A Guide To Help You Delight Customers and Create Loyalty
Individuals who work in business operations or customer service have the potential to affect how people feel about a company or product. Many businesses in the sales and service industries aim to achieve customer delight. Understanding the theory of customer delight and its importance can help you implement strategies to achieve your goals.
In this article, we discuss customer delight and how it differs from customer satisfaction, and we provide examples of how a company might improve customer experience.
Focusing on customer delight can lead to happier and more loyal clients.
Customer delight differs in scope and intent from customer satisfaction by showing the customer base that the business aims to exceed expectations with thoughtful actions or offers.
In addition to creating repeat sales, the loyalty that customer delight fosters can help create brand ambassadors.
What is customer delight?
Customer delight is the feeling that a customer may get when their interaction with a service provider, brand or product exceeds expectations. This experience for the customer is an outcome that comes from one or more positive experiences. It can provide a critical metric that a company can use as a marketing point to inspire new sales and enhance its reputation in an industry. It also forms a lasting commitment on behalf of consumers to continue using a company's product or service.
Customer satisfaction vs. customer delight
Customer satisfaction and customer delight are both outcomes that measure consumer happiness and loyalty to a brand, product or service. Despite these similarities, there are some important distinctions between these two outcomes. Here are some ways customer delight differs from customer satisfaction:
Customer satisfaction results from an interaction between a company and a consumer in which the company meets the customer's expectations. Customer delight results from a person's interaction with a company, team member, product or service far exceeding expectations. For example, a customer who buys a coffee and receives a standard cup of coffee might feel customer satisfaction. A customer who receives a souvenir cup with the option for whipped cream on top might feel customer delight.
Customer levels of satisfaction can range from a low level to a high level, whereas delight far surpasses satisfaction. A customer who feels satisfaction may quickly move on from the experience. A customer experiencing delight may gain a more extreme sense of emotional connection or fulfillment that they remember.
While satisfied customers may sometimes recommend or promote a product or service, a company can expect customers who experience delight to share their experiences with friends, family and colleagues even more frequently. These word-of-mouth recommendations, social media posts and app reviews boost brand awareness and increase market reach. This personal investment creates ambassadors and endorsements on a brand's behalf.
Potential for loyalty
Customers who experience satisfaction may stay loyal to a brand or continue to look for a better experience. The emotional connection and personal investment that delighted customers feel may make them more likely to become repeat customers or even lifetime users. This increased loyalty can improve the brand reputation, revenues and public relations.
Impact on relationship
Satisfaction occurs transactionally, which means that it exists at the point of sale or at the time of interaction. Delight has the potential to make an emotional impact on a person and therefore lasts longer. Creating this joyful feeling can lead to an ongoing relationship with a customer that can continue to grow.
How to delight customers
Implementing exceptional customer service can increase the ability to delight customers. Here are five techniques to ensure customer delight:
1. Understand customers
A thorough understanding of the customer base and what they expect when they use a product or service can improve the possibility of customer delight. To better understand customers, you might:
Send out questionnaires
Speak to customers directly
You can also conduct market research to identify market competitors and their demographics and strengths for comparison.
2. Improve training
Adding additional training and professional development to improve customer service skills can increase customer delight. Service representatives can benefit from training that helps them think like a customer and act like an owner with the use of customer service empowerment to make independent decisions. This means they:
Treat customers as they want to be treated
Take ownership of their actions
Consider how those actions may affect the company
3. Provide access to support services
Ensure that customers can access support easily and frequently, with a connection to live customer service representatives if needed. Live chat functionality and chatbots are both useful methods of real-time support. Evaluate response times and customer feedback to improve the accessibility and efficacy of support services and ensure delighted customers.
4. Ensure accessibility of customer service records
Maintain a history of customer interactions in a central system and make it easily accessible to all customer service representatives. This provides a consistent level of knowledge for all service representatives for repeat customer interactions and allows them to identify effective responses. It can also help customers feel like their relationship is valuable.
5. Practice active listening with customers
Consistently using active listening skills when communicating with customers and actively soliciting feedback provides opportunities for improvements in the service delivery model. It can also help prove that the organization cares about customers' input and suggestions. The result may be a mutually delightful relationship.
Why strive toward customer delight?
Establishing customer delight as the goal of every interaction between a customer and a company provides the most beneficial outcome for both parties. People in many industries and roles strive to delight customers and users, as it helps to:
Encourage company advocacy and brand ambassadorship
Generate brand awareness
Positively impact the accuracy of financial projections
Here are some job roles and industries in which focusing on customer delight benefits the individual and company:
Marketing: Marketing campaigns that properly use the feedback and metrics related to the behaviors or feelings of delighted customers can be useful for expanding market reach and increasing sales.
Sales: Sales specialists can provide facts and figures relating to customer delight as a powerful tool of persuasion when speaking to new or potential clients or buyers.
Hospitality: Hospitality work involves extensive face-to-face interaction, so people in this profession can quickly and directly assess the needs of their customers. At that moment, they may determine the best means of delighting them with attentive and personalized service.
User experience (UX): People in user experience can provide platforms and digital products that help to cultivate a loyal and happy customer base.
Customer success: Customer success team members have a daily opportunity to delight their customers through responsiveness, thoroughness and demonstrable understanding of their customer's needs.
Customer service: Customer service representatives offer the first line of contact with a customer and have the unique opportunity to delight the customer by responding to their needs and resolving challenges. They may deliver beyond expectations to provide a memorable experience.
Operations: Operations specialists support internal groups such as sales, manufacturing and account management and can support customer delight outcomes by keeping consumer demands at the forefront of operational design.
Customer delight technique examples
Here are examples of how companies might achieve customer delight by following the five steps above:
Understanding customers example
An apparel company conducts a focus group that shows its new and existing customers are looking for more ethical ways to consume. The company determines it can achieve a higher rate of customer delight by taking measures to meet that need. Specifically, the company enacts the following practices:
Choosing more sustainable packaging
Selecting fabrics and raw materials with a lower carbon footprint
Attempting to reduce factory waste
Committing to making these changes and advertising the results boosts sales, improves the company's reputation in the industry and promotes customer loyalty.
Improving training example
After setting up a performance review standard that focuses on achieving high levels of customer delight, a furniture sales company designs a mentor program for team members. After a 12-month cycle, customer service representatives, sales agents and other customer-facing individuals who show excellence in this area become mentors for newer team members.
The company rewards high achievers through job promotions, bonuses or salary increases. This has the potential to create a workforce more capable of improving the quality of each customer's experience.
Providing customer support access example
An e-commerce company implements chatbots within a customer support app. To achieve high levels of customer delight, the company advertises its new tool. The company makes the app free to download and shows the ease of use in online ads. This helps the company attract users.
The company also invites feedback from current and potential customers by including a quick five-star rating system and a place for comments or questions within the app. This makes customers feel delighted when the company responds to their ideas.
Ensuring customer record accessibility example
A toy company develops a digital system for team members to access service records easily. Sales representatives, customer service agents and UX designers can customize their interactions and adapt how they approach customers. This increases the emotional connection that shoppers have and adds to their feeling of delight and joy when interacting with the company. Having a record of interactions also increases consumer trust and develops a policy of transparency that customers value and enjoy.
Active listening example
A sportswear company decides to create a new system to review customer feedback. To do so, it hires two new team members and assigns one person with an existing role to lead the new team. Together, they assess changes in consumer demand, review feedback and suggest policy adjustments and protocols to help the company show its commitment to providing excellent customer experiences.
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