Customer Delight: The New Standard in Customer Service

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On the face of it, using “customer delight” instead of “customer satisfaction” to describe the new standard in customer service might seem like the latest fad or buzzword. However, understanding the  nuances between these phrases can be the difference between delivering a positive experience to a one-time patron and creating — and retaining — a lifelong customer.

Customer delight is the highest level of customer satisfaction that can be achieved. When used effectively, customer delight can help boost brand loyalty among your customer base, leading to ample growth opportunities. Some argue it’s more cost-effective to avoid bad service rather than provide top-tier service. There’s even an argument that the purpose of business is not to satisfy the customer, but rather to satisfy all stakeholders in the business.

Nevertheless, customer delight is a key avenue for businesses to explore, especially when aiming to foster a positive customer experience and develop long-term customer relationships.

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What is customer delight and why is it important?

Customer delight is more than just making a customer satisfied with your products or services — it occurs when the client’s expectations are exceeded. A client wants to be considered throughout the entire customer journey, not just to the end of the sale. One way to demonstrate this is by finding clever and unprompted ways to exceed customer expectations.

In catering to customers’ needs and striving to delight them, the positive experience your business provides can lead to an array of benefits, from improved brand loyalty and reduced customer churn to more opportunities for upselling and getting customer referrals.

Who is responsible for delighting customers?

All employees and managers play a part in delighting customers, although some departments are naturally positioned to have a greater impact. In particular, people-focused teams, such as customer service, sales and marketing — those trained to interact directly with customers at the forefront of your business — should ensure that each person on your customer journey is delighted, from prospective leads to actual buyers. Since these team members engage with customers regularly, they’re most in tune with customer preferences and requirements, offering valuable perspectives on the unique ways customers want to be treated.

While it’s important to prioritize customer delight, make sure you’re considering other aspects of your business as well. Collaborative efforts can keep customer delight high, but a company shouldn’t go overboard to achieve that, as free products, refunds and free services only marginally improve brand loyalty. Aim to delight your customers, but don’t get taken advantage of in the process.

What does it mean to provide delight to your customers?

There’s no one way to delight customers — knowing your customer base and their individual needs and wants will help you offer an above-and-beyond experience. In doing so, your business can establish long-term customer relationships and turn consumers into loyal brand advocates, as 93 percent of consumers stated they would likely make a repeat purchase from a company that offers excellent customer service, according to Zippia.

Businesses can provide delight to customers through various methods, such as establishing a like-minded community — whether on social media or through in-store events and gatherings — delivering instantaneous yet authentic and personalized help via support features, or by offering valuable solutions to customers’ problems based on their feedback.

Regardless of how you choose to delight customers, ensure that your tactics are relevant to your audience and will benefit them. When you successfully exceed your customer’s expectations, you can reap the benefits of customer loyalty, which in turn leads to increased sales and opportunities for growth.

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