Last month, we covered the 4 steps to generating future cash from customers. We touched on keeping your customers and making them rabid fans. Now, we’ll go into 3 Steps to Delighting Your Customers.
Step 1: Put Yourself in Their Shoes
How annoying is it when you feel like a customer does not value your product? Maybe they’re always complaining about your lack of features or your pricing or [insert any other piece of feedback you’ve received]. Notice how I used the word complaining, that’s our first problem. These folks likely would not be a customer of yours if you weren’t solving a problem of theirs. What they’re trying to tell you is you’re not helping them beyond that problem, or at least they don’t feel like you are. Maybe they’re asking too much of you, maybe they really are just being a squeaky wheel, or maybe you need to listen and try to empathize with them. Blanketing these points of customer feedback as complaints is not the way to go about delighting your customers and improving your product and business. As Founders, we have to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes, as painful as that may be. We need to shift our perspective to match their perspective and see if we can feel what they’re feeling. Only then, can we work toward helping them turn the corner and become our fans.
Step 2: Be Proactively Responsive
Your customers deserve your quickest response. According to The Northbridge Group, 42% of consumers expect a response to their customer service inquiry within an hour. Of this group, 17% expect a response in minutes. When they reach out to you, drop what you’re doing and respond. Be personal and build a relationship. Listen. Be a human, not a company. Whatever you do, don’t discount their importance and don’t make them feel unimportant. If you need to automate things to achieve this, prioritize that. There are plenty of tools and channels at your disposal to help you hear from and respond to your customers. Put them to work.
Step 3: Invest In Customer Happiness and Capitalize On It
It’s not good enough to guess what makes our customers happy. We have to seek that intel out and be ready to act on it. Let’s not forget that customers are critical in driving our innovation (sorry Henry Ford), and if we don’t listen to them, someone else will. The best companies invest heavily into customer success, and they generally do it pretty early. They understand it pays off with tremendous ROI in terms of retention and expansion revenue, the holy grails of SaaS. And, it’s not that costly. According to this article from Precision Marketing Group, the bulk of enterprise organizations have Customer Success Teams that cost 10% of ARR or less.
You can’t make everybody happy, nor should you try to. That’s not the point here. But, if you can’t make a large majority of your customers happy, it’s really hard to grow profitably.
Check out the
, a measure of growth efficiency first surfaced by
of Kleiner Perkins. You can’t grow out of a dissatisfied customer base. Or if you can, it’s really going to cost you in the long run. So, do the work it takes to delight, and you’ll reap the rewards.
These are 3 Steps to Delighting Your Customers. What do you think?