As we’ve made the journey through the stages of inbound marketing, we’ve covered how to attract and engage your target audience. Now, let’s focus on how to delight them.
Delighting your customers usually takes place after you’ve converted them through a closed deal or opportunity. The stage of delight is characterized by transforming customers into your brand’s best advocates. To do this, you’ll need a rich understanding of the customer’s mentality and a start-to-finish plan that creates positive relationships.
Let’s discover what delight looks like for your customers and five powerful principles to help you achieve success. In this blog, we’ll look at the following topics:
- The Final Stage: Customer Delight
- What is Customer Delight?
- Customer Delight Examples
- The Right Strategies and Tools
The Final Stage: Customer Delight
How does inbound marketing play a role in delighting your customers? By using inbound strategies, you can personalize your messaging and deliver excellent content at every turn. Since inbound marketing also includes attraction and engagement, you can use a series of stepping stones to wow the customer even after a sale is complete.
A team focused on customer delight is not simply interested in satisfying the customer. A delight-focused business wants to over-deliver with results and experiences that a buyer can’t find anywhere else.
What is Customer Delight?
According to Hubspot, customer delight involves “exceeding a customer’s expectations to create a positive customer experience with a product or brand.” When it comes to creating delight, you might hear terms like above and beyond or second-mile service. These buzzwords generally mean that the entire team or company supports the goal of blowing customer expectations out of the water.
Is there a need for customer delight? Statistics show that there is both a need and a void to fill. In fact, up to 55% of customers would pay more for better service experiences.
There are nearly endless ways that customer delight can show up in marketing efforts. Most often, strategies for creating delight include:
- A relatable, down-to-earth, and human approach to business
- An expression of gratitude and thankfulness
- A willingness to listen with humility and patience
How to achieve customer delight
As you can probably gather from the above definitions, delighting your customers shouldn’t be a boring or emotionless process. This critical step of the inbound marketing journey should be fun, purposeful, and growth-oriented. As you gain more customers and take part in more interactions, you will always have fresh lessons to learn.
The concept of customer delight is made up of several easy-to-follow action steps. For your business, these might include:
- Establishing definitions. To start, your whole organization should understand the difference between baseline satisfaction and outstanding service. Since delight usually implies exceeding expectations, place reminders around the office. Incorporate your definitions into team communications to keep a customer-centric mindset.
- Hiring passionate, knowledgeable people. Do your team members care about delighting your customer base? Sometimes, it’s a matter of equipping them with the right tools to solve customer pain points and problems. The right people will fit the culture of your organization, and they’ll also have the skills needed to excel.
- Focusing on surprises. In an automated world, sometimes the personal touch is lost. Encourage thoughtful gestures, handwritten notes, or extra discounts. Giving your team permission to use traditional methods of connection can increase customer delight in the long run.
Remember one general rule: it costs more to gain a new lead than it does to keep an existing customer. This fact alone should be plenty to motivate your team to focus on a thriving model of customer delight.
To help create a path for you to follow, here are five key principles that you can use across your entire organization.
Principle #1: Go the Extra Mile
When it comes to creating customer delight, sometimes the extra effort is a matter of intuition. This means that your team members might notice a need and respond to it, perhaps before a customer even mentions an issue. When this takes place, you have the chance to go the extra mile with a solution that a customer may not have considered.
Going a step beyond expectations also means offering extras. This could be in the form of discounts, messages, or special gifts. If you’re worried about budget, one psychologist believes that a meager ten-cent investment is enough to strengthen the bond between two parties.
Principle #2: Be a Listener
Think about the negative customer service experiences you’ve had in the past. In those situations, do you feel as though someone cared enough to hear you out? Chances are, the worst experiences are coupled with an inability to listen.
The voice of the customer can reveal many important things about your business. Whether the feedback is positive or constructive, you’re bound to gain crucial data from people who use your product or service every day. Listening is vital to customer delight because it gives the customer an outlet to be seen, heard, and valued.
