer lifetime value, making it easier for you to attract new ones.
After all, word of mouth spreads rather easily. If your customers are delighted with your service, they will let others know.
The Difference Between Customer Delight & Customer Satisfaction
At first glance, customer satisfaction and customer delight sound similar. They involve making the customer happy with your business.
However, there is a difference between the two. Customer satisfaction stops at meeting customer expectations – you give them their money’s worth, deliver the products on time and in good condition, and offer reasonable support.
In contrast, customer delight is surprising your customers by giving them more than what they paid for – like good customer service, faster delivery, an extra layer of bubble wrap in the packaging, and perhaps something extra that goes with your product.
Satisfied customers are happy with their purchase, but they won’t necessarily recommend your business to others. Delighted customers are those who become loyal to your business, buy from you repeatedly, and are likely to endorse you to others.
Don’t get me wrong. Customer satisfaction and customer delight are not mutually exclusive. Before you delight your customers, you need to satisfy them first.
If your customers are already used to a high standard of service, you can only imagine how they’ll react once you surpass that level. And that’s a real challenge in customer delight.
4 Pocket-friendly Ways to Delight, Your Customers
The idea of omnichannel customer experience is to provide a consistent level of service across the customer journey. That might begin with a customer visiting your website to read a blog post and end with the product that they bought arriving on time to their doorstep.
Providing an exceptional omnichannel customer experience is difficult. In this section, we’ll share four things you can do to improve your company’s customer experience so you can achieve customer delight. Let’s dive in.
Timely responses to inquiries
Have you ever tried looking for something on Amazon, messaging a seller, then not getting an immediate reply? Nothing stops us from looking for another option if a seller is not responsive to an inquiry.
Responding quickly to customer inquiries can help increase sales and improve your reputation. While you cannot possibly stay online 24/7 to respond to every customer message, you could use a chatbot on your website or social media page to answer common user questions.
As a customer, I would like to know that my question is taken seriously. Even though it might be made through a chatbot, a well-crafted message assures customers that their questions will be answered.
But, the hustle doesn’t end here. Responding to the question is the real deal. It is very easy to set up a chatbot. But actually, caring about customer queries and responding to each message takes patience, but it’s important.
The example above, from WPX Hosting, a company that I’ve had personal experience with, reveals how great customer service can result in customer delight. The reward of prompt, knowledgeable answers by customer service representatives is the loyalty of happy customers.
Offer random acts of kindness
If you’ve ever gone to your local coffee shop and gotten a free cookie to go with your latte, you’ve just witnessed the value of random kindness. We’ll let you in on a little secret, though:
The barista probably gave you that cookie because they knew that little things improve customer loyalty.
Kindness is a quality people remember.
There are so many ways you can show kindness to deliver customer delight. For example, surprise your customers with no cost delivery someday and give them a cashback of the delivery amount.
Include local business coupons that customers can use with your package – may be a free health checkup or a free coffee in the nearby cafe. Many businesses send handwritten Thank You notes. It’s a nice touch, especially when the message is unexpected.
Even a simple Birthday or Anniversary email can do the job. All you have to do is set up recurring emails in your system, and it will automatically shoot emails to the relevant people on their special day. You can spice things up with a special discount!
And that brings us to our next segment.
Provide personalized offers
Your customers are bombarded with generic content all the time. An average office worker receives as many as 122 emails a day. If you want your emails to get noticed, your email marketing will need to be memorable.
Using your customers’ names on your subject lines is a good start. However, if you keep promoting products that are not relevant to them, you might risk losing them to your competitors. Instead of sending generic emails every day, send personalized offers to your customers. You could take your cue from their purchase history or the pages or products they view whenever they visit your site.
Have a hard look at the things they have put in the cart but never purchased. Offer 10% off to push the purchase forward. A simple email telling “we want to clear your cart – here’s 10% off” can do the job.
Here’s an interesting idea. If your eCommerce store has a Wishlist feature, this can be real gold. Take a close look at what people add to their wishlist and never make a purchase. Make their wish true with a discount at the right time.
Personalized offers send the signal that you care about your customers’ preferences and are willing to do whatever it takes to delight them.
Besides using email to send personalized offers, you can do much more with emails. You can send useful content to add value to your customers’ products. If you’ve taken up fishing as a hobby and bought some equipment, you would appreciate it if a brand shared tips about the best fishing spots in your area. Or simply, how to improve your chances of catching a fish.
Many brands share customer experiences on social media. They repost their customers’ pictures with the product with the world. Take a look at this Instagram post from Lenskart – An eyewear brand.
The brand tagged the customer and shared his picture on their profile. The customer was probably delighted since he got all the exposure, and it cost the brand nothing.
5 Tips On Customer Delight
Customer delight is both an action and a mindset. I can suggest a thousand ways to delight your customers, but they will be ineffective as long your business doesn’t adopt a proper customer delight attitude.
Here are some tips you could use to make customer delight part of your business identity.
Listen to the customers’ voice
Attempting to reach a state of customer delight could feel a lot like flying blind. However, you won’t know what delights your customers if you don’t start asking them about their things and what they don’t like.
Remember, aim to make your customers delighted with your business, not the other way around. Incorporating customer feedback into your strategy will result in a truly delightful experience for anyone who comes into contact with your business.
Be flexible but coherent
Customer experience is in a constant state of flux; what works now might not necessarily work tomorrow. For instance, hardly anyone could predict the pandemic’s effects at the start of the year, yet a lot has changed with the way we do business.
Always come up with something that adds a benefit to the customer experience. If you see something is not working, drop or adapt the idea and try a new one. It is important to evolve your practices. For example, offering printed discount coupons may not be as effective now due to the pandemic. So, offer an online discount instead.
Try to be innovative
If you provide the same things as your competitors, you might ultimately lose out to the company that offers the lowest prices. To become your customers’ top choice, give something different.
Providing an unexpected present or gift to your customers is a surefire way to impress them. You can link presents to the average order value of a customer. Banks and large institutions have taken this approach to reward their most loyal high-value customers. You can do the same on a smaller scale.
Enable engagement with your brand
Customers no longer expect one-way communication from your brand. Social media has provided companies a new way to engage with customers. Popular forms of customer engagement include contests and quizzes, raffles, and featuring customer-submitted content on your site with their permission.
Whenever your fans see their content on your site, they will share that content with others in their circle. It’s a nice way to engage with your audience and can result in customer delight.
Building social proof can be time-consuming, but it’s always worth it when it comes to increasing engagement with your brand and driving sales. Using an all-in-one platform for eCommerce videos or other content can save much of your time.
Treat your staff like you treat your customers
If your employees are happy with the way they are treated at work, they will be more likely to engage positively with your customers. Moreover, many customers are conscious about the labor conditions at the businesses they patronize, and those labor conditions impact their purchasing choices.
Creating a customer delight culture at work could involve weekly meetings where you celebrate team members who have gone the extra mile in delighting their customers. This will reinforce the belief that if your employees make their customers happy, their leaders will also reward them.
Delighting your customers should be the cornerstone of your business strategy. Without a customer-centric business model, your brand risks losing business to competitors who are ready to go the extra mile to delight their customers.
Customer delight involves trying new things that could make your customers say, “Wow!”. Being flexible with your business approach and being open to change and feedback will help transform your business into one that delights its customers and keeps them coming back for more happiness.