Customers are smarter than ever. They are educated, informed and can access so much information when looking to buy a product or service. As a result, they are more demanding and have higher expectations.
No matter how good our product or service might be, companies that only focus on meeting these expectations won’t necessarily cut it anymore. The challenge for any business is to be able to find ways to continuously exceed the customers’ expectations in a memorable, unique and workable manner. In other words, they need to focus on delivering a delightful customer experience every time they interact with customers.
Delighting the customer is what marketers often call the “WOW” factor. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the ‘WOW’ factor can be defined as "a quality or feature of something that makes people feel great excitement or admiration”.
“WOWING” the customer needs to be at the heart of any sales and marketing strategy. Customers love a personal touch and like to valued and made feel special. So, it’s about connecting with the customers and doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary way, going above and beyond the customers expectation.
According to Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” Companies need to focus on empowering their staff to find ways to go that extra mile and “WOW” customers on a daily basis. Once they do this, they can build customers for life.
Loyal customers are great advocates for the business providing referrals, word of mouth and repeat orders. When a customer experiences an unexpected yet clever gesture, it can open the door to incredible marketing opportunities as users often share their encounter on social media. This level of exposure is priceless for any business.
The best and most accessible ways to delight customers are quick and easy things to do. They generally cost little money to the business; yet they are instantly valued and noticed by the customer.
Here are a just few examples of what we can do to delight and “WOW” customers. Once you read through these I am sure you can think of more.
- Remember the customer’s name and use it in conversation - There is nothing better than when people remember your name and use it to personalise a conversation.
- Pick up the phone and check in on the customer - An example might be a masseur or dentist checking in on a customer to see how they are feeling after their appointment.
- Show interest in people - Take the time to talk to the customer and showing interest in them. Then show you remember when you check in with them; whether they told you about their children, pets, hobbies or jobs.
- Go the extra mile - It’s lovely to see people being helpful when you’re the customer. Like offering to carry your shopping to the car, lending an umbrella, offering a coffee or perhaps dropping something off to you, saving the time and effort.
- It’s in the details - Sending hand-written personalised notes or including little gifts (ie chocolates) is a perfect way to show the customer that you care, value them and you are listening to them.
- A little more – Give the customer a little more of your time when they need it. This might mean chatting a little longer when they are concerned and need reassurance. Staying open a little later when they are delayed picking something up or perhaps offering “a top-up of coffee” or a little extra in their order.
- Acknowledge special events – Go out of your way to acknowledge the customer’s special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries etc. Whether it’s a slice of cake, chocolates, flowers, a personalised gift or even a card.