Great customer experiences are not built in a day. It is crafted with deep planning and delivered mindfully. There is no one for all approach to customer experience. Businesses who have mastered the art of how to delight customers portray great examples for other brands.
Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%.
The differentiation of the experiences you offer is unique to your business strategy, brand, and knowledge of your customers. Customers are ready to pay more for a better experience, better quality.
Experiencing a wow moment can undoubtedly change the mood and perception of the customers and elevate the customer delight experience. This can significantly help to build long term loyalty and trust in your brand.
What is customer delight?
Customer delight is defined as going above or beyond meeting customer expectations and providing a positive experience with your brand, products, or services. Delighting your customers is all about establishing an emotional bond between brand and buyer.
Customer delight index is a metric to find out how satisfied the client is with the product or service you have provided. It can be measured with customer satisfaction metrics such as NPS or CSAT.
Why delighting your customers is important?
Nothing is more impressive than going the extra mile to give a customer something that they weren’t anticipating from you. It’s like giving them unexpected delightful customer service.
Delighting customers is not just meeting their needs at the moment. It is more about building authentic relationships that stand the test of time. Businesses online fairs or events should adopt tools and processes to deliver a delightful customer service experience.
There are companies who turn dials in multiple ways to delight customers. Here are key reasons why customer delight is vital for businesses.
Reduce customer churn
When you understand your customer needs and delight them with exceptional customer service, it encourages customers to retain with your brand thus, reducing customer churn rate significantly.
Increase customer lifetime value (CLTV)
If your service is below average, customers will defect to competitors even if your product is above average. Offering high-end customer service is an investment to your business as it increases the lifetime value of the customers.
Boost customer loyalty
When you walk wearing your customer’s shoes and offer a service that impresses them, it cultivates loyalty. You can gain your customer’s confidence and they will advocate your brand with positive word of mouth.
How to delight your customers: 8 actionable strategies (with examples)
Delivering excellent customer care and proactive customer support make clients feel valued. It is all about knowing what your customers’ expectations are and offering the best of your ability. So, let us discuss some of the best strategies to help you in retaining your existing customers, delighting them, and making them your brand ambassadors.
1. Provide real time support
Have you ever thought about how your customers feel about wait time in a phone queue?
Does it really have any worth when you say to them “your call is important to us”?
A survey by American Express found that the maximum amount of time customers are willing to wait is 13 minutes.
Businesses can align your customer’s expectations with reality by deploying new technology to provide real time support to your customers. Great customer experience can be achieved by using live chat software and live engagement tools that boost customer satisfaction rates.
Live chat is the most preferred channel over other communication channels such as phone and email. The real time support it delivers to customers makes it popular. “79% of customers say they prefer to live chat because of the immediacy it offers compared to other channels.”
- Live chat instantly connects with your customers and assists them in real time.
- You can trigger proactive chat messages to guide customers in their buying journey and improve their experience.
You can engage your customers in real time by using live customer engagement such as co-browsing, video & voice chat. These tools allow customers to communicate within minimal wait time and delight your customers.
Here is how to delight customers by using visual engagement tools?
- Video chat allows us to identify the issue faster and deliver effective solutions, which reduces the number of touchpoints and increases customer satisfaction.
- Co-browsing solution allows you to collaborate with customers and guide them to complete a complex form fillup or application process.
- Having direct personalized conversations develops trust in customers and delivers a delightful customer support experience.
2. Deliver consistent omni-channel customer service
Customers expect excellent consistent experiences across multiple channels as they use them to reach out to you or make a single purchase. And when the experience is not consistent they get frustrated and prefer switching to another brand. 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day.
Businesses should go omnichannel to make sure that the service is consistent across all the channels such as website, social media, phone, in-app, stores, etc. It means the social support over Facebook messenger should be equally convinced with your quality of website support and result in customer happiness.
How to delight customers by adopting an omni channel strategy?
- Streamline all the customer conversations under one platform and provide a cohesive experience.
- Identify the most preferred channels and be 24×7 active across those channels to reduce average response time.
- Make use of tools like live chat, chatbots, visual tools to gain faster details of the issue and deliver first contact resolution.
Customer delight example – Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the biggest known brands following consistent omni-channel service to its customers. The bank allows for everything from depositing checks to scheduling an appointment to be handled by the company’s mobile and desktop apps.
3. Empower your team to delight your customers
Why empowering the customer service team is a pillar of a delightful customer experience?
Empowering support teams means you give them the authority to take independent decisions to impress your customers. It also requires your employees to be well trained to identify and act on opportunities to deliver excellent service and change customer perception which, in turn, makes customers happy.
How does an empowering support team act as a customer delight program?
- Freedom of decision making – The employees hold the complete authority to handle customer’s queries independently. It is their responsibility to amaze them by meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
- Perform as a team – Empowering your team allows them to perform together to take a move to deliver superior customer service that surpasses the customer delight index.
- Employees feedback – The feedback from employees are directly aligned with the company’s objective. The mission of the company and the opinion of your team are linked that makes them valued.
Giving employees ownership for their own work will result in improvements in motivation, customer service, and morale, but also to improvements in quality, productivity, and quick decision-making.
The best example of empowerment of the customer service team – Ritz Carlton Hotels
The Ritz-Carlton Group believes in ‘the key to making customer service visionary is team engagement.’
Ritz-Carlton focused on customer service and gave its employees the authority to spend up to $2,000 per day to delight their guests with their service. You can structure and incentivize your team so that your employees can work independently to resolve customer queries keeping themselves on their feet.
Empower your customer service reps by measuring the feedback collected and total resolved queries that were assigned to deliver great customer service success.
