There is a famous saying, "Companies are the new countries, and countries are the new companies." Meaning? Companies today have gone beyond providing customer satisfaction. The giants (brands) have taken responsibility to change the lives of their customers constantly. For eg: A famous chicken serving fast food joint has made its product a Christmas tradition in Japan since 50 years. Statistics show that they have at least 10 times more sales in December than they do in any other month.
However, achieving to become a tradition in a country takes a repeated and continuous exercise of delighting your customer. Customer satisfaction is usually hard to achieve since expectations from the consumers are always increasing. Today's customer satisfaction is yesterday's customer delight. However, it is laudable to see the lengths and ways a brand or a company would go to outrun their competitors and increase their customer's expectations simultaneously.
As Peter Drucker says, "Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customers get out of it."
Here is how you too can upgrade customer satisfaction to customer delight!
- Personalized messages: New brands have commenced an interesting way of communicating with their customers, i.e., by sending them personalised messages, the old-fashioned way. Brands have embraced the hand-written thank-you notes tradition, which used to be a fashion trend before the internet. This gesture really shows that you care about your customers, and have taken the time to handwrite a thank you message for your clients. However, it is understandable that it is not possible for companies to reach out to their customers by hand-written notes. There are companies like Appointo which allows personalized e-mailing to your customers, which will gain your customer's attention and will provide a better reach.
- Be responsive: Whether you are a small or a big company, irrespective of your product or service, you will always have disappointed customers. It is inevitable. This can be due to many reasons. One could be your service or product not meeting the mark, miscommunication with your customers, or unrealistic expectations from your customers. However, a simple response or even an apology can do wonders for your relationship with your customers. One only needs the powers of observation to see that, many customers are very forgiving once they feel that they have been heard. Therefore, an organization needs to be responsive to positive as well as negative statements, whether posted on social media or communicated via e-mail. Even if your customer is being unfair, it needs to be addressed. This way of communication will always keep a dialogue open making it less likely to lose the aggrieved customer.
- Interactive customer support: Every organization should have a dedicated redressal department for aggrieved customers. Provide a forum for your customers to be heard. Some customer complaints can be managed with a kind word or a quick e-mail. If you have a chance of retaining your customer with a kind word or just listening to their problem, it will be easier to manage customer complaints. This process can also benefit your company, since knowing what you are doing wrong can also give you a chance to make it right. Also, if your customer support is equipped enough to answer your client's questions and make quick decisions, even an aggrieved customer can be delighted with the experience. A popular online streaming application received a complaint from their customer as they were facing some problems while streaming some of their content. The customer support was so interactive, witty, and quick, the customer actually enjoyed speaking to the customer support executive. The customer also answered their query requiring further assistance by saying, "I wish there was!" making it a worthwhile case study.
- Reward loyalty: Your loyal customers are not only your steady customers but also your brand advocates. Therefore, it is imperative for you to keep your loyal customers happy by rewarding them. They should know that they are important to the organization, which will enhance their affection towards your product or service. It will also help your organization get a better word-of-mouth response. The best advertisement is delivered by a brand advocate. "If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful." - Jeff Bezos.
- Empathy: Many big organizations have proved to be beneficial in times of need or a crisis. They help out in their small or big way. For eg: A reputed search engine, during the pandemic, kept everyone abreast of the situation in their particular area. It gave statistics, vaccination updates, infected people, graphs, etc. Another example is of a reputed cloud-based video communications application that generously offered training sessions on how to use their application—free of cost—for companies to communicate smoothly. Empathy is remembered and cherished. Doing your bit for society, and going the extra mile will always delight your customers.
- Make an easy-to-use website: Customer satisfaction is when your customers get what they want. Customer delight is when you can deliver them what they don't even know they want. A famous saying by Steve Jobs, "Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell what they need well before they realize it themselves." One can delight their customers by just giving them an easy service. A customer's tendency to buy your product or service increases if your website is accessible and responsive. For eg: Your website can have easy to book, re-schedule appointments, which can be connected to your Google Calendar, and can be accessed via your website. An appointment booking software like Appointo, can go a long way in removing hassles for your customers while booking appointments with your organization.
- Have a robust customer feedback system: A customer feedback system is being embraced by a lot of companies, small or big. However, the trick is to review the same and help your organization get better. If a company works on a customer's feedback, they can improve their quality and make an excellent marketing pitch to tell their untapped customer base that they take their customers very seriously. This manner of communication can enhance the relationship between your customers and your company, delighting your customer on the way.
There are several ways and tricks to upgrade to a customer's delight. However, every organization has its own selling point, and the only thing an organization needs to remember is the value they add to their customers. Little things will always go a long way, rather than spending a huge amount on grand gestures. The only goal an organization should have is to "add value."
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