Think about the last time you experienced truly delightful customer service. What about the experience made it memorable? Perhaps you received a sincere compliment, or a generous discount when you weren’t expecting one. Or maybe it was something as simple as the cashier asking you how your dog was doing after his surgery that made you smile. Whatever it was, the occasion was more than a simple transaction, it was a memorable and delightful experience.
Customer delight is paramount in retaining your customer base and in acquiring new business as well. Because people don’t want to feel like they’re another number on the ledger; they want to feel appreciated. And it’s these customers who come back as repeat business.
And the best part? It’s actually less expensive to retain your existing customer base than it is to acquire new business, so going the extra mile to delight your customers is well worth your time.
The “Wow” Factor
Fostering delightful customer experiences is all about creating a “wow” factor that makes you stand out from your competitors.
For example, if you manage a coffee shop, try doing something more than handing someone their coffee and change. Go beyond what’s expected. That doesn’t mean you need to give everything away for free (you are running a business after all), but why not offer a recommendation for a new beverage you think a customer would like based on their ordering history? Or try picking up on a conversation from the previous day to demonstrate that you were listening and that you care.
Simply put, be a human. Think about what you would want if you were rushing off to a stressful meeting and needed coffee to stay sane. In other words, be what your customers need beyond what they are literally asking for.
Here’s the thing: your reputation can make or break your business. With the rise of social media & review platforms like Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter, your potential customers can easily ascertain whether or not you’re worth their time. And the majority of the reviews that you’ll see on these sites are either glowing or terrible because nobody takes the time to review a service that’s, ya know, competent.
So while appreciation for a job well done might be a lost art, this opens up a new opportunity: go out there and kick some butt, and build that reputation!
Look. People are either going to take the time to create an account to warn others of their terrible experience or they’re going to take the time to write a review because the experience they had went friggin’ above and beyond. And seriously, harsh reviews can really tarnish the identity of a business. On average, bad reviews can cost a business fully 11% of revenue and a solid 15% of customers.
So, you need to practice some reputation management by getting out ahead of negative reviews as often as you can. Troll the heck out of Yelp! and respond to negative reviews right away, acting immediately to rectify the situation and delight the customer all at the same time.
Check out these practical ways get that done:
- Respond to all reviews, negative or positive – but especially negative
- Don’t get defensive! Kindness towards negative reviews shows you truly care about the service you provide and earns you major points with anyone looking you up
- Thank the customer and invite them back
So yeah! Take customer delight online, and show the world that you’re committed to providing a great experience.
Customer Delight Is Profitable
And here’s the slam dunk. Why is customer delight so profitable?
Simple. It costs more money to get a new customer through the door than to keep the ones you already have.
Happy customers are customers who keep buying, and brand loyalty helps set you apart from every other competitor offering the same thing. These emotional connections we make with brands and with companies are strong, and are very hard to kill; it’s why I’ve been wearing Converse All Stars since the seventh grade.
Delighted customers also tend to become brand ambassadors – and that’s the biggest asset you can have. Referrals are incredibly powerful selling tools, and someone thrilled with you will tend to refer their entire network to you. That means even more high quality leads who are already warmed to your business.
So what are you waiting for, sitting there at your laptop and reading this blog instead of getting to work? You think these customers are going to delight themselves?
Well. I mean. They might.
But it’s better if you do it! So hop to it, and earn those brand ambassadors.