All industries stress “customer satisfaction” as an essential element for the ongoing success of their business, but is that enough?
When we are in a highly competitive business, or one that is going through tough financial times, customer satisfaction simply isn’t good enough. We need our customers to be “delighted” with what we do for them, not just satisfied that our service, product or advice met expectations.
Customer delight can differentiate us from other service providers. But how can we tell the difference? Here are some differences between satisfied customers and those who are delighted.
Satisfied customers experience
- Their invoice question was addressed to their preference after they pointed out your error.
- Supplies usually arrive to them on time.
- Services are provided with a smile, their questions are answered, and any extra work requested is done willingly.
- The office area is clean, regularly mopped, and doesn’t smell like a boarding kennel, dairy or feedlot.
- Shelves stocked with supplies are neatly arranged, priced accurately and rotated by expiration date.
Delighted customers experience
- Errors on invoices are extremely rare, but when they do happen you make sure that the solution is immediate, apologetic and specific.
- Supplies are always delivered on time, there are never any incorrect products in the delivery, the counts of the items are always exact and there is no question as to the quality and viability of the products.
- They never hear any negative comment from any staff member about coworkers, vendors or anyone in the neighborhood.
- Office staff are fully versed in the use of each product available, how they compare to other products, and they can give personal accounts of a customer that found the product useful in their operation with some data or specifics to add credibility.
- They don’t have just one person in the company that they trust to give them good information.
- Everyone in the company knows them if they visit the office, and they are never disappointed in the service they receive, regardless of who in the company provided it.
- The office area smells recently sanitized or disinfected, yet still fresh and welcoming.
- Vet packs and cabs on trucks are organized and efficient, very clean, no visible trash, products are clearly marked and customers have confidence that everything on the truck is sanitary and current.
- They cannot think of anything they can criticize in your services, strategy, business philosophy, staff interactions or company culture.
Strategies to get there
Achieving a customer delight level of service may require some adjustments in how you and your staff perceive and interact with clientele. Your people will need to know what you mean by this new terminology, so clearly defining expectations is essential. Start with your own examples of how you can go from satisfaction to delight so they have a clear understanding of the defining traits and your objectives. Have them share examples of how they delighted a customer through their service, solutions, product knowledge or compassion.
You can also create customer delight as a part of your company brand. Here are three ideas:
- Post pictures of delighted kids with their 4-H project, kitten, puppy, or similar on Facebook. Everyone smiles when they see an elated child with their puppy or kitten.
- Take pictures of your customers who are delighted with a recent service, at their location, in their work clothes, perhaps with some of your staff and include a quote about their delight. Post those pictures in your office area, on a monitor that walk-ins can see, on your website and on your Facebook page.
- Run ads and promotions in your local paper that highlight your emphasis on customer delight.
Remember that the most successful companies have learned over the years that a customer complaint is one of the best ways to build trust, loyalty and delight from their customers. They see it as a way to exhibit their core values to customers and convert a disappointed customer to a key advocate. Never miss an opportunity to turn a dissatisfied customer into a raving fan.