Customer Delight: The Organic, Authentic Way to Transform Interactions Into Magical Experiences

When a business elevates customer service to the level of customer delight, it has gone above and beyond conventional expectations and has elicited an emotional response.

People who talk about the businesses that they interact with generally fall into three high-level buckets:

1) Some customers, unhappy with their experiences with a brand, decide to complain. (Let's hope that this bucket is small!)

2) Other customers, extraordinarily pleased with their interactions with a brand, share their positive experiences with others.

3) Of course, there will always be people in between the two whose experiences neither warrants a complaint or praise.

Providing stellar experiences that transform "customer satisfaction" into "customer delight" should be the goal of every marketing professional and business. Often customers, who find themselves enchanted, tell others what they have experienced. Business professional recognize this phenomenon as "word-of-mouth marketing." It is marketing that is organic in nature and doesn't cost an organization a single dime.

Let's take a look at a few great examples of customer delight.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car
With so many car rental companies offering the same automobiles in the same locations, how does a business differentiate itself from competitors outside of price?

Enterprise Rent-a-Car discovered an easy - and cost-effective - way to stand out from the pack: It provides a free bottle of chilled water to customers. Every Enterprise location has a mini-fridge stocked with bottles of refreshing water that are free for patrons to enjoy. While seemingly small in gesture, this perk delights its customers.

Consider: Typically, people who rent cars are traveling. TSA does not allow water bottle through its screening areas. Refreshment service on flights is limited at best. Purchasing water inside of an airport is hilariously expensive. Furthermore, travelers are often on tight schedules and don't have extra time to make pit stops.

This is the reality of modern air travel. Enterprise recognizes - and appreciates - these stressors. Providing a small, chilled bottle of water goes a long way to reducing its customers' stress, especially when it is hot. This simple gesture delights Enterprise's customers - effectively, efficiently and easily.

Is the cost of offering bottled water cost prohibitive?

No. Customer loyalty and delight has contributed to the organization's 11% annual organic growth rate over the past two decades!

Capital One
Recently, social media helped to make Capital One customer Christina infamous when her story went viral.

Christina's credit card was deactivated. The reason? Capital One's Fraud department had noticed furniture had been sent to an address that was not the address it had in her customer profile.

Christina called the Customer Service team at Capital One. She explained that she had recently broken up with her fiance and was furnishing a new home.

This is where something negative transformed into something magical.

One of Capital One's teammates - Tonya - took matters into her hands and made the decision to show her customer an act of kindness. Five days after the customer support call between Christina and Tonya, Christina received a testy text from her ex-fiancé to let her that a floral bouquet had arrived for her.

Puzzled, Christina picked up the flowers. The note inside read, "TONYA KYY905 Capital One."

Tonya went above and beyond ordinary customer satisfaction and solving an issue with a credit card. She shared her empathy, compassion and humanity with someone who likely needed a pick-me-up. This simple act transformed customer satisfaction into genuine customer delight.

This incredible tale went viral over social media like lightning after Christina shared her story online.

Simply put: one teammate's authentic act of kindness generated a significant amount of positive coverage and organic word-of-mouth for Capital One. Tonya's example is one that all businesses should aspire to each and every day.

Sources:

  • http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/viral-capital-one-customer-service-rep-speaks-out-w440369
  • https://hbr.org/2012/08/three-things-your-company-can-learn

Valerie Access

October 07, 2016