For a long time, we have heard the term "customer satisfaction". It has been a buzzword in the boardroom, a mantra in marketing, and colossal in commercials. "Company X leads in Customer Satisfaction". Great.
But what exactly is customer satisfaction? Better yet, why is it not enough?
Customer satisfaction means exactly that. They are satisfied. They had an immediate need, purchased a product or service that met the need, and went on their merry way. There is no impetus for a return visit, another purchase, or any other loyalty down the road.
Well, ask yourself this question. When you were last satisfied with a purchase, did you call anyone? Email anyone? Did you even smile? Probably not.
Herein lies the concept of "Customer Delight." Sadly I can't take credit for the term, as it is the one beneficial nugget of information I took from my MBA courtesy of Marketing professor Dan Smith.
Customer Delight can best be described as meeting the customer need while so exceeding every expectation they had for the experience in both product and service that you have become the best thing since electricity was discovered. Seriously.
A satisfied customer tells nobody about their experience, certainly not unsolicited. A delighted customer, however, takes every opportunity to tell anyone within listening range about their experience, and actively pushes others to do the same. You can't purchase marketing like this! All the brochures and commercials in the world can't achieve the same result as someone you know telling you they had such an awesome experience that you are going with them to see for yourself.
We went to Grapevine Canyon Guest Ranch for our honeymoon. We had a blast. I want to go back. Every time I hear someone talk about a different vacation, I tell them about the ranch. Not only that, but I tell them everything about the area. I tell them everything we did there short of the personal honeymoon stuff! Seriously! They have to tell Eve, the owner, we told them to call. Oh, and we give them the web address AND the brochures. My mom was so intrigued she went last year. She had a great time and even called us when she saw our picture on the wall in the lodge. I will be taking my son as soon as he is old enough to go.
When is the last time you experienced this?
If you can provide Customer Delight to your customers, you will go far.