The darker side of influence: stop delighting & start satisfying the customer

Tweet

At a recent customer experience event I went to I watched a presentation from a well known global brand entitled “Stop delighting the customer”.

It was a good title for a presentation as it got everyone in the audience to sit up and take notice - surely businesses should  focus on delighting customers in order to develop loyalty?

The main point of the presentation was that satisfying your customers, instead of delighting them, will increase loyalty in a way that is financially sustainable for a business in the long run.

Many big brands are attempting to use social media as a tool to delight. They monitor Twitter streams and pay more attention to comments from those consumers who are connected to larger social networks, or have higher Klout or other social scoring metrics, and they attempt to delight them. And there is nothing wrong with this as enaging with influencers in the right way can be valuable to your brand or business.

However, consumers aren’t slow at catching on to this and as more and more people leverage this treatment it could come at a cost to the business.

Consumers could build networks to leverage against better services that they haven’t paid for. A free upgrade, a better room, or a reservation at a booked out restaurant perhaps.  Already some hotels offer preferential treatment to those guests with a high Klout score.

All these things come at a cost to the operating business, particularly if they don’t have an engagement strategy for harnessing influencers to benefit their brand. If that’s the case, they’re just giving away freebies and hoping for some kind of return.

So while targeting influencers is an important part of your social media strategy, it is important to think about embedding social media in a way that improves customer satisfaction as a whole in order to get the most value from your social media activity.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


For social media agency support get in touch or follow us on Twitter.

4 Comments

  1. NotRealName:

    First impression: Why did you use the font from GTA for this image? Immediately brings to mind violence and crime — against the customer? Hmm. :-)

  2. Mark Orlan:

    Simon, I realize these aren’t your words, but rather those of this well-known global brand. Definitely a show-stopper title for a presentation. But really, I’m wondering if the presenter was just out to self-promote. I mean, this is a very weak argument that he or she was making. Hitting a level of “satisfaction” does not build loyalty…it’s just average…it’s parity. It’s those memories of delight that build real emotional connections with people and makes them want to spread the good word.

    Unless this global brand is purely using Social as the means to communicate with its’ customers, then it seems that they’re a bit paranoid of customers ganging up on them to take advantage of their goodwill?

    You’ll always get people trying to “game” the system, but it’s typically the minority, unless the brand is despised by its customers, for whatever reason, and they just want some retribution.

  3. links for 2011-04-07 « Design Studies at Dundee:

    [...] The darker side of influence: stop delighting & start satisfying the customer "At a recent customer experience event I went to I watched a presentation from a well known global brand entitled “Stop delighting the customer”. [...]

  4. Julie Baker:

    I think the fundamental message is sound. Do not over-invest in any consumer with a one dimensional view of their value. You cannot make informed decisions about investment until you can understand and measure their value across channels. Talk, especially in a social media context, does not necessarily translate to transactions.