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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