Customer Delight: How to Exceed Customer Expectations in SaaS
Investing in customer delight is a great business strategy to:
- Engage customers until they become loyal promoters.
- Increase customer lifetime value.
- Drive positive WOM.
- Boost monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
But what does it even mean to delight customers? And how is it different from satisfaction?
Let’s go over the details.
- Customer delight is consistently exceeding your customer’s expectations across the entire journey.
- Customer satisfaction only requires you to meet customers’ expectations—whereas customer delight is about overdelivering.
- Satisfied customers won’t complain or cause any trouble but are also less likely to promote you, engage with your content, or respond to your surveys without incentives. That’s why you need to delight them.
- Every team is responsible for exceeding expectations. So customer delight must be ingrained in the company’s culture and encourage all teams to collaborate on this effort.
- You can’t measure customer delight with one metric. Instead, you can track the following metrics to get the full picture:
- NPS, so you can see how many loyal customers you’ve built.
- CSAT, to keep track of your baseline satisfaction levels and learn how to improve.
- Customer LTV, check how it increases over time to see if you’re growing your loyal customers.
- CES, for spotting which journey stages generate the most friction and fixing them.
Here are 11 strategies to delight customers from your customer success team:
- Make customers feel heard. Collect active and passive feedback from your app, implement it, and communicate it to close the feedback loop.
- Optimize the first-time user experience to give a great first impression.
- Implement in-app training to guide customers only when needed instead of overwhelming them with resources.
- Segment your users to offer a personalized product experience.
- Make sure customers experience repeated value with regular updates and in-app announcements.
- Implement in-app self-service support to provide help whenever they need it.
- Celebrate customer milestones to keep them engaged with gamification.
- Offer dedicated help to your unhappy customers.
- Provide a positive experience even when things don’t go as planned.
- Leverage loyalty programs to encourage loyal customers to stay loyal and share your brand.
- Interact with your customers outside of your product with social monitoring.
- You can use software to implement all these strategies. So why not try a Userpilot demo to delight your customers without coding?
What is customer delight?
Customer delight is consistently exceeding your customer’s expectations across the entire journey. Starting from the moment they hear about your brand for the first time until they become brand advocates.
Customer delight vs. customer satisfaction
Although they come from the same sentiment, customer satisfaction only requires you to meet customers’ expectations—whereas delighting them is about overdelivering a positive experience.
Satisfied customers are less likely to leave negative reviews, complain, or churn aggressively. However, delighted customers will recommend your brand to their peers, stay forever with you long-term, and defend your brand online.
Why is it important to delight customers?
Think of the last time you tried a project management tool but were neither disappointed nor surprised—it just did the job.
That’s what happens when customers are just satisfied.
They won’t complain or cause any trouble but are also less likely to promote you, engage with your content, or respond to your surveys without being incentivized.
And although scoring high satisfaction is good, you must repeatedly exceed expectations if you want to drive customer loyalty, get repeat business, and increase WOM.
Who is responsible for driving loyalty by delighting customers
As said before, you must delight your customers across their journey.
This means all teams are responsible for it. For example, marketing should produce content that excites people into using your product, sales reps need to make it easy to buy without friction, and your customer success team has to ensure the onboarding experience is as helpful as possible.
Overall, the best customer delight strategy is the one that’s ingrained in the company’s culture and encourages all teams to collaborate on this effort.
But how do you make sure this is the case?
How to measure customer delight
Instead, it’s mostly about defining what delight means within the context of your business and customers.
Once you’re clear on how customer delight would affect your business, you can then measure a set of metrics to understand the full picture.
Which can include the following:
Measure customer loyalty with an NPS survey
In a nutshell, NPS surveys measure user sentiment by asking, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”. Usually, from a scale of 0 to 10.
Your most loyal customers are those who answer 9 or 10, which is an accurate indicator of how many customers are “delighted” with your brand.
But if you want better insights from delighted customers (and are using a sentiment analysis tool), try following up your NPS question with a qualitative question like “Why did you choose this score?”
This way, you can learn about what makes customers promoters and incentivize it in your company.
Track customer satisfaction metrics
Although customer satisfaction and delight are not the same, CSAT surveys are great for keeping track of your baseline satisfaction levels and learning how to improve satisfaction and make customers love you.
Now, you must ask the questions at key touchpoints.
This way, you can see how consistent your satisfaction score is across your journey and spot user experience issues.
For example, think of the typical survey you see whenever you close a support ticket after interacting with customer service reps.
Track customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value (LTV) is the average revenue you’re getting from customers throughout their lifetime. This means that the more they stay, the higher the LTV.
To see if your efforts to delight customers are working, track how your LTV varies over time without considering other factors (such as a price change)—an increase will likely mean you’re increasing your loyal customers.
Look at the customer effort score
Effort equals friction. Which directly impacts satisfaction and the customer experience in a negative way.
With a customer effort score (CES), you can understand what parts of the user experience and journey are perceived as hard, challenging, or simply annoying.
Here’s an example of CES survey flow:
11 Strategies to delight and build loyal customers
But what can you do in a customer success team to do your part?
Here are 11 customer delight strategies you can follow.
1. Regularly collect customer feedback and act on it
People love to feel heard.
