Create a delight factor that will delight your customers.
When your customers leave your business thinking… “I was charged a fair price and treated fairly…” this is not a sign of an excited customer.
Being treated fairly in today’s world is what’s expected, nobody gets excited when their treated fairly. The item you’re buying cost 10… you pay 10, an even exchange. Maybe as you handed over your 10 dollars the person behind the counter smiled at you, even thanked you for coming in. However, treat customers rudely or insult enough customers and you’re headed for serious trouble.
A Delight Factor is defined as… surprising a customer by exceeding his/her expectations and thus creating a positive emotional reaction.
Delighted customers can create positive word of mouth in which they will tell their friends, other family members and other people in their social circle about what a delight it was doing business with your company. This is where social media works the best.
Although customer delight can directly affect your sales and profitability, it can also help to distinguish your company and its products and services from your competition. Thus my motto… “Be the company your customers think of first and feel best about.”
“Give me a business that delights its customers the moment they walk into the front door and I can write ads that will take them to the stars…says Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads… “But force me to write ad’s for a business that does only an average job with their customers and I’ll have to work like a madman to keep that business from sliding backwards. Unless they have no competitors.”
I’m absolutely amazed by business owners who assume that by stating ‘Great Value’ ‘Honest Service’ ‘Best in the Business’ or ‘Affordable Prices’ in their ads or printed boldly on their trucks are offering something that differentiates themselves from their competitors. Customers are thinking… “But you are already supposed to be honest.” “You’re already supposed to be affordable?” “And you say you’re the best in the business? By who standards?”
The truth is that a business with very few competitors that supplies a product or service that the public needs is going to succeed no matter how bad their advertising is…or how consistently they disappoint their customers. This was the problem with television service companies many years ago. Cable was it, where else were you going to get your television service from? They treated you rudely and customer service was bad. But then Satellite Television came into the market giving you another choice. Could good advertising save a bad restaurant? The answer is no, but a particular restaurant can still succeed in spite of slightly bad food and no advertising when they’re the only restaurant in town.
How about under promising but delivering unexpected results.
“Wow…” the customer says, “You said my car would be done by tomorrow afternoon, but it’s done now?” This is what is called a delight factor and like magic a happy customer is born.
“You promised delivery by 11:00 and it was there at 10 45.” Again the delight Factor. “I appreciate you not keeping me waiting…” says the customer.
Your estimate stated that it would be around $2,000 to do the job, but when the job was complete, the customer received a bill for $1,850. Wow! Again the delight factor. You want your customers leaving your place of business feeling good…real good, even excited.
Anything that you can give your customer in a positive manner that they didn’t expect, will make them happy and help your business win a customer.
Predictability is well…predictable, but surprise and delight…that’s where you can win a customer.
Make your current customers feel incredible with a delight factor. There’s an old Cajun word Lagniappe (LAN-yap) it means… a little bit extra. You want to incorporate this Lagniappe philosophy into your business. I know a hamburger place in my town who is well known for Lagniappe…the owner throws an extra order of small fries in for free or a free soda in with your order, just to thank you for coming in. It’s no surprise he’s always busy!
There’s also a small grocer in my neighborhood who hands you a small bag of free grapes or cherries when you check out at the register, just to thank you for coming in. Now he doesn’t give cherries and grapes to everyone all the time but it seems that his store is always crowded.
And…what about the donut shop that will occasionally throw in some free donut holes? How would you feel if you got something that you didn’t expect the next time you purchased something?
Don’t just pay lip service to improving customer service. Good customer service is something you need to invest in to assure a steady flow of traffic, especially during difficult times.
You can start by treating your employees with respect. Your employees are a direct line to your customers. Making them feel good will transfer good feelings to making your customers feel good. The person on the front line can surprise a customer by showing a sincere personal interest in the customer, offering attention to a problem or finding a solution. Your front-line employees are valuable to your company, their able to develop a warm happy relationship between the customer and your business. Elements in creating a motivated staff are in recruiting the right people.
There are Four levels of customer service your company can offer:
Level 1. Customer Satisfaction
This is basic level customer service. This is where the customer expects decent service and gets it. A smile, a thank you and the courtesy that is well expected. This of course is the bare minimum.
Level 2. Exceeding Customer Satisfaction
This where you might offer coffee or pastries along with your friendly smile and the courtesy the customer deserves. Maybe offering a service your competition is not offering.
Level 3. Delighting Your Customers.
This is where you step it up a little. A free gift with purchase or a little extra for no charge. A surprise they weren’t expecting… now you are starting to win the heart of the customer. A nice relationship is beginning to form.
Level 4. Amazing Your Customers.
This is where Word of Mouth is born. This is where your service is so good, your customer couldn’t dream of ever going somewhere else. This is where you put your competition to shame and win the heart of the customer and believe me they will talk about you to all their friends. This is a level only the very best companies can reach,
You want to aim comfortably between Level 2 and Level 3. Level 4 is achieved only over time.
Customers feel good when you give them something they were not expecting. They feel ever more delighted when you have the delight factor working for you. For many businesses this alone can be a competitive advantage over the competition. Of course for the delight factor to work, it needs to be a total surprise, that’s the key. The key word is Unexpected.
Most business owners want to put this delight factor into their ads thinking that it will attract new business. You can not advertise the delight factor in your ads.
Because it will defeat the entire purpose of the delight factor. It’s not a delight when people expect it. Advertising your delight factor will actually work in reverse and set customers up to complain. They will expect something more from you, and believe me, they will never be delighted or appreciative, but will start to complain that you didn’t meet their expectations.