A few years back the idea of “customer delight” became a popular theme in customer service and marketing discussions. The idea was that when a business went the extra yard to “delight” people, it would make true believers out of these individuals and create customers for life (or, at least, for a good long time).
Like all things that go through the hype cycle, the idea of customer delight eventually headed downhill into what some might call the trough of disillusionment. These days it’s not difficult to find opinion pieces suggesting that businesses don’t have to go all out to please customers. This thinking suggests that simply providing what customers expect is good enough and doesn’t needlessly waste resources.
“The ugly truth is that beyond meeting customer expectations, delighting customers has a minimal impact on loyalty,” this February piece by Comm100 posits. “In fact, customers are more likely to punish a company for poor service than they are willing to patronize a business because of exceptional service.”
Nonetheless, some organizations today are pushing to delight customers. And some are actually doing it.
But whether customers end up being delighted or just satisfied with a company, product, or service, there are several things businesses ought to consider to retain customers and keep operations moving in the right direction.
The first is delivering well-designed products and services that meet customer needs and are as easy as possible for customers to use. That way customers are likely to keep doing business with the organization. They won’t become frustrated with your company as frequently, and consume resources without building business revenues for your organization. And life will generally be more agreeable (although not necessarily delightful) for all involved.
Thanking customers for their business at every touchpoint – and offering to help whenever needed it – also goes a long way toward customer satisfaction. Offering customers an array of options through which to access information and individuals to buy products and find answers is also becoming table stakes for businesses. So investing in an omnichannel strategy is often worthwhile.
So is creating a knowledgeable support team, offering self-service options, and responding to people who share their questions and concerns via social media. Enthusiasm and positivity are also a plus as well. And some argue that customers want more personalized offers and products. New artificial intelligence-based solutions and predictive analytics systems can allow for that.