Is customer delight an unnecessary cost?

We’ve been told time and again to delight our customers, to WOW them with our exceptional service.

When we exceed customer expectations then loyalty increases.

Yet recent research may show that instead of delighting and wowing customers we should make out interactions effortless… or thats what i said last week.

So how much effort should we put into surprising, delighting and WOWing customers?

Customer delight is an unnecessary cost

For customer support or customer service teams to go above and beyond often requires extra time that could otherwise be used to more quickly attend to other customers. Furthermore, customer delight initiatives may include adding on extra benefits and freebies to compensate for a dissatisfied customer’s trouble.

Exceeding expectations, or delighting customers, may create “feel-good” moments (but only in 16% of customer engagements)  but doing so has a low impact on loyalty or repeat business, plus it tends to increase costs by 10-20%.

This research revealed that 84% of customers who had experienced over-the-top interactions claimed their expectations had not been exceeded and that such excessive levels of customer service only make customers slightly more loyal to the brand. These added perks require extra resources and time that have little to no impact on customer loyalty.

Delight doesn’t keep customers loyal

Even if you manage to satisfy demanding customers, this does not guarantee loyalty. In fact, 60% of buyers who leave a vendor report being at least satisfied. Customers aren’t expecting to be wowed during every touch point with a brand, rather they want their problems to be solved with the minimal steps required to do so. Customers are more likely to return if they are confident you can consistently provide them with an efficient and satisfactory resolution to their issue.

As I’ve said, reducing customer effort is critical for generating lasting customer loyalty to a brand.  Next I’ll explain the four ways to reduce customer dissatisfaction.