Customer Delight

By John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004).

Customer satisfaction is better than dissatisfaction but it is not enough. A satisfied customer will leave for another provider at the slightest provocation. They see a bit lower price – they leave. You make one minor slip up – they leave. They find some marketing effort cute – they leave.

Delighted customers are very difficult for competitors to take away. Delighted customers are not incredibly price sensitive, leaving the business with more room for profit. Delighted customers serve as marketers for your company.

A delighted customer base provides a strong foundation for the company. A satisfied customer base provides the opportunity to try and keep their business. A dissatisfied customer base is a crumbling foundation that likely dooms the company baring a lot of effort and luck and likely price cuts to convince customers to give you a chance.

Delighting customers requires a deep understanding of customer desires. Delighting customer also requires reliable processes that consistently provide excellent results.

Delighting customers almost always requires innovation. Customer expectations are constantly increasing. What delighted customers 5 years ago is expected today. And what delights customers today will be expected soon.

To keep customers delighted strong management systems that consistently result in continual improvement based on customer desires must be in place and those improvement processes themselves must be continually improved.

Related: Dr. Deming on InnovationEncourage Improvement Action by Everyone

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