Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers – Harvard Business Review

The idea that companies must ???delight??? their customers has become so entrenched that managers rarely examine it. But ask yourself this: How often does someone patronize a company specifically because of its over-the-top service? You can probably think of a few examples, such as the traveler who makes a point of returning to a hotel that has a particularly attentive staff. But you probably can???t come up with many.

Now ask yourself: How often do consumers cut companies loose because of terrible service? All the time. They exact revenge on airlines that lose their bags, cable providers whose technicians keep them waiting, cellular companies whose reps put them on permanent hold, and dry cleaners who don???t understand what ???rush order??? means.

Takeaway from the end of the article:

Two critical findings emerged that should affect every company???s customer service strategy. First, delighting customers doesn???t build loyalty; reducing their effort???the work they must do to get their problem solved???does. Second, acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.

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