4. Analyze customer feedback
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”
Customer feedback is crucial for the growth of all businesses. It provides valuable insights into what is working well about your products or services and what should be done to make the experience better.
You as a business need to ask for customer feedback at the right time to acquire actionable feedback. You can acquire feedback just after the end of the live chat conversation, after a successful checkout, or after the resolution of a support ticket.
How analyzing customer feedback is a vital part of customer delight programs?
Analyzing feedback involves identifying customer needs and frustrations of customers so that businesses can improve customer satisfaction and reduce churn. Feedback analysis needs to be done wisely by following the below steps.
- Categorize all feedback into categories – The feedback may include product delivery speed, after-sales services, customer service approach, etc. Once categorized you can divide further that deserves immediate attention.
- Identify the nature of the feedback – Customer feedback comes with negative and positive comments. The positive ones bring in concrete ideas on what can be extremely effective in building customer loyalty. On the other hand, the negative ones provide insights on improvement areas.
- Consolidate results and plan your next move – Finally, amalgamate all the results to make a plan of action as to how you intend to respond to each of the issues raised. Make a feasible and effective plan that would address all the problems your clients think your business is having while keeping the good services still functioning.
Note: You need to train your customer support team to ask feedback at the right time via the right channels and by tailoring feedback questionnaires.
5. Personalize your communication
The power of personalization is no secret to marketers today.
A personalized customer communication strategy is sure to meet the customer delight index. 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
Today’s customers expect business interactions to be customized to their needs and preferences. Personalization is all about understanding your customer behavior and tailor your messaging to align both of them perfectly.
By using the right technology, you can collect customer data and turn it into actionable insights to personalize your customer interactions and provide unique messaging to every client regardless of their preference of channels.
Here are some ways to personalize your interactions to meet the customer delight index.
- Use a tone that matches your customer personality. Some prefer short and direct communications and some like longer conversations and sharing opinions.
- Listen to your customers and empower them. Asking your customers about their preferences both personalizes the experience and builds their confidence in your brand.
- Understanding your customers’ backgrounds by having authentic conversations helps to personalize every relationship.
- Make kind gestures by sending follow-up messages to customers after each purchase or service interaction to thank them and offer further assistance if required.
- Recommend products and services to your customers based on their purchase history. Personalized cart recommendations influence 92% of shoppers online.
6. Empower your customers with communities
Customers love to be part of a community or group. Building communities that benefit customers create a positive feeling and improve your brand image. Communities can be used as a resource for sharing useful information related to products and services.
Branded communities are 13% more likely to have an impact on customer experience than social media communities.
When you foster a special place for customers to interact with one another, your business is adding extra value to the customer experience both before and after the purchase. Generally, customers trust other customers, when they intend to purchase.
So, the sponsored community forum can be used to help to guide in their buying decisions.
Case to the point: Southwest Airlines
With the purpose of holding up a growing business, Southwest Airlines has invested in an owned, online community as a place for customers to share stories, exchange knowledge, and find inspiration from other members.
The corporate blog launched by Southwest Airlines gives the customers behind the scenes look at Southwest’s involvement in the communities we serve, information on products and services.
The discussion forum’s taxonomy is aligned to common support inquiries, including boarding, check-in, general travel policies, international travel, rewards program, travel assistance for customers with disabilities.
7. Do not under promise and over deliver
As defined by McGraw-Hill, “under promise and over deliver” is part of the customer delight program in which service providers strive for excellent customer service and satisfaction by doing more than they say they will for the customer or exceeding customer expectations.
Don’t make a promise you can’t keep and keep the ones you make.
Over delivering on customer expectations would raise customer satisfaction and be good for business. It develops trust and loyalty in customers and stays associated with your brand for a lifetime.
To keep customers highly satisfied, you must continue to deliver more value because their expectations will keep increasing.
Note: If you set the tone from the start of under-promising and over-delivering, then your customer is going to expect that same experience of getting more than promised with every interaction. You are setting yourself up to fail and for your customer to be disappointed. A better method might be to deliver on your promises.
8. Listen actively to delight your customers
A happy customer is more than a satisfied customer, it’s a retained customer. On the other hand, an unsatisfied customer whom you fail to listen to becomes frustrated and starts exploring your competitors.
If you do listen to them, you can start improving the experience for all your customers and, as a bonus, you can deliver them a delightful customer support experience. By listening to customers, you keep the finger on the pulse of your business.
How listening to customers helps in meeting customer delight indexes?
- Understand your customer needs, expectations, and pain points and align your service to match accordingly to impress them.
- Welcome your customer complaints and feedback and adopt the right tools/process to deliver a better experience.
Actively listening to customers allows you to use the right empathy statements for customer service and deliver a delightful experience.
Stop trying to delight your customers
“To win customer loyalty, forget the bells and whistles and just fix their problems”.
The role of motivational customer service can never be discounted as businesses create loyal customers mainly by resolving their issues faster. Customers resent having to contact customer support repeatedly, to get an issue fixed, having to repeat the complete information, and switching from one channel to another.
You can reduce these efforts with the CES (Customer Effort Score) metric, which has 1 to 5 ratings, where 5 stands for the highest effort.
Final thoughts on customer delight
Customer service, no matter good or bad, has a profound effect on customers’ long-term buying behavior. How customers feel after engaging with your brand could mean the difference between a loyal customer who recommends your store to family and friends and one who shares their negative brand experience over social and never buys from you again.
If you want to be on the right side of the customer service road then get together with your team today and plan different ways on how to impress and delight customers. Following the right strategies will help to deliver a positive customer experience.