Delight means exceeding customer expectations, which is crucial to building genuine customer loyalty. Loyal customers not only stick around to buy more, but are so happy with the value they receive that they become advocates for your business.
In other words, delighted customers become a kind of volunteer marketing force for your brand. The online retailer Zappos has made “delivering happiness” its mantra, and become one of the world’s most popular retailers in just a few short years.
But as the world shifts to more and more digital interactions—from commonplace e-commerce and web self- service to newer social and mobile interactions—business leaders must solve one key problem. Namely, how to deliver delight when most digital interactions are designed to meet, but not exceed, customer expectations.
True, there’s value in easy, consistent processes. But when was the last time you applauded your bank for a successful ATM transaction? Or thanked your hotel when you could check out via your room’s TV? Or tweeted about how amazing it was to get an electronic ticket for a flight?
Technology innovations move from novelty to routine at warp speed. Result: the opportunity to delight is quickly erased. Loyalty leaders must move beyond basic automation and look for new creative ways to create delight. In some cases technology can work behind the scenes to improve human interactions. In other cases, innovative uses of digital tools can directly deliver a delightful experience.