Monday, February 13, 2012

Actions Speak Louder

Customer delight is a term being thrown around a lot these days.   It seems to be the special sauce to get your customer horizontally marketing on your behalf.

What is customer delight? The best customer service in the world? The point at which you've created that experience for the customer that it becomes a story they tell?

More often than not, it is when the customer is surprised by an unexpected gesture or action you took that defines the turning point of their loyalty to you: upgraded delivery, replacement of an out-of-warranty item, a personal thank you note, or call from a concerned CEO.

The problem is that customer delight is subjective.  It is defined by the customer, not by you. 

As an organization, you can strive to create a culture that is focused on customer delight, but you would be better served focusing on filling your organization with people that have the individual power to make it happen.
This starts with trust, both trusting your employees to make good decisions and trusting that not all your customers are trying to take advantage of you.

You can't define the story of customer delight from the top.  Its got to be crafted, grown, and reshaped from every customer interaction from those touching the customers.

Striving toward customer delight must include the acceptance that you don't know what that is and you can't control it.  What you can control, however, is encouraging your employees to uncover unexpected examples and reward them to take action.

Those actions will eventually build and define your culture of customer delight.  

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