You’ve secured that deal and you now have some great customers on board. Things are looking good for your business. But what happens a little further down the line?

Are your customers sticking with you or do you have a revolving door type of customer cycle? How do you keep your customers?

More importantly, how do you get your customers to promote you through word of mouth?

It’s not “customer satisfaction”...

Nobody talks about the time they were satisfied, everyone talks about the times they were delighted. So how do you delight your customers so they talk about you?

Will they refer you of their own accord? If they do, what is about you and your business that encourages them to do so? And how do you keep on delighting them with your inbound marketing strategy?

We believe there are eight pillars of delight, that you can use to generate content and measure your referability. Here they are:

8 Pillars of Delight - Retain Customers and Get Referrals1 - Trust - Do you live up to you claims?


Over promising and under delivering is a recipe for disaster. Avoid perceptions of this by being very clear about what you are going to do up front, and if you can, go back and confirm that you have done it afterwards.

Tip: if you are claiming to be ‘friendly and helpful’, make sure that your communications are personalised and personal, and make a point of asking your customer if they found your product or service helpful.

2 - Value - Do you demonstrably improve the client’s condition?


Think ‘before and after’. We all seem to think of value as monetary, but that’s a really narrow way of thinking about it and misses all the really powerful stuff.

If you saved your client time, and time is something they value, you could highlight your value in terms of hours saved. If it’s about avoiding loss or reducing risk, then highlight how you improved those factors instead.

Tip: Get them to think back to what life was like before you arrived, and compare it with now. They’ll often do a better job of stating what your value is to them if you ask them to, than if you tell them what you think it is.

3 - Responsiveness - Are you accessible and do you respond quickly?


Don’t underestimate this one. Think about the companies you deal with where you never know who you are going to speak to, or have to go through tons of options on the phone to get to the right department, or you have to wait days for an email response. You get the idea.

Don’t be one of those businesses.

Tip: Have your marketing and service emails come from the ‘owner’ of your customer. If someone interacts with a form on your website, make sure you have a personalised automated email to follow up immediately. If you want to go for all-star performance on responsiveness, give your customers a named contact and direct access, and set targets for your people to respond within an hour.

4 - Credibility - Is it impressive to work with you?


Credibility is all about belief, it’s root is ‘credo’ - meaning ‘I believe’. Do you inspire trust and respect? For some business this may be reflected in their size or longevity, industry awards or client roster. However it’s likely to be more powerful if your customers understand and align with your beliefs and your view of the world.

Tip: Communicate your ‘WHY’. Watch Simon Sinek’s pivotal TED talk ‘Start with Why’ here You can thank us later.

5 - Reciprocity - Would your customers recommend you?


There is a natural desire for us to share with people who share with us. Recommending your clients to someone who could help them with something else they need, shows you understand them and care about them. This greatly increases their desire to recommend people back to you.

Tip: Pick out a few of your favourite productivity tools that could make a daily impact on the lives of your customers, and tell them about the difference it made to you.

6 - Professionalism - Are you on time and meeting your deadlines?


Professionalism isn’t about wearing a suit. It’s about doing what you said you would do on time.

Tip: Set clear goals for when the next action will happen, and when you will follow up. Then do it bang on time and start off with ‘I promised to come back to you now with this’. You just nailed it. Whether you were wearing a suit or not.

7 - Innovation - Are you leading edge?


Does your customer understand what’s new and remarkable about you, in how you help them? It’s not about building the latest invention, it’s about being the first choice. No company should aim to be number two in everything they do, so what’s your number one?

Tip: Think about the ways in which you are the best possible fit for your customer. What did you do that was new for them?

8 - Reputation - Are you seen by others as being the best of the best?


Do you have a track record for something outstanding? Have you got a loyal following of ‘believers’? What do other people trust you for?

Tip: Look for the ways your community would recognise that you know what you are talking about. What are you an authority in? What could you be a ‘thought leader’ in?

Have you found these tips useful? Are you and your business delighting your customers right now?

One last thing I’d like to leave you with. Don’t be complacent:

Research by HubSpot found that only eight percent of customers agreed with the 80% of businesses who thought they were delivering a  “superior experience”. Click below to ensure your business stands out from the crowd.

Positive Word of Mouth

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Sales Enablement

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About the Author

Inbound Marketing & Sales Strategist

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