Have you delighted your customers lately? As the final stage of the inbound methodology, there’s a risk that the delight phase gets short-shrift compared to the first three stages — attract, covert and close. But that would be a mistake, because delighting customers is a powerful way to ensure they stay satisfied, long-term advocates of an organization’s products and services.
Delight is more than merely satisfying customers with a great product or service. While that’s important, delighting them, according to HubSpot, is about creating remarkable experiences that focus on “ensuring customers are happy, satisfied and supported long after they make a purchase.”
When they are delighted, customers become an organization’s unofficial ambassadors, not only staying loyal but also recommending the company and its solutions to their peers. This type of word-of-mouth endorsement is the Holy Grail of marketing — widely sought, but challenging to receive.
A 2019 Global Report from LinkedIn found that professionals who purchase technology are “modern, well-informed buyers who view solutions as a means toward larger business outcomes. They are collaborative — seeking input from online communities and internal peers to identify, vet, research, purchase, implement and renew business technology solutions.”
When it comes to delighting customers, there are three proven ways that stand out, including providing high-quality educational content, surprising customers and leveraging B2C success stories for B2B customers.
Content is the heart and soul of content marketing. Delighting customers means incorporating content in your strategy. The type of content customers love is educational content because it makes them feel smarter about their investment. This helps your organization because the more educated your customers are about how your solutions work, the more they will use them, and the more they are likely to become advocates.
The purpose of educational content is to be helpful, not promotional. For example, a knowledge base resource library would fit into this category. These service-related online information hubs include a wide range of helpful information to help customers get the most out of a company’s products. This type of content makes them more conversant in, thoughtful about and more skilled in using their investment.
Also, when it comes to educational content, you can leverage trending issues. For example, several companies have created dedicated COVID-19 resource pages with links to relevant industry information. For example, ThomasNet created a comprehensive resource page in support of the manufacturing industry’s fight against coronavirus.
Ideas to delight your customers with educational content:
An example of a B2B company that is using educational content in smart ways to delight its customers is Autodesk, the maker of CAD and other design software. The company launched a branded microsite called Redshift that focuses on the “future of making” across architecture, engineering, construction, infrastructure and manufacturing. Its goal is to get people excited about 3D printing technology by sharing leading-edge insights in this area from around the world.
Years ago, Harvard Business Review reported that surprises are the most powerful marketing tool because they are addictive for the recipients. They are a strategic way to give unanticipated perks to customers in ways that renew their interest, educate them, shore up loyalty and boost sales.
Surprising customers with pleasant benefits and rewards that are not advertised and are completely unexpected makes them feel special and has the potential to drive positive customer behavior. According to a Brown University study, when consumers receive something surprising or unexpected, they remember it and are encouraged to repeat the activity that led to the reward. A well-orchestrated surprise and delight strategy could lead to several potential outcomes, such as larger orders, more repeat purchases and increased referrals.
Ways to deliver customer surprises:
An example of a B2B company nailing the surprise and delight factor is Litmus with its unique twist on branded giveaways. Unlike the typical mugs and caps, Litmus created a pillow with its logo printed on top. The pillows have become infamous and everyone wants one. But customers have to compete through social media challenges during Litmus Live events for the chance to win a pillow.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to delighting customers, B2C has the edge over B2B. However, all that means is that B2B organizations should borrow some of the best B2C tactics to elevate their own delight phase of their inbound strategy. Hallmarks of B2C customer delight include accentuating customers’ mobile and social media experience. Publishing fresh and interesting content on a regular basis will keep audiences coming back more often, sticking around longer and sharing whatever delights them with their peers.
Elevating your social media strategy up to the level of delight includes tactics such as:
Examples of B2C companies that are delighting their customers on social media include the following:
An example of a B2B company that has nailed the social media game on Instagram is Herschel Supply Co. Inspired by its “adventure” theme, the backpack retailer shares images from customers who use the hashtag #WellTraveled. The result is visual content of everything from mountaintop views to chaotic city streets, along with customers enjoying its products. As a result, its customers have become stakeholders in its marketing and a voice in its product story.
The delight phase can be a powerhouse in an inbound marketing program if organizations give it the time and respect it deserves. Think of this final phase of the buyer journey as an opportunity to shore up and maintain strong relationships with the people who helped make your organization a success. They deserve your appreciation — and when you delight them, they will reward you with long-term loyalty.
Kuno’s team of experts has helped several B2B and B2C companies continue to delight their customers for years. Working with the right inbound agency can help you continue to delight yours. Let’s get together.