There are four phases of the inbound marketing funnel: education, evaluation, and conversion. What? You say we only listed three? Nice catch. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers don’t even consider this last element and instead spend all their time and energy on the first three phases, only to forget about the fourth. But that fourth phase, customer delight, is perhaps the most important of all.
Customer Delight? What Are We Talking About?
Keeping your customers delighted sounds fairly simple, right? But a lot of people manage to muck it up. Too often, especially in sales-related industries, professionals move right on to the next prospect after receiving their check, leaving their new client feeling abandoned and ignored.
But customer satisfaction goes way beyond merely delivering a product that doesn’t break or providing a service that isn’t faulty. How do you handle those inevitable scenarios where something goes wrong? Or, if everything is fine, do your clients still hear from you? You may be providing excellent service, but communication is still key.
Here are some ways to do customer delight right:
Listen. For Real. No Pretending: Ask for feedback. No, scratch that. Beg for feedback. And don’t you dare administer some weak survey. Sit down with these folks if you can, call them on the phone or connect online if you can’t, and discuss what you could be doing better. If they’re also doing business with one of your competitors, learn about those companies’ strengths and weaknesses as well. Don’t take anything personally. Simply address your clients’ suggestions and concerns.
And if something does go wrong, own it. You’re not perfect, and as long as you’re relying on human beings to complete jobs, neither is your operation. Mishaps and mess-ups are inevitable. Acknowledge them when they happen and make it right, no excuses made.
You Can Do Better Than Holiday Cards: Don’t waste your precious time and the world’s precious trees by sending a generic holiday card that’s just going to land in the trash bind. Because you know that’s where it’ll end up. You know this because that’s what you do with the cards you get from businesses. Thunk. Right in the trash.
You know what’s better than a card? Showing up in person with warm bagels and hot coffee. If this isn’t possible, send a box of nice chocolates or other treats. And don't just do it for the holidays — showing up on a random Tuesday in February will make a bigger impression. Nothing unites people like calories.
It bears repeating: Feed people. It’s amazing how effective food can be in fostering goodwill. If you were to show up at a client’s office with a stack of pizzas for the work-file employees, you’d be a hero. That which is unexpected is especially appreciated. Plus, you can write that stuff off on your tax returns.
And never let any of these opportunities go without also providing some company updates. (People are more likely to listen than talk when their mouths are stuffed full of cheesy goodness.) Perhaps there’s a new strategy or service you’re offering that they might be into. If you show up bearing gifts, they’ll be open to hearing whatever you have to say.
Act Like A Socially Functional Human: Personalization matters with inbound marketing, and it’s crucial for keeping your customers delighted. Your communications and correspondence should be sprinkled with anecdotes and information that will make your customers feel seen as the individuals they are.
Check in with people. Ask about their families, vacation plans, all that stuff you also do on your time off. Apply your humanity to your business personality. This kind of thing goes a long way in building real relationships with your clients and keeps them feeding the revenue stream. And as an added bonus, if something does go wrong, they won’t be so quick to lose their cool if you know the names of their kids.
Extend courtesies and goodwill to your clients even when there isn’t an immediate or apparent reason to do so. Touch base with them to make sure they’re satisfied with your efforts, but also that they’re generally doing well. You never know when you might be able to assist them in one way or another, and reminding them of your presence can go a long way in keeping them in your accounts receivable column.
Ready To Get Started?
If you’re looking to grow your business, or you’re struggling to relate to and retain clients — or you just want some more top-notch customer delight examples — give us a buzz and let us help with a customized inbound marketing strategy that will keep your customers delighted. We may even show up unannounced with a fruit basket every now and again.