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Customer Delight: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

How do you move beyond satisfaction to utter delight? In this lesson, we'll take a look at how businesses can wow their customers into customer delight, and we'll check out a few examples of brands already doing it.

Putting on the Ritz

Exactly how much are you worth to the luxury hotel chain The Ritz-Carlton when you stay there as a guest? $100? $250? $500? What about $2,000?

Though it may seem hard to believe, employees of The Ritz-Carlton have been given the power to spend up to $2,000 per guest, per stay to make their Ritz-Carlton experience perfect. This is done without needing to call for a manager or jump through various hoops. It's simply the hotel's customer service policy for ensuring the delight of its guests.

The $2,000 Rule, as it's often called, is a hallmark of The Ritz-Carlton's focus on customer delight, not merely customer satisfaction. It allows employees to not only meet a guest's expectations but exceed them - a move designed to breed lifelong loyalty among its valued customers. The $2,000 isn't simply designed to offer compensation to disgruntled guests unhappy with their room or service but to enhance a guest's stay in any way the employee sees fit.

So, how does this $2,000 equal the idea of customer delight? Read on.

What is Customer Delight?

Customer delight differs from customer satisfaction in one very crucial way: it's about exceeding a customer's expectations, or going above and beyond, rather than just simply providing a satisfactory experience that met expectations.

We frequently see instances of customer delight going viral (being shared over and over) on social media. The emotional reaction we experience when we see customer delight in action makes us want to share what we've seen, a type of word-of-mouth marketing for the business at the center of the action. In fact, many businesses use these examples of customer delight in their marketing by implementing them into customer testimonials and other marketing materials.

Customer delight can result in good things for businesses. Why? Because businesses benefit from their good works toward customers in numerous ways: increased revenue, greater brand loyalty, and being separated from the pack of competitors.

How to Deliver

So, maybe you're thinking that you're doing well satisfying customers, but you want to move into the next stratosphere of delighting them. How do you implement it? Let's talk about how to deliver the delight with some best practices.

1. Listen. You'd be surprised how many little things you can pick up on if you're listening closely instead of formulating your answer. Your delight moment may come from a simple comment made by a customer that you can fulfill with ease.

2. Surprise. You want your customers to be wowed; that's where the delight comes in. Give people something unexpected and build spontaneity into your business practices.

3. Give. We're not talking about money or stuff here but rather time, space, and contact. Work efficiently for your consumers, but give them room to process information you've provided and a specific contact person they can reach out to when they're ready.

4. Be flexible. How often are you confronted with a truly black-and-white situation where there's no wiggle room? Probably not very often. Remember that it's important to bend the rules every once in a while.

5. Get personal. Taking an interest in your customers is one of the simplest ways to incite delight. Remembering a birthday or sending a note out of the blue is an easy step for you but a memorable one for the person on the receiving end. Above all, be genuine.

Taco Bell Delight

Taco Bell found a way to get into the customer delight game as the result of a hoax played on an entire Alaskan town. Bethel, Alaska's citizens got excited over news of a Taco Bell opening in their small town. After all, the closest of the chain's restaurants was 400-plus miles away in Anchorage. To their dismay, the story about a new Taco Bell opening was inaccurate.

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