Delighting customers gets a lot of lip service as a “good idea,” but it can be hard to get buy-in. Delight does not always reflect in short term ROI. If your company is all about This Quarter’s numbers, then Delight will perpetually be pushed to "another time." However, if your company can shift to a longer-term view that encompasses customer loyalty and advocacy, then suddenly Delight makes a lot of sense to the bottom line.
Here are a couple of examples of delighting customers to help paint the picture:
WestJet Airlines: You may have caught the video that went viral where WestJet created a singular holiday experience for three of their flights last December. The video is worth the 5 minutes because it so clearly captures not just the delight of the customers, but the energy and delight of the employees who participated. WestJet had Santa ask passengers for their wish list before they boarded and when they landed, WestJet employees had hurried out and purchased the items on every passenger’s wish list. Now imagine an airlines buys you a flat screen TV… would you tell everyone? Would you fly them again? How many flights does that one passenger need to book in order to recoup the cost? Not to mention the fact Forbes estimates that this video is worth millions in free advertising. The WestJet VP of Communications stated that they had forecast about 800,000 views in order to make the effort worthwhile, but within a few days they hit 13 million views worldwide. The ROI on this example is fairly clear, but it was not the motivation for the effort. WestJet started from the place of wanting to surprise and delight their customers.
Sushi Restaurant: I recently went to an acclaimed sushi restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We went at 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday and assumed there would be an hour wait. However, we arrived and the hostess smiled and said, “It will be a three hour wait minimum. Would you like to put your name on the list?” My blood sugar could survive an hour, but not three… “No thanks.” I assumed the interchange was over, but the hostess called me back and asked, “Would you like a $25 gift card to use on your next visit?” Clearly this restaurant didn’t need to drum up business, but my experience and the story I tell transformed from grumpy to delighted. I assure you on my next visit I spent well over $25.
Topliners.com: When Eloqua first started the Topliners Community in 2010 there was no guarantee that customers would adopt, share, and contribute. There was a leap of faith and the knowledge that we have the greatest customers and surely that would translate. Now Topliners is a powerful resource for our customers, but there has been an additional bonus. Prospects have a glimpse into the thought leadership and collaboration of not just the sales person, but the community of users. Topliners definitely influences ROI, loyalty, and customer satisfaction.
Delight is about the stories we tell and that are told about our brand. It needs to be organic and genuine. It can require more up-front investment and you may not be able to attribute ROI directly.
What are you doing to delight your customers? Check out the SlideShare Ways to Show Your Customers Love for some delightful inspiration!