Customer Delight

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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6 Responses

  1. July 8, 2013

    […] shows many sources of overlap between lean and Deming thinking. One of those is how they both focus on the customer and customer value. Various tools and concepts on this topic are used by both management systems; while each may […]

  2. August 12, 2013

    […] Articles by Dr. Deming – Customer Delight – Employees need to understand how customers actually use their product or […]

  3. September 8, 2015

    […] avoid foolish decisions because they don’t understand variation, continually focus on how to delight the customer, delight employees through intrinsic motivation (let them have joy in work), make problems visible […]

  4. September 30, 2015

    […] A phrase in your mission statement that your company values employees matters only to the extent the company manifests a respect for people. A phrase about the importance of customers matters only to the extent the company delivers customer delight. […]

  5. February 18, 2016

    […] also discussed the importance of customer delight over customer satisfaction (for important differentiator from […]

  6. January 19, 2017

    […] a great deal of insight. The understanding of the complex needs of customers and the importance of managing the organization as a system to consistently delight customers is integrated throughout the book (and Clayton Christensen’s other […]

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