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  • Writer's pictureMuzammil Hussain

Customer Delight. Why just meet Expectations?

"Are we doing enough for the customers?" - a prominent thought that should occupy the thoughts of business people. My recent experience of excellent service prompted me to think about it.

“Are the customers happy?”, “Have we met customers’ expectations?”, “What do the customers think of us?” – These questions often bother businesses, and I say that it is a good sign if a business is bothered about these because it implies that the business is trying to excel in the right direction. After all, “Customer Experience” matters in the make or break of a business.

Breaking down the customer experience, there are 3 objectives or levels I can think of:

  • Meeting customer expectation

  • Exceeding customer expectation

  • Customer Delight

The first one is the bare minimum. Without it, a business cannot succeed.

With some effort, brainstorming, process design, and optimization, many businesses are able to achieve the second level – exceed customer expectations. And these are the ones who are famous, about which people talk, which people recommend, and where people want to go to.

For example, a cab aggregator providing on-demand cab service at the doorstep – is meeting customer expectations. The same cab aggregator offering in-cab music and wifi experience – is exceeding customer expectations.

But, the odd one out and the winner is a company or business that provides customer delight, that is, a product or service that is unique and unimagined by the customer that makes the customer feel “ecstatic”. Imagine a cab service that guarantees a free ride if the wait time is more than 3 minutes. Wouldn’t it be a go-to company for many – first because the guarantee assures that you do not have to wait for more than 3 minutes, and second you might just get lucky to have a free ride!

I recently experienced the “customer delight” moment. Last year I transferred an account from one branch to another of a public sector bank and the entire process took around a week with many steps:

  • Go to the nearest bank branch.

  • Fill-up the account transfer form.

  • Get it verified by the branch.

  • Send the scan copy of the verified form to my home branch.

  • Then the transfer was complete.

Now, imagine this – You open an app, search for the account transfer service, select the branch to which you wish to transfer your account and that is it. It is done, just in about 5 minutes sitting lazily on your couch. And I experienced it recently with a famous private bank. I could not believe that it was so easy and I called up the branch to confirm. To my delight, it was actually done without the hassle of the long process. The bank is ICICI (I am not advertising, just admiring).

How could they do it? Why didn’t the other bank do so? The answer lies in the fact that the one who did, could not settle with just meeting or exceeding customer expectations. It wanted to have an edge and provide customer delight.

Maybe it is a good practice to keep wondering – “Are we doing enough?” and keep improving.

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