So how do you do it? Customer satisfaction can be hard enough, but delight – isn’t that too hard? Well no, in many cases it only requires a small tweak – something unexpected and positive – to turn your customer’s experience into delight.
Based on customer feedback from over 400,000 customer reviews on WOMO.com.au, here are 10 practical ideas you can use to delight your customers….
- Give a Surprise Gift
This is the most well-known technique in the book, but it works. The trick is it needs to be unexpected and valuable (although not cost you too much!). Things like a free card to give with a gift, free batteries to include with a toy, or a coupon for a discount or dollars-off at their next visit can all work very well. The manner in which you give the gift is important as well. Rather than just “throwing in a free greeting card”, make a big deal of it. Say something like; “Do you have a gift card for them yet? Well how about choosing one of these – I’ll give it to you on the house as a small gift from us to give you one less thing to do today.”
- Provide Shockingly Good Service
Hopefully you always provide good service, but go a step beyond and do something out of the ordinary for as many customers as you can. Offer free delivery, help them carry their parcels to their car, set up the product they've just purchased (or provide them with instructions), basically do something extra that they wouldn’t expect. Gift-wrapping is also a good idea although it’s so common it doesn’t really delight. Depending on what you’re selling though you could make this a bit special with a creative type of wrapping (a fancy box?) or by allowing customers to choose their wrapping and then picking up their goods later so that they don’t have to wait.
- Make Your Customer’s Day Easier
Think of the types of customers you encounter and find a way to make their shopping experience easier. It could be providing a toy corner for kids (or even a kids entertainer!) so that the parents can shop in peace, it could be providing ice-cold lemonade to hot and bothered shoppers, or fresh strawberries (chocolate dipped?) to customers that are hungry. Or what about providing a really useful gift guide to customers as they walk in – make the chore of shopping a little bit easier.
- Lift Your Customer’s Mood
Shopping, especially at Christmastime, can be a stressful experience for many people, so make it your team’s job to truly share some merriment. This doesn’t necessarily mean being over-the-top cheerful. Your team needs to use their emotional intelligence to meet the customer where they are, and lift them a little (or a lot). First, relate to the customer, empathise with their point of view and current mood. Then compliment them (on their generosity, good taste etc) and suggest an alternative point of view. Be real, be warm, and aim for each customer to leave feeling a little more positive about the world!
Really, there’s hardly such a thing as “over-communicating” in customer service, but it can feel a bit over the top so it might be helpful to think of it this way. If you’re in retail, acknowledge the customers standing in line behind the ones you’re serving – just a quick “sorry, won’t be long” makes them feel less annoyed about waiting. If you’re a tradie, give updates throughout the job; “just ringing to let you know that we’re still on track to finish by next Friday”. Or if you provide a personal service, let your customer know exactly what you’re doing and why; “I’m rubbing through a high shine conditioning treatment to bring out the colour”.
- Give Your Customers Priority
Want to make a customer feel special? Give them priority on your most valuable offerings. This could be exclusive access to offers, advance notice of new products, an opportunity to test-drive your products, or an ability to take up a popular time slot. Imagine your customer’s delight when you call them to say you’ve got an opening on Saturday morning and you know they always prefer that slot.
- Show you Listened
Customers love it when you remember their name or something about them. Depending how many customers you have, you may need to set up a system to do this. Remember their kids, their favourite products, their birthday, their holiday plans – and talk to them about it!
- Make Customers Confident in their Decisions
After we make a purchase, it’s human nature to experience ‘post-purchase dissonance’ or ‘buyers remorse’. But you can minimise this by making the customer feel really good about their purchase. Compliment them on their good taste and give them words and phrases to describe their purchase to their friends and family. For example, you could say; “did you realise that this model is twice as powerful as brand x?” or “this colour is so versatile – you can wear it with black, red, blue, or grey and it looks amazing when you dress it up with a scarf or jewellery”.
- Say a Heart-Felt Thank You
Show customers your appreciation after the transaction is complete. This could be a hand-written card, an e-card, or a quick email. Personalise your message and be heart-felt in your gratitude. You could also use this opportunity to check in with the customer to see how they’re going with the product or the result of your service. It’s easy to do but you’ll stand out as the vast majority of businesses don’t do this.
- Make Your Customer an Insider
Customers love it when they’re made to feel part of your team. You could ask customers to be part of a special focus group or to give you feedback – either directly to you, or by reviewing your business. Show them you genuinely value their opinion and think of them as an insider. Or you could even invite your best customers to your Christmas party as an opportunity for them to get to know your team better.
Remember, the best time to build customer advocates that will help spread the word about your business is when you’re busy! So commit to building in a few ideas that will truly delight your customers.
To get the most benefit from your delighted customers, remember to ask them for a review. Let them know how important customer reviews are to your business and how much you’d appreciate their support. The customer reviews you build now will help you get more customers* in quieter months so don’t be shy!
*Data from WOMO.com.au shows that businesses with more customer reviews get substantially more enquiries than businesses with just 1 or 2 reviews.
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