I’m not a romantic person, but I do believe in love at first sight. At least if we’re talking about customer experience. Sometimes, a single touchpoint — a landing page, outreach email, or social media interaction — can make you fall in love with a brand.
How does this magic happen? And most importantly, how can brands keep that spark alive and ignite customer loyalty?
Short answer: it’s all about customer delight.
Let’s break down the most important aspects of delivering a delightful experience and solving customer complaints.
What is customer delight and why is it so important?
Customer delight can be defined as “exceeding customers’ expectations to create a positive customer experience with a product or brand.” In other words, it’s the process of turning strangers into prospects, prospects into loyal customers, and customers into advocates (read: true fans of your product).
What is the difference between delighting and satisfying your customers then? When your product and service meet the customer’s expectations, it is satisfaction. When you exceed them, we are talking about delight.
For example, a buyer will be satisfied to purchase what they need from a convenient online store with intuitive UX, comprehensive product info, and quick checkout. But showing a popup with personalized product suggestion or special deal will make the whole experience more likely to delight them.
The good news is that both satisfied customers and delighted ones offer a ton of business benefits, including the following:
- Higher customer spend and lifetime value: A positive customer experience will make 89% of business buyers (and 92% of consumers) more likely to purchase from you again.
- Reduced customer churn: Up to 68% of customers will leave if they think you don’t care about them.
- Customer advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing: 65% of customers believe that a positive experience is more influential than great advertising.
Yet, this doesn’t mean you should settle for satisfying your customers or being “good enough”. You know who else is good enough? Most of your competitors!
For a unique competitive advantage, strive to delight your customers whenever possible.
Five proven tactics to delight your customers
Back in 2005, Bain & Company highlighted the “delivery gap” regarding the customer experience. While 80% of companies claimed to provide a great customer experience, only 8% of customers agreed.
Now, 16 years later, many businesses still struggle to exceed their customers’ expectations. If you’re one of those businesses, here are some tactics to consider.
- Hyper-personalize every touchpoint
According to the Epsilon research, 80% of buyers are more likely to do business with a brand that offers personalized experiences, while 90% find personalization appealing. To delight your customers from your first contact, make your interactions feel personal and warm.
Even if it’s an automated email sent to hundreds of prospects, you can add personalization variables, customized images or even videos. Show that you’ve invested some effort without being creepy or intrusive.
Outside of email marketing, you can also apply personalization techniques to your website experience, be it through dynamic page content, popups, or live chat actions. For example, here’s how a dynamic landing page personalized using the prospect’s name, company, and value proposition might look.
- Engage across multiple channels
Arguably the most powerful driver for digital transformation, the global pandemic has changed the way businesses interact with customers forever. According to Gartner, it accelerated “the shift toward digital and remote buying” allowing businesses for more versatile, omnichannel interactions.
Now, you can stay in touch with your prospects throughout their journey with little to no effort using automation. Just choose the right channels then mix and match them to make each of your touchpoints meaningful and timely. Make sure to keep your messaging and experience consistent across channels, be it an email follow-up, social media touchpoint, live chat, or website popup.
- Offer genuine help
As you get to know the needs and preferences of your audience, pay extra attention to their problems and concerns. Is there a way you can make their life easier? And I’m not just talking about the prospects or customers who proactively reach out for help.
It is important to offer help and support to prospects or leads, regardless of their stage in the buyer’s journey. Helping a paying customer is one thing, but offering assistance and advice to a complete stranger is bound to exceed expectations.
For example, we’re actively contributing to relevant topics on Quora and building thought leadership on LinkedIn, while our SDR Lead has a dedicated Substack newsletter sharing pro tips and first-hand experiences on topics related to sales development.
- Act upon customer feedback
Any feedback from a customer, regardless of its tone and context, is a great way to a) identify the perceived weaknesses of your product, b) improve upon what already seems perfect and c) delight your customers by showing that you care.
So, be attentive to customer comments and reviews — whether voiced directly or indirectly. It is especially true for the complaints. React to them immediately, even if it is impossible to fix the problem right away. The least you can do is let the customers know they are heard and that you are willing to help.
It might be a good idea to create a dedicated channel within your team chat to post the incoming feature requests. Regularly review these and add the most frequent requests to the roadmap.
Following a major release, we’ve also had some feedback sessions with our long-term customers (our CEO conducted those personally) to make sure their needs were met.
- Empower your team
Make sure your team acts as a united customer delight mechanism, keeping the bar high throughout the customer journey. A single mistake can drive away half of your customers and erase all your previous efforts.
Give your team the tools and resources they need to delight your customers. But, most importantly, give them the freedom to take initiative. Going the extra mile for the customer may require your team to step away from the default customer service scripts and processes. Being empowered to do so will boost the team’s motivation as well as increase the speed and efficiency of their work.
And don’t forget to take your team’s feedback into account, too. They know firsthand what your customers expect and how to do better.
Customer delight mistakes
As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Good intentions sometimes lead to unfortunate mistakes that may ruin a positive impression of your product and brand.
Here are some things to avoid in order to keep your prospects and customers happy:
- Lie or overpromise
If there is a problem that you can’t solve immediately, listen to the customers’ complaints, offer them an alternative solution (if there is one), or offer to update them once you have a clear timeline. It is always better to own up to your mistake than to be caught lying. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful weapon that can make or break your business.
- Ignore your customers’ needs
Market research, online reviews, customer support chats, as well as direct user feedback provide inexhaustible sources of insights for those who want to skyrocket customer delight. It’s all there, you just have to listen. Use feedback as a tool for improving the quality of your product. Don’t be too lazy to improve.
- Neglect your employees
If we think about a business as a living organism, the staff would be the skeleton. They support the whole system. If one of the joints begins to slacken, everything will be compromised. An unhappy employee won’t make your customers happy.
- Try too hard
To win customer loyalty, forget the bells and whistles and focus on fixing their problems. Sometimes it is hard to find a clear line between customer delight and intrusive service. When a customer has problems with your product, they want a solution, not branded mugs and mousepads. Solving problems is what you should focus on first of all.
A happy customer equals a successful business. This axiom works regardless of your industry or product.
Yet, making your customers happy is no longer enough to stand out from the competition and claim your market share. You need to delight them.
Luckily, it’s easy to do if you know the right tactics and tools.