In today's blog we will talk about the last step in the buyer's journey; keeping customers happy and coming back time and time again. The lifetime value of a customer is something that every business should be thinking about and always looking for ways to turn happy customers into ambassadors for your brand.
When Samsung's Kevin Gilroy was introducing the Galaxy S8 to the media this year, he said he hoped users would be "delighted" with the new smart phone. He used the phrase not once, but three times in a short presentation.
According to Larry Walsh of the twenty-one twelve group, Gilroy was talking about delighting customers back when he worked for SAP, the German enterprise software company. Walsh expected a German software company to be touting efficiency, speed, scalability ... but "delighting."
Obviously, Gilroy has learned the lesson that inbound marketers have made one of the cornerstones of their work – delighted customers become repeat customers and promoters for your brand.
What Does Delighting Customers Mean?
Delighting customers means going one step, at least, beyond what customers expect of your company. If you promise them a certain product or service, give them a token gift or extra service to ensure they remember you and want to come back.
If a customer has a problem, fix the problem and offer them something extra as a form of apology. If a customer calls for technical support, give them extra advice or resources or your direct line to help them solve future issues.
If Susie just bought your SaaS line for her entire office, send her a gift basket. If Joe just signed a contract extension to lock in your service for another five years, send him tickets to a Major League Baseball game. Maybe Susie likes baseball, too. Knowing your customer's likes is a great way to be able to surprise and delight them.
You can provide the products and services your company promises to earn satisfied customers, but when you go the extra step, you gain delighted customers.
Why Care that Customers Are Delighted?
Delighted customers are sure to do two things: buy from you again and recommend you to their friends and business associates.
Finding new customers costs six to seven times as much as retaining existing customers, so if you have delighted customers who are sure to stick with your company, you don't need to spend that extra money replacing them. Loyal customers also spend as much as 30 times more money with your company than the average new customer. Surveys also have found that 55 percent of customers who receive outstanding service are willing to pay more for that service. Who doesn't like customers who stick with them and even are willing to pay more?
Delighted customers also become your promoters. Leads that come through a recommendation from one of your loyal customers are much more likely to become customers than leads generated through your advertising and outreach efforts.
Who Is Responsible for Delighting Customers?
The simple answer to that question: Everyone. Delighting customers should become a corporate mentality, emanating from the CEO's office on down.
The old paradigm of marketing handing off leads to sales, who converted them to customers, passing them along to customer service no longer holds true in the era where customers go looking for solutions to their problems.
The old corporate silos need to come down so marketing, sales, customer service, finance and the C-suite create a customer-centric environment that is designed to delight. Marketing must create content that meets and exceeds customers' future needs. Sales must recognize the value of the ongoing relationship that keeps customers returning. Customer service must be empowered to go above and beyond to ensure they can give customers that surprise extra. Finance must budget for these extras and understand the value of dollars spent on delighting. And the C-suite must establish the environment and reward employees who succeed in delighting your customers.
When you're ready to establish a culture of delighting customers, Small Dog Creative will partner with your team to set all the components in motion, from branding to website design to inbound marketing and beyond.
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