in Leadership, Leading Projects, Quality Improvement

In Pursuit Of “Customer Delight”: Getting The Basics Right

A lot of companies have the phrase “delighting our customers” in their well-crafted mission statements and quality policies. I see “customer delight” as a cherry, with the cake being “solving their problems and meeting the expectations” – so when we say “cherry on top of the cake”, the cake has to be right. Customers don’t get delighted by cherries alone, or by cherries on wrong cakes.

Here is the thing. To be able to reach a state where you “delight” your customers, you have to first “know and meet” customer’s basic expectations consistently. That is the core of your business – the reason why your customers come to you. Your products/services have to first meet the basic criteria of delivering the value that client is seeking.

So when you think of delighting your customer, think of the basics first.

  • Does your product/service meet the core expectation of the customer? Does it solve their problems? To what extent?
  • Do you have a method to accurately identify customer’s real/unique expectations? Their unique context?
  • Do you have right set of processes, people and technology that will help you deliver up to customer’s expectations consistently?
  • What is missing and how can you scale up to ensure consistency of delivery? What are the gaps that need to be filled?

Once you have these basics right, your efforts and investment on delighting your customers through various innovative and inclusive programs will yield the right returns. Right cherry on the right kind of cake is a delightful combo! Isn’t it?

Customer’s loyalty and further, advocacy only comes when you know how to deliver the basics right. Merely trying to delight customers when your core offering does not solve their real problems is an effort in vain. It may only help you keep a customer for now, but not on a long run.

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  1. Fantastic post!! Your questions in the post are a checklist kind of thing to meet their needs and then delighting the customers. Rightly said that right cherry on the right kind of cake at right time will yield right returns and makes customer delightful.

    Thanks Tanmay for this wonderful Wednesday post.

  2. Tanmay, Great Points on achieving customer delight.

    While I agree with your thoughts on meeting basic criteria of customers there are some other aspects to be considered for achieving customer delight.

    The customer’s mindset is evolving every day, his/her needs and expectations are rising and changing every moment.

    The customer get’s delighted only when a company goes the xtra mile or creates a WOW moment through their products and services for the customer. The basis criteria might only keep the customers satisfied but not delighted.

    Also this is subjective satisfaction for a particular customer might be a delight for another customer and vice versa.

    Thanks

    Kapil

    • @Kapil – Thanks for adding that all important point into this conversation. When customer’s expectations are constantly changing (in line with changing business needs), one of the primary challenges for companies is to be responsive to those changes and meet the expectations. This is also validated in Harvard Business Review’s research . The key to have loyal customers is to solve their nagging problems consistently.

      Coming to customer delight, I totally agree when you say that we need to create wow moments, walk that extra mile and deliver great experiences. But all that will only help when your product/service addresses the core reason (the problem) for which the customer comes to you. Delight starts with ‘satisfaction’.

      We cannot measure customer satisfaction or delight (it is an “invisible” in measuring business performance) but can always be managed.

      Best,

      Tanmay

  3. Very critical and important aspect brought into focus.
    It’s always necessary to meet client/customer’s core requirement and expectation for which they have approched.
    Bringing delights is always needed as an add-on or dressings on cake and this is an innovative part to provide value added services, but in this attempt, core deliverables should never be missed out.
    As always a good lesson to learn from Tanmay at his best! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

    Regards,
    Jay Chhaya

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Webmentions

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    […] however, it is more important to retain the existing business. As Tanmay rightly points in his blog In Pursuit Of “Customer Delight”: Getting The Basics Right, companies are finding better ways to attain customer delight but they are forgetting […]