Delighting Customers Just Right

What does delighting customers mean?  Stated differently,  what delights customers? Many have offered their own opinions and recommendations. Most fall in the general category of beating customer expectation by a mile.  Examples like throwing in something extra when they least expect, sending a thank you card to customer or flowers for life events are ubiquitous.

But let us drain the murky pond of opinions and get back to the basics. We have data that points to what delights customers – it is when they willingly pay a price for a version of product we offer and feel good about it. You build and offer the product at a price that delights them and at a cost that is profitable to you.

The product packs the right set of values that are most relevant to them for the price point. They are more delighted to swap their cash for the product. Stated in economic terms, they get positive consumer surplus and you as marketer get better profit than otherwise. Perfect synchrony.

Nothing more. Nothing less. No need for gimmicks, to throw in an extra or send handwritten thank you note. If the customer sees positive consumer surplus at the offered price point you are done.

See this on display with Apple. Take the case of ear phones they pack with different iPods, iPhone and iPad.

  1. With the $49 iPod shuffle Apple ships the older style ear phones
    specs_headphones_mediumRemember Apple’s messaging when they introduced the newer EarPods that fit the natural shape of the ears? Wouldn’t customers be delighted to get that over the older models?
  2. With $199 iPod Touch Apple ships the EarPods but without the Mic and remote volume control.
    Wouldn’t customers be delighted to get the same one they get with iPhone? Wouldn’t the Mic be useful when you make Skype or FaceTime calls on iPod Touch? If customers want to add that convenience they can buy for the model that retails for $29.
  3. With iPhones Apple ships the EarPods that has Mic and remote control.
    earpods_mic_smallThis makes sense after all it is a phone.
  4. With its most expensive iPad model, iPad Pro that costs $1079 apple ships nothing. That is right, not even the cheapest earphone that ships with $49 shuffle is included with $1079 iPad.

This is not just one example making the case but an example illustrating the principle of pricing, value allocation and consumer surplus. Yes we all will feel happier when we get the EarBuds with Mic thrown in with iPod Touch or iPad. But the point is we are already delighted to get the product as is at its price point. Once we stand up and reveal our preference there is no need to do anything more, even if it is to add EarBuds that likely cost less than a dollar for Apple.

When it comes to customer delight ignore the platitudes and focus on the simple principle that customers express their delight when they swap their cash for your product. If your product does not offer value that leaves positive consumer surplus they are not going to buy your product. Therefore not delighted.

Do you understand customer delight?