A customer of mine wanted me to write a document for her team on how important it is to provide excellent customer care. Here's what I came up with:
Delighting a customer has been defined as surprising them by exceeding their expectations and thereby creating a positive emotional reaction. When a customer experiences a positive emotional reaction, they are more likely to become repeat customers and, more importantly, will become free marketing ambassadors for your business. Relying on your products is good, but not enough to entice your customers into becoming loyal brand ambassadors. Delighting your customers by creating a positive emotional reaction leads directly to word of mouth marketing, directly increases sales and profitability and is the only kind of growth for your business that can be sustained.
Keys to Delighting Your Customers
So, how do you delight a customers and exceed their expectations? There are several keys to creating a positive customer experience and consistently going above and beyond their expectations.
We’ve all heard that the most important phrase for realtors is “Location! Location! Location!” The phrase to remember in the world of customer service is “Consistency! Consistency! Consistency!” The key to creating loyal customers is providing a predictable experience. Once the experience strays from your consistent norm, that’s when customers begin to doubt your ability to meet their needs. Product quality and the service you provide should be the same each and every time your customer comes into the store. Otherwise, the customer will find another business to meet their needs.
Your employee’s attitudes and the way they greet and care for your customer should be positive and consistent in order to build a loyal customer base. You want your customers to walk away from their experience with your business telling their friends “They are always so friendly and knowledgeable. They are always so helpful.”
It’s vital that the customer receives the same delightful experience and service every time.
If customer delight is your core value, you simply cannot go wrong. Aligning all of your processes, systems, people and leadership with the core value of creating a delightful customer experience can lead to sweet success. Everyone of your customer encounters must share the same set of values, have the same positive attitudes and practices in order to create a consistently delightful customer experience.
Developing this type of customer-centric culture requires continuous innovation and improvement and must involve each employee. With clearly defined core values, they can be incorporate into each process and decision so that employees can consistently deliver a delightful experience to your customers.
Create Hero Moments:
Hero moments are when an employee or leader is able to turn a poor customer experience into one where the customer walks away thinking, “Wow! That was amazing that they did X for me! What a great business!”
Here is a great example, taken from an article entitled “The secret to delighting customers:”
On a visit to a Disney theme park, a little girl and her mother came to a fenced-off construction site. To her mother’s dismay, the little girl threw her favorite Disney doll, Belle, over the fence. When park staff retrieved the doll, it was in a sorry state, spattered with mud, dress torn, hair bedraggled. Attempts to find a replacement in the shop proved futile: Belle had been replaced by a newer model. So, the doll was taken first to a makeup artist, who washed her and styled her hair, then to the wardrobe department, which made her a new dress, and finally to a “party” with other Disney princesses, with a photographer in attendance.
Good as new, Belle was returned to her owner that evening, along with a photo album that showed what a great time she’d had during her “makeover.” Later, in a thank you letter, the girl’s mother described the moment of Belle’s return as “pure magic.”
Three Types of Customer Service Experiences:
• Satisfactory: Customer expectations are met
Customers don’t really notice your service in this case because it was what they expected.
• Delight: Customer expectations are exceeded
If the customer has 3 ordinary experiences and one delightful experience, their perceptions of your services will be heavily weighted towards delightful.
• Unsatisfactory: Service falls short of customer expectations
When the customer service falls short of your customer’s expectations, it’s the perfect moment to do something extraordinary, quickly, to convert a failed service into a delightful service. Perhaps offer something for free to “make up” for service failures. This is an example of a failed service turned around into a good experience for the customer. Such turned moments are called hero moments.
Create hero moments whenever possible by going above and beyond the norm to regain that customer’s loyalty.
All of these actions put together will create a continuous relationship of trust with customers and nurture a relationship that will thrive for years to come. You’ll create an emotional bond with your customers by simply empowering and engaging your employees.