As it appeared in the Daily Nation on September 24th 2019
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu
We are living in the age of the customer. The customers of today are different. They are more demanding and more informed. Besides, they want to have more control over their everyday interactions with companies. Smart companies should therefore do all they can to delight their customer and as a result, create a loyal customer base. Loyal customers are extremely good for business; not only do they come again but they also bring others with them. Here are three ways to delight your customers.
Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs
Customers have needs; these needs are based on their expectations. The needs are either functional or emotional. Functional needs relate to the main reason behind the purchase of a product or service. Emotional needs relate to the more in-depth human cravings. Smart businesses anticipate customer needs. They are not caught unaware of a customer’s expectation. Anticipating customers’ needs requires that we first think like customers. We must figure out what customers are likely to say, why they are likely to say it as well as how they feel. Smart companies spend time identifying customer needs; they listen more. When customers feel that a business does not understand their needs, they often go to another that they perceive to understand them better. Without anticipating customers’ needs, it is difficult to delight customers.
Reliability is at the centre of customer delight. It is the ability and commitment to perform the promised task dependably and accurately. To delight our customers, we must do what we said we would do when we said we would do it. That is not always easy. However, the benefits of being reliable are more than the effort required. It helps build trust and confidence in our products, services and brand. If we want to delight our customers, we need to entrench reliability as a value across the entire organization. When we do not honour promises made to customers, it annoys them. It is our responsibility to assure our customers of our commitment to always do what we promise to do. If we are unable to keep a promise, it is also our responsibility to alert the customer immediately before they contact us.
Customers love it when we stay in touch and keep them updated on matters close to their heart. As such, it is critical to be intentional about staying connected with our customers. Staying connected goes beyond regular and unnecessary communication. Staying connected means that we make every customer feel special at every point of interaction. It requires connecting at the emotional level by providing the best experience. Staying connected requires that we are fully aware of our customers’ expectations and have committed to meet them. At the most basic form, staying connected means acknowledging the customer and making them feel welcome across the multiple channels that they may use to contact us. It also means alerting customers of new systems, new policies, new products and services well in advance. To delight our customers, we need to stay in touch and be open to feedback throughout our interactions with customers.
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy