If you’re running a business, you need to find ways to keep your customers happy. Happy customers, after all, are more likely to make repeat purchases. They are also more likely to put in a good word for you and your company. That translates to more customers for you!
In other words, customer delight is a powerful tool to manage your brand reputation and ensure the success of your business. How do you use this powerful tool to your advantage, though? Read on to find out.
Why is Brand Reputation Important?
A good brand reputation results in more customers. Maintaining a good image gives you the following specific benefits:
- Market confidence in your brand
- Customer brand recognition
When people associate positive experiences with your brand, you can also retain your most talented employees. After all, who doesn’t want to work in a company people love?
These employees, in turn, continue to ensure your customers have positive experiences with your company. The result? You solidify your brand reputation.
In other words, when you have a good brand reputation, you trigger that never-ending cycle of benefits that ultimately help propel your business to success. Simply put, brand reputation management is key.
Customer Delight Defined
Customer delight is not customer satisfaction. While customer satisfaction is about meeting customers’ product and sales service expectations, customer delight is about exceeding them. This illustration from Joom Connect perhaps best illustrates the difference between the two:
Customer delight is about going above and beyond customers’ expectations to create positive experiences for those customers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brick-and-mortar store looking to sell, or hoping to make your mark in ecommerce, or both. When you create positive experiences, you maintain a good brand image.
Customer delight is not just the sales and services department’s responsibility. It’s every company department’s responsibility.
How to Use Customer Delight for Your Brand Reputation
Now that we’ve discussed the concepts of brand reputation and customer delight, it’s time to look at how you can leverage one to enhance the other. Here are a few tips to leveraging customer delight for brand reputation management:
Reply to Customer Inquiries Promptly
Whenever a customer hops on your communicative platform accounts with an inquiry, it usually concerns their pain point. You need to respond to and resolve customer queries fast.
According to Super Office, for 75% of customers, brand response time and first contact resolution are the most important customer experience factors. In other words, if companies take too long to respond to their queries, they end up with a bad reputation.
But how long are customers willing to wait? The answer varies depending on the platform.
Here are some numbers from Invoiceberry you might want to remember:
- 77% of customers won’t wait for more than six hours for an email response.
- 64% of customers require an answer on Twitter within 60 minutes.
- 85% of consumers want an answer on Facebook within six hours.
Don’t just respond promptly to customers’ questions. Even the customer comments that seem rhetorical deserve immediate answers, too. Check out this example from Walmart:
The customer was reacting to a Walmart video that showed people how to cook a great meal with some of Walmart’s products. The customer who commented would have been satisfied even with his statement unanswered. But since the retail company knows it’s important to go beyond customers’ expectations for brand reputation management, it responded to the comment anyway–and on the same day, too!
Listen to Customer Feedback and Make Adjustments
Don’t commit the mistake of ignoring your customers’ feedback. Use customers’ feedback to improve product quality, sales service, after-sales service, and pricing. Listening to customer feedback ensures you have happier customers in the future.
It should be relatively straightforward to monitor customer feedback. You can use social media listening tools to monitor what customers have to say about you. Make it easy for customers to leave online reviews on your site, too. You should back this up by periodically engaging with customers through questionnaires and interviews.
Unfortunately, you will get some negative feedback. It’s almost inevitable.
It can be challenging to respond to negative feedback. Not replying, however, will only cause you further problems. You need to know how to handle negative feedback.
Take a look at how Domino’s Australia handles customer criticisms:
You need to make those customers feel you understand their frustration. As soon as you get all the details about a complaint, take action. Don’t forget to inform your customers about what you did to address their concerns afterward.
Do More than What’s Expected of You
Go above and beyond for your customers. When you exceed their expectations, you show them your customers matter. That’s a great way to earn their loyalty for brand reputation management.
There are many ways you can exceed customer expectations to achieve customer delight.
For example, when a customer complains about a product defect, don’t just send them a replacement. How about throwing in a voucher, too? If a customer doesn’t get the purchased product on time, why not send that product with a “late delivery discount”?
You can exceed customer expectations even when they haven’t complained to you at all.
If you exceed expectations, your customers will do the marketing for your brand.
You wouldn’t even have to ask them to put in that good review for you. Happy customers will gladly promote your company to their network.
Employ a Proactive Approach to Solving Customer Problems
Solving problems customers make public is great. Solving problems even before customers make them public, however, is even better for brand reputation management. Don’t believe me? Just look at the numbers. According to an InContact study, a whopping 87% want brands to be proactive when dealing with their customers.
There are many ways you can assume a proactive approach to solving customer problems.
For example, you can send Frequently Asked Questions to customers about your product on the day of delivery. In other words, you anticipate a customer problem.
WhatsApp’s FAQ section is a great example:
The WhatsApp FAQ answers all types of questions. Customers can also take advantage of the search query function.
After each purchase, you can also send an email asking for feedback.
That way, you can resolve a customer problem before they make it public.
Build a Community
The importance of building a strong community around a brand has never been more pronounced. The brands reaping these community benefits understand that to keep a customer loyal, you have to make them feel like they’re part of a larger community of like-minded individuals.
Communities enhance customer delight because they give customers space where they can interact with others. Because members of a brand’s online community engage with a company’s representatives, they end up with a deep connection with the brand that runs beyond purchases.
It’s great for a brand’s reputation.
A sense of community can bond you to the brand. Consider Harley Davidson as an example. There are various clubs where Harley owners can get together and share their passion for motorbikes. Generating that passion for a brand increases the likelihood of getting repeat customers.
If you want to stand out as a brand, don’t just strive to satisfy your customers for a positive brand image. Instead, exceed their expectations—leverage customer delight as a tool to enhance your brand reputation.
In this article, I shared with you five ways you can do that. Give prompt replies, listen to customer feedback and make adjustments, and exceed customer expectations. Be proactive in solving customer problems and build a community, too.
Do all these things, and you’ll have a great brand reputation. Customers will stay loyal to you and be your brand ambassadors. They’ll propel your brand to success.
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade eCommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.
Keep Reading: The Cost of a Negative Employer Brand