Principle #3: Develop More Flexible Policies
When it comes to customer service, don’t be so rigid in your rules and policies that you can never accommodate a request. As you support customers, acknowledge that every situation or problem is unique. While this doesn’t mean giving everything away for free, it does mean listening and creating options.
How can you create delight by bending the rules ever so slightly? Can you offer a discount if there is a genuine problem with your product or service? Being flexible builds loyalty.
Principle #4: Create an Experience
Whenever a customer invests in a product or service, there is often the opportunity to make the same choice again in the future. When you work on crafting a well-rounded experience, you create relationships with customers that make them want to return.
For service-based businesses such as airlines or medical practices, this often means helping the customer save time. Long lines, tedious paperwork, and extended wait times contribute to feelings of wasted energy and effort. Think about common frustrations your customer might be having when working with your organization, and strive to minimize or completely end those. This will be a key component of your customer delight strategy and repeat business.
Principle #5: Deliver Timely Solutions
One of the selling points of inbound marketing, in general, is that it meets customers in their time of need. This is also true with establishing customer delight. You may need to ask several of the following questions to determine how timely your team is.
- Do support team members communicate about bugs or backend problems?
- When customers have questions, how long does it take to get a response?
- What is the escalation protocol for when the first support member can’t handle an issue?
Being timely means being an advocate for the customer. If your team is truly in the customer’s corner at the right time, delight will follow.
Customer Delight Examples
What does a delighted customer really look like? Whether or not you’ve implemented the principles above, you’ll probably be able to spot a delighted customer. They are:
- Honest in their feedback. Delighted customers expect you to ask their opinions on important topics. They know that their own feedback is valuable, and they’re willing to share it to help your team improve.
- Excited to spread the word. The most delighted customer is a spokesperson for your company. Their loyalty shines in the way that they tell other people about the successful solution they’ve found through your product or service.
- Engaged in a community. These customers want to be part of the bigger picture. They want to interact with fellow customers in a shared space (whether online or physical). They gain valuable tips and resources from other customers and use those to grow.
The Right Strategies and Tools
You’ve got the basic definitions down, and now you’re ready to charge ahead with a customer delight strategy. Having a few important tools in your belt could make the process easier. The list below provides a snapshot of how you can increase delight quickly with the help of different services.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for creating delight, but poor usage can decrease its impact on your customer relationships. Instead of spamming your customer’s inboxes with brand-centric messages, focus on copy that communicates something of value to the customer.
Big companies like Starbucks remind customers when they’ve got a free drink waiting. Services like Evernote help customers spot their progress quickly with engaging subject lines. Both of these methods use email marketing to remind and show customers that there’s something exciting waiting for them.
Texting programs are becoming more popular each year due to the direct access of your customers. Remember, though, with great power comes great responsibility. Texting can be a great form of engagement, but too much texting will irritate even your biggest advocates. Programs like SalsMsg can help you accomplish this and even integrate into many of the major CRM providers.
Business owners can also put in place tools like Hubspot Conversations, which works alongside a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Hubspot Conversations is a tool that helps business owners leverage multi-channel communication methods (like Facebook and Slack) to follow up with personal messages. The results are scalable and measurable.
Live chat can be an effective tool for customer delight. Many customers want a faster way to connect than email or phone support services can offer. When implementing a chat feature, factor in how much time your team will need to devote to it and whether you’ll use live team members or bots.
The trend of using chat to create customer delight is currently on the rise. As with any tool or strategy, it’s important to keep it personal and exceed expectations.
Today’s customers are still interested in receiving swag and company gifts, but they might be less interested in trinkets that don’t offer much value. As you consider swag options, remember to include ideas that are fun but also practical (and even eco-friendly).
Buffer, a social media platform, sends practical gifts like high-quality branded notebooks, handwritten notecards, and personalized candy options. Not only are these swag materials usable, but they also communicate that the Buffer team knows the individuals they’re sending these items at a deeper level.
Start Creating Customer Delight
At Striventa, we’re committed to helping business owners leverage the power of inbound marketing to generate results. With a step-by-step strategy, our team will help you attract, engage, and delight more customers in ways that align with your company’s values.