I posted that JC Penney was struggling because it was losing in all five of the main drivers of traffic… Price, Product, Convenience, Trust and Delight. Let’s look at each one of them separately.
Delight is probably both the easiest and most difficult of all the drivers to own.
Easy because so few companies even try to own it. Sure, they give it lip-service, but outside of a handful of retailers (Apple? Zappos?) and companies (Disney?), few major chains or national businesses really even try to delight anyone other than the shareholders and owners.
Difficult because the bar of expectation is constantly shifting and changing. What delights the customers of today might seem ordinary tomorrow.
You can increase your Delight Factor a number of ways…
- Sell things that make people happy. The more whimsy and uniqueness you bring to the table, the higher the delight factor in the customers’ minds. The more fun and interesting your product selection, the more you will delight customers.
- Sell things that solve problems. Customers buy items to solve a problem. Identify the problem and you can delight the customer by solving it.
- Host Events. Bring in authors, experts, and celebrities. Teach classes. Host parties. Play games. Show movies. Serve food and beverages.
- Bend over backwards to help. When you put the customer’s needs above your own, you raise the delight factor exponentially. The easiest way to do this is to say “Yes!” every time a customer asks, “Can you…?” and then go figure out how to do it.
- Exceed expectations. This may seem simple enough, yet once you consistently exceed the expectations of today, you raise the bar for the expectations of tomorrow. Keep raising the bar, though, and you’ll continue delighting your customers in new and exciting ways.
- Do something no one else would even think of doing. How about a downtown toy store offering Valet Parking at Christmas? How about a clothing store offering free dry cleaning for a year? How about a bookstore that gets you a signed copy every time you buy a book from a living author?
The advantages of delighting your customers are numerous.
- They become more loyal.
- They bring you more customers like them.
- They do your advertising for you.
- They make your job more fun.
You can do Delight. In fact, you need to do Delight! It is the one driver you can consistently do better than any of your competitors. It is the one driver you are expected to do better than the chains and online stores. It is the one driver you can most easily own all to yourself.
PS Want to know which driver (if any) you already own? Check out this free download – How to Measure the Strength of Your Brand. When you do your survey, be sure to use the five drivers as part of your word association. You’ll know exactly which of your competitors owns which driver and what you need to work on.