“Delight the customer”
With radical management Steve Denning introduced a new phrase: “customer delight”. And more and more companies are picking it up. But unfortunately not to the extend that is needed to actually achieve delighted customers.
Now what is the idea behind “customer delight” ? In my opinion it actually has several aspects.
Customers are spoiled
We live in an era were customers have got used to high quality products and services. Satisfying customers is not enough anymore to distinguish a company from it’s competitors and to add the customers of those competitors to it’s own customer base. Customers expect to be satisfied so you need to delight them to get their attention.
Traditional marketing is dead
Traditional marketing which consists of advertisements as we know it is no longer accepted by customers. Customers are constantly “harassed” by commercials, smart sales people and marketing statements that do nothing more then stating the obvious. Customers won’t get fooled anymore by these empty forms of marketing, they need real stories to be convinced. And what better stories there are then the stories of delighted customers?
This change started in the consumer market but is now finding it’s way in the business market. This is a logical evolution since the people that were delighted by the consumer products and services probably also work for a living. And if you get a certain amount of quality and service of consumer products then why should you accept less from the business market?
Why should we want to delight customers?
During a seminar about radical management Steve Denning started with an explanation how traditionally managed companies will run out of business in a very short time. I strongly believe in this as well. If companies keep to their proven approaches from 50 years old while the entire world has changed and expectations about products and services have grown exponentially they are fighting a lost battle.
The first signs of this are slowly beginning to show. Companies that are operating from their ivory tower are loosing ground and will be in trouble if they don’t chance their approach, while the companies that focus on delighting their customers are largely succesfull and profitable.