The focus should always be on giving customers a fantastic experience. You want them to get comfortable with your brand so that they remain repeat customers. This is one of the biggest reasons why the marketing flywheel is so essential — there’s the “delight” component to it. The best part is that integrating customer delight into your digital-first strategy isn’t hard — it just requires a little more thought and empathy.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can delight your customers.

Nail the Basics of Customer Delight

Before getting too deep into technical tricks and personalized purchases, you need to get the basics down. According to PWC, speed, convenience, helpfulness, and friendliness are the cornerstones of excellent customer experience. Each received scores of over 70% on their customer service survey, and none is more important than the others.

It’s easy to get distracted when talking about digital transformations and online customer journeys. However, what makes the biggest difference today is no different than ten years ago. Customers want to get what they want without waiting and to interact with friendly people who know what they’re doing. And while speed and convenience might mean something different on the web than they do in the corner store, the concept remains the same.

Pro tip: Make your site faster and easier to use, train your customer service employees to be helpful and friendly, and make sure your support process is as seamless and straightforward as possible.

Be in the Right Place at the Right Time

90% of millennials want customer service through their smartphone. That’s not to say that you need to immediately revamp your entire service and support infrastructure to be mobile-first, and it certainly doesn’t imply that you have to develop a separate app to provide service. Instead, the point is to be familiar with how customers like to interact with your brand and offer solutions that meet them where they already are.

This is where the importance of understanding your customer journey comes in, and why it’s so difficult to recommend specific tools or channels for customer delight. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for great customer experiences. Building the kind of brand that your customers love requires understanding where your customers are and how they like to be reached and giving them precisely that. 31% of survey respondents ranked “being able to connect with a company on any channel” as their highest driver of brand connection.

Pro tip: Understand what channels your customers like to engage on and make sure your brand experience is oriented around those channels first and foremost.

Get Personal and Provide Continuity

You know that feeling when you walk into your favorite bar or restaurant, and the server greets you by name, seats you at your favorite table, and knows what you’ll have to drink before you even order? It’s a pretty great feeling. Unsurprisingly, digital customers think so, too. In a survey by Genesys, nine out of ten customers valued when a business knew their account history, and seven out of ten preferred to have the same representative help them each time they interacted with a company.

Being digital-first makes it incredibly easy to build up detailed, long-term profiles of each customer and to be able to call these profiles up by telephone number, name, or IP address. Being able to immediately recognize a customer and anticipate what they may be having a problem with can turn a frustrating situation into a magical experience to drive up customer delight. 

Pro tip: Keep track of customers and offer them a personalized experience whenever you can. This includes remembering their purchase history in-store and online, as well as providing them with a consistent person for support.

Be Transparent

Few things will sour customers faster than a lack of transparency — especially as the conversation around digital privacy and data protection intensifies, and consumers become more aware and wary of how their information is used. Customer spending grows with trust, and 85% of customers are likely to stick with a brand through a crisis if they trust it. Trust begins with transparency.

Becoming a more transparent brand starts with simple things. Having a clear, easy-to-read set of policies (privacy policy, cookies policy, GDPR compliance notice, etc.) goes a long way towards helping customers understand what data you’re collecting, how, and what you plan to do with it. Communicating when things go wrong, acknowledging faults, and apologizing is another easy way to score wins — nine out of ten customers are more likely to give brands a second chance when the brands are transparent after a bad experience.

Pro tip: Cultivate a culture of transparency with your customers. Let them know what you do with their personal information, and be upfront about mistakes. Admit fault and apologize, and don’t hide behind legalese.

Put in the Time

Just like interpersonal relationships, brand relationships need time and effort to grow. That means taking the time to reach out to customers after a purchase. One of the reasons the flywheel model is preferred is because it captures this post-sale care cycle much better than the traditional funnel.

More importantly, remember that following up and building a relationship doesn’t begin and end with sending the occasional newsletter or sale flyer. Truly fantastic brand experiences happen when the brand provides value even when that customer isn’t looking to make a purchase. Getting customers invested in your brand means providing useful content across a multitude of channels, soliciting and fairly responding to honest feedback, and holding open dialogues that elevate your customers’ voices over your own.

Pro tip: Make customers feel rewarded for giving you their business. This can take the form of useful, fun, or informative content. Or, it can be a loyalty program that offers freebies and unique experiences. Even something as small as acknowledging a birthday can go a long way towards making every customer feel special, long after their transaction has ended.

Nurture Your Customers 

Remember: Your existing customers are your brand’s most valuable assets. Spending time and resources on new business acquisition is important. Still, nothing can replace the growth potential of unleashing the brand advocate hiding inside the people that already love your brand. Treat them well, reward them for their loyalty, and watch your marketing flywheel grow!

For more details on how to understand and delight your customers, read more here