Thursday, 21 March 2013

From 'Customer Satisfaction' to 'Customer Delight'

In business, when customers' expectations are met, the out come is satisfaction with the product or service. This means that a business has fulfilled the contract with the customer, and the customer is expected to be happy about that. However, satisfaction is no longer enough for customers who constantly demand for more than they receive. They expect much more from businesses even if they don't request for it, they want to be delighted about the product or service coming from a business. Studies have suggested that for a business to develop and maintain loyalty, it must go beyond mere satisfaction; that is, it must delight or over reward its customers.

Customer Delight is a positive emotional state that comes as a result of exceeding one’s expectations to a surprising degree. Delight requires a mixture of joy and surprise.  It is a more positive and more emotional response than simply excellent.
While customer satisfaction is generally based on exceeding one's expectations, customer delight requires that customers receive a positive surprise that is beyond their expectations. 

Berman Barry identified the important differences between satisfaction and delight:
  • Satisfaction is more cognitive; delight is more affective. 
  • Satisfaction is based on perceptions, while delight is more emotional. 
  • Delight is often associated with such emotions as arousal, joy, and pleasure.
  • While satisfaction is based on meeting or exceeding expectations, delight requires out-of-the-ordinary performance
To continue to survive in a competitive market, you need to give your customers more than they expect, you have to delight them.

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