Did you ever read Tales of the Unexpected, the short stories by Roald Dahl? They always kept you on your toes. I’m a fan of crime fiction, telltale games, mysteries, thrillers and surprise endings.
Nothing makes me happier than a twist.
Those of you familiar with the inbound methodology will know that the final stage of the buyer’s journey is ‘delight’. I’m not sure whether it’s acknowledged in the dictionary definition or something I’ve sort of projected, but I associate the word with something more specific than happiness.
To me it conjures up the idea of unexpected, lightening-out-of-the-blue, heightened, unadulterated joy.
For example, last week my phone slipped out of my pocket and a driver noticed that I hadn’t seen it happen. He pulled over, picked it up, beeped the horn until he got my attention and returned it to my grateful hands. That’s the sort of kindness that delights.
I read a lot about customer satisfaction, but I wonder, are we doing enough to delight?
Going the extra mile to please customers that you already have reduces churn rates and encourages positive testimony. And that is good news for your wallet; according to research conducted for Harvard Business Review, it can cost up to 25 times more to acquire new customers than to retain your existing ones.
Your current customers are important. This blog by Roberto Ramos talks about 'happy economy' and the marketing technique dedicated to putting smiles on customers' faces. I'm seeing it everywhere and welcome the trend.
Surprising and delighting customers serves a more powerful strategic and creative role for brands now more than ever before. Consumers are stressed and marketing has not helped. Most brands have largely been focused on chasing consumers down a purchasing funnel with ads they don’t want to see, promotions that overwhelm them and customer service that is at best lackluster and at worst off-putting and disrespectful. And then we wonder why stores are closing.