When you receive feedback, you should act on it and communicate with your customers to thank them for their contribution—or else, their feedback would feel like wasted time.
It’s also important to collect both active and passive feedback—not just active.
To encourage passive feedback, you can embed in-app surveys across your product’s UI, letting users submit feedback while using your product.
For example, check how Miro implements surveys within their UI without disrupting the product experience:
2. Personalize the first-time user experience based on customer expectations
The first-time user experience is critical if you want to exceed customer expectations.
A great way to give a positive first impression is with a branched onboarding process based on their needs, so new customers can choose the path that’s most relevant to them.
Take ConvertKit’s sign-up process as an example.
A user that’s coming from another tool might want to skip tutorials and import their contacts right away—so they give you the option to do just that.
3. Automate in-app training and help customers achieve success
Educating users is essential for any solid customer success process.
But if you don’t want to overwhelm customers with too many resources, you can delight them with in-app training.
This way, you can gradually introduce features, help users engage with your product, and remove friction.
What’s better, you can use instructional design software to implement this without coding:
4. Use segmentation to provide contextual in-app experiences that delight
Another great way to delight customers is with a personalized product experience.
And the only way to do so is with segmentation.
5. Make sure customers experience repeated value
Think of the user’s routine. They’ll normally just work as expected and will most likely miss every new stuff.
And if you don’t want to be too intrusive, you can use a tool like Userpilot to communicate updates or enhancements using in-app banners.
6. Provide a delightful customer service experience with in-app self-service support
Too much friction will invalidate any delightful experience your customer had.
Especially when they have to leave your app, google your website, scroll down to find the support button, and browse through messy documentation to find answers— just for one minor bug.
7. Celebrate success and create a delightful customer experience
Different from what you think, dopamine is not related to “reward”, but to “motivation toward a reward.”
And what does this have to do with customer delight?
Well, celebrating customer milestones is a way to reward customers and motivate them to keep engaging with your product continuously for more success.
- Gamifying the user journey
- Using emotional design
- Breaking down a complex process into smaller tasks
- Filling empty states
- And applying any user psychology principle
8. Listen to your unhappy customers and offer help
Unhappy customers can still be delighted.
You need to get qualitative feedback and pair it with other satisfaction scores like NPS or CSAT to get a full picture of what’s causing customers unhappiness—and act on it.
For example, you can use Userpilot to tag NPS responses, reach out to detractors who replied with a complaint like “missing automation feature” and offer dedicated help with that pain point. It might be that the feature actually exists, they just haven’t discovered it yet.
9. Focus on providing a positive customer experience at every interaction
Exceed customer expectations even when things don’t go as planned.
Whenever there’s a bug, a malfunctioning design, or any unexpected result, take responsibility and let your customers know that they’re in good hands.
Asana’s error messages are a great example of how you can humanize your UI:
- They show their brand personality and bring some light-hearted humor.
- Has a clear, actionable message, so you easily know what to do next.
- A direct CTA to the next action.
10. Implement customer loyalty programs
Think of the gamification point we made earlier, but with real rewards such as discounts, free renewals, more access, etc.
Loyalty can either be:
- Point-based, so users build their rewards by using features.
- Referral-driven, so users get rewarded for bringing more customers to your brand.
Plus, your program rewards don’t have to appeal to money only. It can also serve a mission, such as Whereby’s program, where they get to plant a tree for every meeting hosted:
11. Pay attention to customer interactions outside the product
If you only communicate inside your product, users will identify you as a product and not as a brand.
Be it when support reps interact with users over email or phone, or when customers bring questions on social media expecting your attention, it is important to overdeliver on those interactions too.
That’s why, even as a CSM, you need to embrace social media and use it proactively to:
- Do brand monitoring and reply to mentions, whether positive or negative.
- Support customers in the DMs.
- Create polls on LinkedIn or simply post a question.
- Congratulate users for their success:
Customer delight examples
If you’re wondering how these customer delight strategies look in the practice, here are some examples that illustrate these perfectly.
Userpilot – achieve customer delight with personal experiences
We mean it when we say that customer delight is about going beyond expectations.
So we listen to what our customers have to say, do some extra personalizations, and sometimes take “listening” to a literal sense when it means delighting a dream user and catching them off-guard.
In this case, it meant sending an unexpected gift to one of our dream users after having a call with him.
His reaction? Making it public.
When you jokingly say in a support discussion that they should send you a Dream User T-shirt and they listen to you- this happens….
– Moshe Mikanovsky
Patagonia is another example of how to commit to your customers.
Its entire model is based on sustainability, and it shows from the moment you navigate their website, and after you become a customer.
The Ironclad Guarantee, for example, makes them committed to repairing, replacing, or refunding any purchase to any unsatisfied customers. They also pledge 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.
These are great ways to delight customers because:
- It pushes the company’s core values through commitment.
- Attracts customers with great fit and shares the same values.
- It makes use of loyalty programs to benefit a cause.
Exceeding customer expectations across all channels and throughout the journey is definitely a challenging feat.
It requires a lot of collaboration, and there’s only so much you can do in your team to do your part.
Thankfully, in a customer success environment, there are many tactics you can follow and automate to make your users happier.
So, why not try a Userpilot demo and see how you can apply customer delight strategies without coding?