Your Actionable Guide to Customer Delight

Meeting customer expectations is just the bare minimum. To stand out in today’s competitive market and drive long-term growth, your business needs to go the extra mile to delight customers. 

Even after a lead finally converts, your job is far from over. You need to continue exceeding their expectations or you risk losing them to your competitors.

So how can you provide more engaging and delightful experiences to your customers? And what tools are available that can help?

In this article, we’ll look at what customer delight is and why it’s important. We’ll also look at the tools you can implement to delight your customers and measure your efforts.

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What is customer delight?

Customer delight is all about adding that element of surprise and exceeding customer expectations. You’re not just doing the bare minimum here — you’re going above and beyond to deliver an experience that truly wows your customers.

66% of US consumers said that customer service was important to them when choosing a brand.1 Creating memorable experiences not only differentiates your brand, but also creates stronger connections with your customers.

Illustration-highlighting-the-importance-of-customer-service

Let’s look at a customer delight example. Peter Shankman, entrepreneur and founder of HARO (Help a Reporter Out), frequently dines at Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Shankman made the following tweet:

Screenshot-of-Peter-Shankmans-tweet-to-Mortons-The-Steakhouse

In his blog post3, Shankman said he was joking and had “absolutely no expectations.”

But Morton’s The Steakhouse didn’t see it as a joke. They quickly got to work and sent someone to greet Shankman at the airport with a 24 oz Porterhouse.

Morton’s The Steakhouse could’ve simply ignored the tweet (or replied with a witty comment). But they went out of the way to surprise Shankman instead.

The story quickly went viral on social media, establishing Morton’s as a brand that cares about its existing customers. They also earned a loyal customer for life. 

This proves that delivering customer delight influences customer loyalty and creates a positive brand image.

Let’s take a closer look at the distinction between customer service and customer delight.

Customer Service vs. Customer Delight

Customer service revolves around the strategies and tools you put in place to meet customer expectations. An example is helping a customer set up their computer post purchase by answering their questions.

This is a completely ordinary interaction, there’s no “surprise”.

In contrast, customer delight is when you exceed customer expectations. You’re going out of the way to create a positive experience by placing a priority on customer happiness.

These experiences often lead to emotional reactions and word of mouth from customers happily spreading the word. 

Just look at how Shankman reacted on Twitter after Morton’s showed up with a porterhouse:

Screenshot of the tweet from Peter Shankman after receiving a steak from Morton's The Steakhouse

The distinction between customer service and customer delight is important here — a delighted customer is more likely to make a repeat purchase and refer their friends.

Yet, most businesses just aren’t doing enough to exceed expectations.

Let’s look at how prioritizing your customers and offering proactive support gives your brand a competitive advantage.

Why is it important to deliver customer delight?

Here’s why customer delight needs to be a priority in your business.

  1. Enhances brand recognition

Customers expect more from the brands they love. 47% of consumers globally say they have higher expectations regarding customer service.3

Illustration highlighting the increase in customer expectations

When you deliver exceptional services, your customers are likely to share their experiences online. That kind of word-of-mouth advertising whether through a Facebook post or a tweet enhances brand recognition.

Southwest Airlines4 came to the rescue when a bridesmaid forgot her dress in her home state of Texas. The airline stepped up and flew the dress to Costa Rica in time for the big day.

Here’s the tweet the bridesmaid’s friend made when the dress finally arrived:

Screenshot of the tweet from a bridesmaid's friend after Southwest Airlines delivered a dress to Costa Rica

That kind of brand recognition is priceless. And the bridesmaid is unlikely to ever forget what Southwest Airlines did for her.

2. Reduces customer churn

Reaching new customers is undoubtedly crucial to your bottom line. But retaining customers is equally important to long-term growth. 

Churn occurs when customers stop purchasing from a company and is closely tied to customer satisfaction. Unhappy customers are unlikely to stick around.

In fact, 32% of customers say they would stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience.5 Delighting your customers and exceeding their expectations can reduce churn rates.

3. Increases customer loyalty

Delighting your customers doesn’t just make them happy. It also increases customer loyalty and makes customers more likely to purchase in the future.

Here’s what one delighted customer said when Zappos, an online shoe retailer, overnighted a pair of shoes to him after UPS made a wrong delivery6:

Zappos has earned a customer for life — In addition to all of this, I originally ordered from them because they had the cheapest deal on the shoes I needed.

Loyal customers also act as brand advocates. 60% of shoppers refer their family and friends to brands they love and 52.3% are likely to join a loyalty program.7

In short, going above and beyond to provide delightful experiences impacts your bottom line and can drive more potential customers your way.

So far we’ve looked at the what and why of customer delight. Let’s look at how you can delight your customers.

8 Actionable Strategies to Delight and Engage Your Customers

While the examples of customer ‘delight’ above indicate unique, once-in-a-lifetime moments that are designed to impress a single customer, it’s actually much simpler, and profitable, to delight customers at scale. And it doesn’t mean offering free steaks to every customer that tweets at you. Rather – it’s the little things you can improve in your customer experience journey that goes above and beyond their expectations, to offer little moments of wow on a daily basis. 

Here are a couple of ways to get started – 

1. Deploy an AI-enabled chatbot

Enable customers to find answers on their own by deploying an AI-enabled chatbot. 76%3 of consumers said they search for solutions online before contacting support.

AI-enabled chatbots use machine learning to learn from previous interactions and understand customer queries regardless of how they are phrased and hence deliver delightful and comprehensive solutions.

AI-enabled chatbots aren’t like your typical rule-based chatbots. 

A rule-based chatbot for a museum can answer simple questions about opening times and whether pets are allowed. But they can’t answer questions outside the defined rules nor can they learn over time.

