Say Goodbye to Customer Satisfaction

Learn about the eight pillars of customer delight and discover how to retain your customers and get more referrals. 

Are your customers sticking with you or are they in and out faster than you can say "revolving door"?

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

In times gone by, we called it “customer satisfaction,” but as the years have passed (careful...) it's become startlingly clear that it's no longer enough to simply satisfy your customers. In the digital age, you have to blow them away.

Nobody talks about the time they were satisfied. But everyone talks about the times they were delighted. That's how word of mouth spreads. How do you truly delight your customers so that they talk about you?

After decades spent on the front lines of sales and service, I've come to believe there are eight areas you can use to generate content and measure how easy you are to refer.

Read on to discover what they are and how you can use these eight pillars of customer delight to up your service game.

8 Pillars of Delight - Retain Customers and Get Referrals1. Trust

Do you live up to your claims?

Overpromising and underdelivering is a recipe for disaster.

Avoid perceptions of this by being very clear about what you're going to do up front, and if you can, go back and confirm that you've done it afterwards.

Tip: if you're 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 useful.

2. Value

Do you demonstrably improve the customer’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 it misses out 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 rather than if you tell them.

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're going to speak to.
  • Or the ones where you have to go through loads of options on the phone to get to the right department.
  • Or the ones where 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  deal 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. Its 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's 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 will greatly increase 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 being respectful. Being committed. And doing what you said you would do on time.

Tip: Set clear goals for when the next action will happen, and when you'll 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're 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?
  • Why do other people trust you?

Tip: Look for the ways your community would recognise that you know what you are talking about. In what subjects or areas are you an authority? In which circles could you be considered a thought leader?

I hope you've found these tips useful. If nothing else, they should be a helpful way to frame any conversations you have with your team around service and what more you could be doing to delight your customers.

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 said they delivered a superior experience.

For practical tips on how to action these advice, click below to read the follow-up article.

Positive Word of Mouth

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