Don't Just Be Good, Be the Best: 7 Ways to Delight Customers

You want to satisfy your customers. That’s a given. Every business owner has the goal of great customer service - fair prices, swift delivery and expectations met. So, if every business wants to give great customer service, how can you stick out from the competition? Truthfully, great customer service is the least you can do. If you want to really excel, go above and beyond; delight your customers.

Delighting your customers means creating a memorable experience for them that is beyond their expectations. It means thrilling them, exciting them, and making them feel listened to, cared for and appreciated.

The payoff is huge.

Delighted customers are repeat customers and brand evangelists.

They will spread the message of your brand without hesitation, and they will come back for more time and time again.

It may sound like delighting your customers requires a big investment of time and money, but it doesn’t have to. You can delight your customers by making simple changes, and that’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at some easy ways you can turn a satisfied customer into a delighted customer!

7 Ways to Delight Your Customer...

#1 Always Follow Up Most companies follow up with potential customers. Someone expresses interest in a service or product, and they get in touch with them in some way to hopefully close the sale.But follow-up isn’t just for potential customers. When you follow up with someone after you’ve made the sale, it shows just that little bit of extra interest and concern that makes them feel important.You can follow up in a number of ways. The simplest solution is to create an autoresponder email that is triggered to follow up with a customer a few days or weeks after a sale.If you’ve got the time and resources, personal touches are an even better way to follow-up. Handwritten notes, phone calls or just personalized e-mails can make a customer feel special.You don’t just have to follow up after a sale either. Keeping track of all your communications in a CRM will give you an opportunity to follow up with anyone you haven’t heard from in a while.No matter how you choose to follow up, the important thing is that you do - always!

#2 Offer More Than Expected If you want to satisfy your customers, give them what they want. If you want to delight them, give them more than they expected.Regardless of what business you’re in, there are always opportunities to give customers more. Maybe it’s as simple as giving them just a little bit extra from time to time, or maybe you give them something for free each time they order.The details are up to you, but surprising a customer by exceeding their expectations is one of the best ways to create a brand evangelist. Everyone loves to be surprised with a free gift or a little extra, and that cheerful experience is contagious.

#3 Express Your Gratitude The worst feeling a customer can have is like they’re just a number or change in your pocket. As consumers, we often expect that from big box companies or large corporations, but it can be devastating to feel that way from a small business.Preventing that feeling is simple and in return, you’ll not only avoid a dissatisfied customer, you’ll end up with a delighted one. Gratitude is the key.The more creative you are here, the better. A “thank you” might be all it takes, but the more individualized that “thank you” is, the more meaningful it becomes.Some suggestions to express your gratitude include writing handwritten thank you cards with a personalized message, tagging them in social media posts, sending them their favorite treat, giving them a free upgrade, throwing a party for your top customers or even doing a little research and sending them a gift card to their favorite restaurant.Feeling like a company is grateful to have you as a customer is a delightful feeling, so keep that in mind when you’re thanking your customers for their business.

#4 Never Break a Promise As a business, you make a lot of promise, whether you realize it or not. From the available hours you’ve posted online to the timeframe you give for a response in your autoresponders, you’ve made promises and you have to keep them. Even your products are a promise that you’ve got what the customer needs. Your entire presence online delivers promise after promise and you’ve got to live up to those promises.This isn’t always easy, but if you want to delight customers, you’ll never break your promises.To make sure you never break a promise, take a close look at everything that’s on your website and social media sites. If you can’t, without a doubt, always live up to those promises, change them.It’s better to underpromise and over-deliver than the other way around!

#5 Respond Instantly Thankfully, responding instantly doesn’t mean you have to stay awake 24 hours a day just waiting for someone to send a message.If you’ve got the resources, you could hire employees to stand by and respond to customers instantly, but unless you’re a tech company that needs to offer around the clock support, your money and time could be better spent elsewhere.Luckily, auto-responders and bots can take care of instant communication for you. Most are free or the costs are nominal, relative to communication volume.Customers expect an instant response, whether they’re contacting you on Facebook, via a chat box on your website, or even contacting you directly by email or phone.Make sure you’ve set up all your autoresponders to take care of their needs as much as possible until you or one of your employees are able to give them personalized service.

#6 Reward Customers for Loyalty There’s no getting around it, positive reinforcement works. Give a child a treat for good behaviour, and they’ll keep repeating that behaviour to get more.As adults, our brains work the same way, it’s just not as obvious because no one is walking around giving us a reward for paying our mortgage on time. But wouldn’t it be nice if they did? Can you imagine looking forward to writing your rent check or utility payment? I bet you would if it came with cookies!You can take advantage of this reward mentality and use it to delight your loyal customers. Not only will it reinforce their loyalty, they’ll be more likely to give you some free word of mouth marketing. Rewards can come in many forms like cumulative discounts where each dollar spent builds up to greater and greater discounts, or even giant parties where only your most loyal customers are invited to attend.Whatever method you choose, and feel free to get creative, be sure to make customers feel more and more special as their loyalty continues. Celebrate customer anniversaries and let them know you see their loyalty and you deeply appreciate it.

#7 Get the Small Stuff Perfectly Right All of these ways of delighting your customers are fairly simple to implement, and only require a shift in your thinking plus a little extra effort and creativity.But none of that matters if you haven’t nailed the basic stuff. To offer exceptional customer service, you’ve got to first offer great customer service.Solving your customers' problems and treating them with respect should always be your top priority. Once you’ve met the basics, then it’s time to add the delight.Have you ever had a delightful experience with a company? What creative ways have you used to delight your customers?