Finding Ways To Delight Your Customers

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 in Experience, Value | 0 comments

A big recurring theme around Customer Zen is finding examples of exceptional customer experiences.  Often, the product or service I receive from a company is secondary to how they make me feel, and most importantly, to what degree they make me feel I am important to them.  More often these days, social forums reflect and amplify the customer experience, and the brilliant 5 star rating (or dreadful one star) tells someone exactly what to expect from your organization.

On a recent trip with friends to Miami, I was reminded yet again exactly how those glowing 5 star reviews are earned, and that it really boils down to the quality of interaction between people.  With very little of our trip besides flights and lodging planned ahead of time, we relied on the experience of others to guide our choices for dining and other activities.  Social sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp make it easy to narrow down a list of possibilities, with reviews telling us exactly what sort of experience we should expect.

For one excursion, we decided to rent a small boat, with a captain, to explore the area and see the sights from a new perspective.  Once we arrived at the marina that sunny Saturday afternoon to check in for our reservation, we waited as we watched busy crews help other customers.  Eventually, we learned that there had been a double booking, and that our boat (and captain) had sailed out to sea with another group.  (This is a pivotal moment between customer and company.  I find that patience, calm and creativity can make the difference between disaster and delight.)

Looking to delight a potentially furious customer and create a wonderful experience out of a disastrous situation, the dock manager not only upgraded us to a larger vessel, but also personally stepped up to captain the boat.

Captain Eddie’s quick thinking and resourcefulness saved the day.  He shared with us, among many other things that day, that the philosophy of Miami Boat Rentals is that they treat customers the way they would like to be treated themselves.  Simple as that.  The result was a fantastic afternoon on the ocean for my friends and me, and another 5 star review for this company on Yelp.

At Customer Zen, we are often focused on helping our clients behind the scenes, building or implementing new systems that will help them deliver that exceptional customer experience at scale. Like the Apple Geniuses from our previous post, the importance of having empowered people supported by great customer delivery capabilities cannot be overstated.  Sometimes this just means a dock manager having the ability to upgrade a reservation on the fly and put on a captain’s hat.

As time passes, many customers may not remember the specifics of your product or its functionality, but they will remember how you made them feel and what you did to make them feel that way. They might even just share those feelings with the rest of the world.  Finding ways to delight your customers, not just in a critical situation that could quickly become a disaster, but every day, will create lasting customer relationships that grow and sustain your business for the long term.

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