Cameron School of Business at UNCW

Customer Delight (Not Satisfaction) Is Key To Bottom Line

Posted by Cameron School of Business on Jul 6, 2017 4:16:30 PM

customer-delight_500x399.jpg

Guest Blogger: Dr. Donald Barnes, Associate Professor of Marketing, Cameron School of Business

Customer satisfaction is no longer enough to ensure profitable customer relationships. Satisfied customers are not loyal or willing to tell others about your business and how great it is; they are simply satisfied. Their expectations were met. Why would they tell anyone about that?
 
On the other hand, a delighted customer - that is, a customer who has had an emotional experience with your firm - is likely to yell positive statements about their experiences from the proverbial rooftops. The willingness of delighted customers to act as advocates for your firm helps generate new customers, which are considered the lifeblood of the modern firm.
 
The influence of delight is not restricted to traditional service encounters, such as restaurants or retail firms. Indeed, hospitals now find themselves in a situation where they can lose as much as two percent of their federal funding if they do not achieve the highest experience ratings from customers (i.e., “top-box” evaluations). 
 
Customer delight is the new standard for any business that has competition. The fact that we now know the standard is a good thing.  What remains for forward-thinking firms is to figure out how to provide customer delight.  
 
The good news is that faculty members at UNCW’s Customer Delight research group have been studying customer delight in laboratory and field settings for over a decade. They have 13 peer-reviewed articles on customer delight, have received two awards for journal articles of the year, and presented around the nation on the idea of customer delight.  
 
Some of their key findings include:

  • Delighted customers were shown to be 30 percent more loyal than satisfied customers
  • Employee attitudes and behaviors can be trained to create customer delight
  • Factors aside from employee variables can also create delight, such as the physical environment
  • Emotions, such as surprise and joy, can be targeted by employees or with marketing campaigns to create customer delight
  • In a sales encounter customer delight (not satisfaction) caused repurchase intentions
  • A firm’s most frequent shoppers can experience delight continuously
  • Management can tailor different customer delight strategies based on age and/or gender
This visionary team has investigated delight across settings, such as retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, professional sports franchises, adventure recreation activities and sales organizations. They have consulted with small and large firms. Learn more about custom and open enrollment workshops by visiting the Swain Center for Executive Education’s website. For more information on this research group, please contact Dr. Donald Barnes.

Topics: Customer Relations, marketing, SWAIN, SWAIN Center

Cameron School of Business at UNCW

UNCW was established as Wilmington College in 1947. The Department of Business and Economics became the Cameron School of Business in 1979. Focused on the transformation of today’s business world from the industrial age into the information age, business education at the Cameron School of Business is focused on the technical, analytical and interpersonal skills students will need to lead this fundamental change in the business world through the 21st century.

On our blog, you will find:

  • Stories of our students, both past and present
  • Highlights of our impressive faculty and staff members
  • Exciting ties to the community
  • Business tips and insights on both a local and international scale
For more information, visit our site or reach out to us!

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all