It is one thing to meet your customers’ expectations and another to delight them. By solving their problems and fulfilling their needs, you will be able to grow your startup into a profitable business. But to transform it into a large-scale, successful, and long-running venture, you have to exceed their expectations and enhance their experience.
Now that you have learned how to foster and nurture quality relationships with your customers, in our previous article, it is time for you to move from “delivery” to “delight”, i.e., from mediocrity to excellence.
What Exactly Is Customer Delight, And Why Does It Matter?
Growing a business is not all about building a great product and being great at marketing it. It is also about making the customers happy and retaining them in the long term. This can only happen when if you surpass their expectations and refine their experience. Doing so will generate a positive emotional response from them, which will increase their loyalty, improve NPS and help you level up your business. This is referred to as customer delight.
Many business owners confuse ‘customer delight’ with ‘customer satisfaction.’ While the former is about enhancing their experience, increasing brand loyalty, and encouraging positive word of mouth, the latter is solely focused on meeting their expectations, which almost every other brand does.
Customer delight can be incredibly beneficial for your startup because brands with enhanced customer experience bring in over five-seven times more revenue than their competitors. And the companies excelling at customer experience have over 1.5 times more engaged employees, which allows them to outperform their competitors by 147%.
Moreover, nearly 81% of organizations believe customer experience to be a competitive differentiator as it helps uplift revenue and increases customer loyalty. Loyal customers are five times more likely to provide repeat business and four times more likely to refer a friend to the brand.
Your customers’ emotional reaction to having their assumptions exceeded causes them to share their experiences and increase your brand’s word-of-mouth marketing, which helps distinguish your company and its offerings from the competition and increase revenue and profitability.
How to Delight Customers?
To effectively achieve customer delight and leverage its benefits for your organization’s growth, you need the help of the best sales consulting in India. We at Cusp strive to ensure that you delight your onboarded customers and create an “Aha” experience for them rather than simply deliver, and we help you do so by creating a robust Customer Success Framework for your organization, a solid foundation to form your bespoke processes around.
Such a framework shows you how to deliver value to your customers, ensure an enhanced product experience, and create repeatable processes that encourage your customers to become brand advocates. It also helps you see what is and isn’t working and what needs attention.
While this concept sounds fantastic, it is hard for companies to determine where to start with its implementation. This is where professional sales consulting for startups in India comes into play.
Developing the Framework
An effective Customer Success Framework is built around the vital stages of the customer’s lifecycle:
- Brand Awareness
The first stage in your customer’s lifecycle sees the most passive interaction with your brand. Because they don’t have a straight journey to your company. They move across various digital touchpoints and offline stores to find the right product that fits their needs and solves their pain points. It is hence essential that you build outstanding and personalized marketing strategies to attract your prospects after you understand their needs/expectations/pain points.
It is vital to have a proper and well-planned customer onboarding process laid out in advance that covers all the aspects of the organization, including
- finance (smooth payment and invoice/billing)
- training (easy-to-digest user manuals, tutorials, orientation, and documents for first-time users)
- engineering (hassle-free product configuration with the client’s internal systems)
- IT (setting up the systems, providing login details, etc., under expert observation)
- Value Appreciation
This is when your customers start using your products/services and deriving value from them. To enhance their experience, you can ask for their feedback, reviews, testimonials, stories, or referrals. If you own a SaaS business, it will be easier to leverage empirical data and valuable metrics regarding your product, such as usage statistics and periodical survey results.
This will help you gauge product perception, measure onboarding proficiency, check support responsiveness, and determine the extent to which your offerings are meeting your customers’ expectations. You can also recommend new/unused features of your offerings. Such interactions can further improve engagement, customer retention, and loyalty.
By this stage, if you have been effectively able to delight them, your customers are likely to become walking billboards of your brand. They are further bound to buy higher versions of your products with more/better features and renew their subscriptions.
You must continue to demonstrate and make them realize the improved value of your new offerings over time while simultaneously looking for ways to upgrade their experience. Leveraging data analytics can provide valuable insights to identify potential improvement opportunities in your products/services and predict your customers’ behaviors, future needs, and concerns. It will help expand your business and sustain it in this ever-increasing competitive environment.
- Possible Churn
This is a critical and often neglected part of building an effective Customer Success Framework. Just because there is a strong framework to guide you, does not mean that all your customers’ journeys will go in the same direction you want. No matter how many preventive measures you take, you can never please all your customers all the time.
Some of them might be dissatisfied and might consider switching providers due to reasons like bad support, faults in your product/service, better offerings from your competitors, etc. Whenever there is a risk of customer churn, your leadership teams must take the necessary actions to prevent them from leaving.
Such actions will vary according to the nature of your business, the number of customers likely to churn, and the amount of revenue at risk.
Personalized Customer-Service Function: Key to Customer Success
Similar to white-glove service, providing personalized service is essential to understanding and predicting customer needs, anticipating and removing friction, and implementing organizational enablers to delight.
Here are some ways you can deliver it:
- The customers’ contact with your company’s touchpoints can serve as great opportunities to understand their expectations and take your customer service to the next level. You can initiate personalized and tailored communications with them, show genuine interest in them, offer attention, and make them feel appreciated. This is crucial because feeling appreciated is the top reason why customers switch brands.
- There are various technologies available today that you can leverage to track intricate customer journeys and serve them meticulously. They can provide a complete digital view of their profiles, past purchases, interactions, etc., to help you better anticipate their needs.
- Besides that, one-on-one customer interaction on their preferred channels can be incredibly helpful. You can use AI-powered tools to quickly redirect requests, complaints, and chats to the most-suited agents/subject matter experts. It will not only drastically reduce resolution times but also ensure that your customers always get the best and the most individualized answers to their queries.
- Provide online/in-app/ live chat service or chat support on their preferred social channels for better engagement.
- Make your agents customer-ready by training them in real-time with necessary resources like available tools/technologies, relevant knowledge articles, etc. Measure their performance through metrics like average handling and waiting times, etc., and improve them.
- Respond to customer queries as soon as possible, starting with a confirmation email upon receiving the question/complaint.
- Avoid placations, canned apologies, and pre-written responses.
If you have successfully managed to delight your customers and go beyond simply delivering on their expectations, congratulations! They are now strategically engaged with your brand and see you as a trusted advisor. It is now time to move to the last stage of the SPANDA Framework for business growth, i.e., Ascend.
Stay tuned to read the FINAL article in this series and contact the best sales consulting for startups in Bangalore to discover the different ways to scale your business, mitigate the risks, and increase organizational growth and profitability.