How to Delight Your Customers

Does the hardest working business always win?  Nope, it’s the one customers like the most.

I’m not talking about satisfaction. A customer is satisfied if you deliver what they expected or what they paid for. A customer is delighted when you go above and beyond in ways unique to your business, ways no competitor can match. It’s when you deliver what the customer didn’t even know they wanted and needed!

Hubspot nails the difference between delight and satisfaction.

“If you want to retain customers and generate positive word-of-mouth, then it’s essential to intentionally create a delightful customer experience.”

Ken Schmidt, former Harley-Davidson Inc. executive, said at the 2022 InBusiness Expo & Conference, “When our brains release dopamine, we experience a little rush of delight. We return to it, and we seek it out until it fails to delight us.”

His talk was titled Fierce Loyalty: Dominating in a Commoditized Market.

“…We, as human beings, cannot be loyal to things.” So how do you create loyalty to a brand? First, realize it’s going to take effort. It does not happen overnight or by accident. Second, humanize it. The sooner you understand these three things about humans, the sooner you’re on your way.

  1. We seek pleasure and joy.
  2. We buy emotionally.
  3. We’re known for the company we keep, not just what we do.

If you thought referrals were powerful, wait until you see how delighted customers refer!

Companies create loyalty primarily by helping people solve their problems quickly and easily. Brand loyalty is not bought with rewards points.

  1. Resolve their issue and anticipate the next one
  2. Create low-effort experiences
  3. Eliminate dissatisfaction
  4. Be unexpected!

Everyone refers to Chik-Fil-A employees saying “My Pleasure” after every interaction with a customer. That’s a great start, but would they be successful with sub-par chicken nuggets? No. 

Patagonia delights its outdoor-loving customers with environmental support. Their program Worn Wear extends the mission of sustainability by providing a platform to buy or trade in used Patagonia gear.  

Woodchuck USA plants a tree for every purchase through their Buy One, Plant One program. They send you a code to see where your tree was planted through their “Find Your Tree” function.

Have you ever purchased something from Etsy and enjoyed a personalized, handwritten thank you card from the seller? It’s the best! Followed only by a discount on your next purchase. 

If your business has dressing rooms, could you start with great lighting and a comfortable seating area like Anthropologie? Someone recently described their experience changing in the Des Moines, IA store like ‘walking into a lovely living room, it felt like home.’ Now that’s delight!

Delighted customers become promoters. Delighted customers spend more. Delighted customers can help protect your reputation. 

Start providing delight by asking the questions your dominant competitors have already answered: “What are people saying about us? What do we want them to say? What are we doing to get them to say it?”

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