Go Beyond Customer Satisfaction
If you’re with a long-standing company, you probably have loads of repeat customers or customers who’ve been with you through thick and thin. You might assume it’s because you’re the best or they are pleased as punch. In reality, these customers might be sticking around out of convenience or habit or because nothing better has come along for them. That’s not the same as loyalty.
You want brand loyalty. You don’t want mere satisfaction. Every customer expects satisfaction as the lowest bar in their purchases. Loyalty, however, is earned when you exceed their expectations in a way that leaves an impression.
Look at the following data to see just how important delighting your customer is:
- Customers that are thrilled with their experience are 5-6 times more likely to give you repeat business as compared to customers who are merely satisfied.
- Long-standing customers spend roughly 2/3 more than newly-acquired customers, but they cost a tenth of what it costs to acquire, sell, and manage a new customer.
- 80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers think so.
Delighted customers are not as price-sensitive as others, which is an enormous advantage if your company tends to be on the pricier side of the industry.
- Delighted customers rave. They tell everyone they know about their great experiences. Even the quietest customers will talk about an excellent consumer experience to their friends and acquaintances.
- Long-term commitment to customer delight – as in making it part of your mission statement and company goals – boosts your brand awareness and recall. Customers are attracted to business that they KNOW are out to please them.
Learn the Keys to Customer Delight
- Personalize. Whenever possible, personalize their experience. Remember their names. Handwrite a note to follow-up a phone call or email. People love to be remembered and to hear their names. It communicates thoughtfulness. And it delights them. You will stand out in this era of automation.
- Listen. People can tell when you’re listening and when you’re not. Become a good listener. Spend 80% of your time listening to them and asking questions about them (the old 80/20 rule works!). Listening to your customers will garner you valuable information – what they want, what they need, what they like. Make note of it all, put it in your CRM, and use it to personalize the relationship.
- Save. Money is the bottom line much of the time. Customers are always up for a savings opportunity. When you offer an unexpected discount or freebie to your customers, you’re setting yourself apart from e-tailers and Big Box chains. The small cost to you on the front end pays off big-time in customer loyalty and delight.
- Phone. Stop relying solely on emails, social media blitzes, trade show meet-and-greets. Pick up the phone and make a personal connection. Be loyal to them and they’ll be loyal to you.
- Solve. Let’s face it – you have customers because they have a problem you can fix. So, fix it. As best you can, resolve problems and concerns quickly and thoroughly. We’ve all had a problem that ended up being fixed so quickly it was a non-issue, and we’re left relieved and grateful. That’s the feeling you want your customers to have about you.
- Pamper. Make them feel special at trade shows. Invite them to unwind at your booth. Have an easy conversation. Offer them a water or coffee or snack. Make it clear that they aren’t just another attendee. Make them feel valuable.
Delighting your clients isn’t difficult or costly. It just takes intentionality. It’s an integral part of customer service that solidifies your relationship. It really pays off, though, because people want to feel special. They want to be delighted. And the competition is waiting to delight them at the next booth or the next mouse click.