In contrast, chatbots powered by Freddy AI can not only inform visitors of opening times, it can also continue the conversation and help them book tickets to current exhibitions.

2. Provide timely customer support

When customers have problems they can’t address on their own, they don’t want to wait long for a resolution. It’s important to address any issues in a timely manner. 

42% of consumers indicated that between 1 to 3 minutes is an acceptable wait time. 42% also said they’d be willing to wait for up to 2 minutes for a rep.3

Delight your customers by showing that your business is responsive to their needs by providing timely support.

Chatbots powered by Freddy AI instantly respond with answers from your knowledge base. It can detect intent and engage in relevant conversations. You can even use set up guided flows that walk your customers’ step by step to resolve an issue.

3. Adopt an omnichannel approach

Consumers use a range of devices communication channels for support — social media, live chat, email, phone, etc.

Sometimes, customers might use live chat to bring up an issue and follow up via email.  Providing omnichannel support allows you to manage communications across various channels from a single screen that provides context around each conversation. So, you’ll know that the customer has previously tried to communicate with your team, and you can offer solutions accordingly. 

Freshdesk’s omnichannel helpdesk helped PharmEasy, a pharmacy e-commerce platform in India, integrate their support channels and give agents the right context to resolve issues. 

Screenshot of how PharmEasy used Freshworks to integrate their support channels

Read the case study here to learn how PharmEasy was able to handle a 200% surge in ticket volume across their channels and reduce resolution times by 75%.

4. Add a human touch to communications

Speed and consistency are key to delivering a positive experience. However, it’s important not to forget the human side of things.

75% of consumers globally said they want human interaction.5 Yet more than half (59%) feel that companies are lacking in the human element of customer experience.

Screenshot highlighting the need for human interactions

Delight your customers by adding a human touch to all your customer interactions across all your channels. For example, if you’re using chatbots for support, make sure that the bot greets the customer by their first name, or uses a greeting that is friendly.

5. Take a proactive approach

Most customer service tends to be reactive — a customer reaches out when they have an issue and an agent tries to troubleshoot the problem.

Taking a proactive approach allows you to deliver help even before customers run into a problem.

Here’s an example of how Codeship takes a proactive approach to customer service:

Screenshot showing how Codeship takes a proactive approach to customer service

Freshdesk’s help widget facilitates the shift from reactive to proactive customer service

It can detect when users feel frustrated and offer assistance. Frustration signals include rage clicks and thrashed cursors — behaviors that suggest users may not be able to complete an action.

Here’s an example of how this looks:

Screenshot of proactive customer service by Freshdesk

You can embed your knowledge base into the widget and allow customers to resolve the issue on their own or connect with an agent.

Another way to delight your customers is by spotting problems like abandoned carts and reach out with a personalized email to provide help.

6. Empower your customer support team

Ritz-Carlton holds one of the highest J.D. Power rankings for luxury brands because of the culture they’ve built around providing exceptional customer service.8

Ritz-Carlton gives every employee the authority to spend up to $2,0009 at their discretion to resolve problems and create outstanding experiences. How they choose to spend that amount is entirely up to them.

Empowering your support team means entrusting your team and giving them complete autonomy on exceeding customer expectations.

Here’s how you can empower your support team and create more positive experiences:

  • Give your team the authority to make decisions when it comes to delighting customers
  • Provide training on how to act on opportunities, but leave the decision up to them
  • Encourage your team to work together on tackling more complex issues
  • Provide your team with the right tools to deliver instant responses and make customers happy

For example, with Freshdesk, your team can use canned responses to quickly respond to customers. This allows your agents to spend more of their time on delighting customers and less time on tedious tasks.

7. Take customers by surprise

Your goal is to help customers solve their problems. But don’t stop there — make a lasting impression by doing something unexpected. The element of surprise is a key ingredient of customer delight. 

We’ve listed 20 different customer appreciation ideas that you can try to surprise your customers. Even small gestures like sending a gift or giving away an unexpected perk can increase customer loyalty and drive brand awareness.

8. Collect and analyze customer feedback

Collecting customer feedback is crucial for long-term growth. It provides quantifiable data that you can use to make meaningful changes to the customer experience.

Follow up each interaction with a CSAT or customer satisfaction survey — a survey that asks customers to rate their experience.

Screenshot of a multilingual satisfaction survey being created on Freshdesk

With Freshdesk’s Analytics, you can create specially curated reports and measure CSAT trends over time. These kinds of insights allow you to make informed decisions.

Conclusion

Customer delight is increasingly becoming key to long-term growth. By going the extra mile to exceed expectations, you leave customers with a positive impression of your brand.

And when you make a lasting impression, customers are more likely to remember your brand and even go out of their way to spread the word. 

Book a demo today to learn more about how you can use Freddy AI to delight your customers and deliver memorable experiences.

Sources:
1 – https://www.statista.com/statistics/808348/importance-of-customer-service-to-customers-choice-of-or-loyalty-to-a-brand/
2 – https://www.shankman.com/the-greatest-customer-service-story-ever-told-starring-mortons-steakhouse/
3 – https://www.freshworks.com/assets/resources/freshworks/reports/the-new-rules-of-customer-engagement.pdf
4 – https://www.today.com/style/southwest-airlines-rescues-forgotten-bridesmaid-dress-saves-day-t149743
5 – https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html
6 – https://consumerist.com/2011/05/19/zappos-saves-best-man-from-going-barefoot-at-wedding/
7 – https://www.yotpo.com/resources/brand-loyalty-statistics/
8 – https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-north-america-hotel-guest-satisfaction-index-nagsi-study
https://www.forbes.com/2009/10/30/simon-cooper-ritz-leadership-ceonetwork-hotels.html?sh=69ec133b10b1

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