Customer delight is surprising a customer by exceeding his or her expectations and thus creating a positive emotional reaction. This emotional reaction leads to word of mouth. Customer delight directly affects sales and profitability of a company as it helps to distinguish the company and its products and services from the competition. In the past customer satisfaction has been seen as a key performance indicator. Customer satisfaction measures the extent to which the expectations of a customer are met (compared to expectations being exceeded). However, it has been discovered that mere customer satisfaction does not create brand loyalty nor does it encourage positive word of mouth.
Customer delight can be created by the product itself, by accompanied standard services and by interaction with people at the front line. The interaction is the greatest source of opportunities to create delight as it can be personalized and tailored to the specific needs and wishes of the customer. During contacts with touch points in the company, more than just customer service can be delivered. The person at the front line can surprise by showing a sincere personal interest in the customer, offer small attentions that might please or find a solution specific to particular needs. Those front-line employees are able to develop a relationship between the customer and the brand. Elements in creating motivated staff are: recruiting the right people, motivating them continuously and leading them in a clear way.
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