Truth be said, it’s very hard to meet customer expectations, but we can definitely work on bridging the gap between customer experience and customer expectations. As we work harder to lessen the gap it leads automatically to Customer Delight. Similar to how a skyscraper needs a strong foundation, Customer Delight requires a strong knowledge of customers and their requirements. We need to spend enough time building a strong base, rather than rushing to start building floors without a proper base.
We need to work on certain specific areas to attain Customer Delight. A customer generally expects certain key elements from a service provider which include competitive pricing, quality delivery, meeting deadlines, and innovation. Customers are taking center stage, and one of the key elements influencing how well businesses do is how satisfied they are with their experiences. Knowing what consumers want, feel, desire, and prefer is essential for a business to survive in a market where there is fierce competition. Every customer is in search of an organization that will help to fix or solve the customer’s business problem. For any successful organization to go forward, it is very important that one should understand customer requirements in depth. These requirements include not only solving the problem but also what impact the business will have on it.
In order to understand the customers requirements, try to identify the following,
- Are they trying to solve a problem?
- Are they trying to generate additional revenue or add new customers?
- Are they trying to optimize an existing process?
- Are they trying to improve customer satisfaction?
- Are they trying to convince management regarding a new product/solution?
- What’s the business impact?
Understand what would make the business owner successful within their organization post-launch,
It might be related to increasing the company’s revenue or profitability or it might be related to improving their customer satisfaction. The impact of customer happiness extends to a business’s overall growth. Delighted customers always bring more growth to any organization. A satisfied customer will bring in more revenue and it will lead to the success and growth of the company.
Let’s understand why the customer awarded the project to the company.
A customer always looks for an expert who is an expert in a particular domain. Meeting and satisfying customer needs is the first and foremost goal of any organization. In most cases, a company gets more projects or starts getting more projects when a customer is satisfied and content with the earlier projects that have been done, or is unsatisfied with the existing vendor. In most cases, it is the former one. If the customer is happy with the work, there are increased chances of getting more projects.
Align the internal team with the following
- Customer Requirement
- Customer Business Goals
- Roles and responsibilities of each resource
- Deliverables with deadline
Avoid single ownership for operations and business/strategy
- Strategic/Business Owner – must be in regular touch with Customer business owner
- Operations Owner – runs day-to-day operations
- In a few cases, customers might have the same resource as both Business and Operations owners, but vendors should always have two separate owners for Business and Operations to handle customer interactions in a smoother way.
For every organization, it is important to create a regular feedback mechanism because of which it becomes easy for the customer and the organization to get engaged. It helps to improve the customer-vendor relationship in so many ways. A proper feedback system encourages the customer to share their views on the improvements and other needs of an organization.
Customers should look at a vendor as a thought leader(consultant) in a product/solution who can provide business solutions rather than being a pure implementation partner
Also need to remember that there are two types of Customers:
- Customers that signed the deal with Vendor
- Customers of Customer(who signed the deal)
Sometimes, the final end customer isn’t prioritized by the service provider which leads to a lot of dissatisfaction with the customer. Need to have a strategy to achieve both the customer’s delight, at the end of the day it won’t help if only one of them ends up “delighted” and the other one remains unsatisfied.
Finally – the two most important attributes to achieving Customer Delight are:
- “NEVER LIE” to the customer. It’s completely fine to accept something that cannot be done rather than making false promises.
- Never have an engagement model for financial benefits alone i.e. otherwise there won’t be a long-term engagement. Engagement should exist for addressing a customer’s business problem rather than the financial needs of the vendor.
In conclusion, delighted(more than satisfied) customers not only continue working long term but also act as brand ambassadors. The best marketing person/tool/media is the delighted customer. They’ll be content to continue the engagement and spread the word about the vendor. A brand’s reputation among current and potential customers can be enhanced by delivering exceptional customer delight. One must develop customer delight if they want to keep customers loyal.
Beyond client contentment, there is customer delight.