What's the Difference Between a Delighted Customer and a Satisfied Customer?

Alan Boyer

Visitors: 705

Most people think that “just turning up the effort" a bit is all that it takes to truly Delight a customer. They believe that customer satisfaction is a linear relationship, the more effort, the more you put into it the happier the customer. That just isn’t the case.

There really is a couple of ways we can differentiate this. The differentiator:

  • Something the customer expects
  • Something the customer never expected, but values once he has it.

First let’s look at something that a customer “expects. "

  • If he isn’t getting what he expects he’s unhappy. When he finally gets it, he’s contented, satisfied.
  • When a customer EXPECTS something you can only go from unsatisfied to satisfied, no higher.

An example of that is when a customer expects something to work. .

  • If it doesn’t work he’s VERY unhappy.
  • If it works but just not quite like he expected he may be not be as unhappy.
  • When it finally works to his expectation he is content. He isn’t delighted, a long way from it.

Satisfied, or contented, can be defined as almost a non-event, unsatisfied a negative event. So, there is only one way to go…. down, discontent.

Now let’s look at an unexpected result for a customer.

  • If a customer isn’t expecting something he is content because he doesn’t miss it. It is a non-event.
  • Once you start delivering something unexpected, and valued, that becomes a VERY positive event, a delighted customer.

An example of this might be that you delivered what he expected (a non-event, contented customer), but delivered it in half the time that others have before, that saved him money (now that’s a positive event, delighted customer). It was so much faster than anyone had ever delivered it, he wasn’t expecting it. He’s a very delighted customer.

Of course, we MUST make absolutely sure that when we deliver the unexpected, that it satisfies a customer’s wants or needs, otherwise it wouldn’t be valued.

Let’s restate that:

  • If a customer expects something, no matter how much effort you put into the result you can only turn a customer from unhappy into contented, or satisfied. Basically a non-event. He expects this from everyone, every time. You now become “average" as the best you can be.

      Once you “satisfy" the customer, more effort just doesn’t produce a higher level of satisfaction.

  • If a customer isn’t expecting something and it isn’t there, he’s a contented customer, basically a non-event. When you start delivering the unexpected you CAN turn him into a “delighted" customer, if it is something he would value. The only direction is from contented (average, non-event) to a delighted customer.

So, what is the bottom line.

  • You have to deliver the expected every time to even make the customer contented, and get a so-so, expected result.
  • To make a customer truly delighted you have to be finding ways to deliver the unexpected that the customer would value.

Alan Boyer, President/CEO of The Leader’s Perspective, LLC, is considered one of the world’s leading breakthrough specialists. He has worked with some of the worlds largest companies, on projects in the multi-billion dollar area, and with single proprietor companies. He has worked on many hundreds of projects with companies that have resulted in multi-$100 million savings or gains. With over 35 years of business, quality, and process experience, he has catapulted businesses lightyears ahead in weeks. Some have doubled and some have jumped 10 times. He claims the key to that is:

  • Helping the business owners/employees develop the business skills
    • Helping them overcome the limitations and attitudes that they built between their ears (the self imposed limitations, I can’t, this won’t work for me, I’m different)
    • By helping them find the breakthroughs in their business and thinking

    Helping companies worldwide reach further than they EVER thought possible. . . FASTER



  • (777)

    Article Source:

    Rate this Article:
    Top Customer Service Speaker Says: You Revoke Customer Entitlements at Your ..
    Rated 4 / 5
    based on 5 votes

    Related Articles:

    The Viral Value Of A Satisfied Customer

    by: Diane Watkins(June 07, 2007)

    Customer Service Tips - 4 Steps for Turning Customer Moments Into Customer ..

    by: Richard Flint(December 16, 2005)
    (Business/Customer Service)

    Customer Service Problems--Help Employees Look at Customer Complaints from the ..

    by: Alan Boyer(December 10, 2005)
    (Business/Customer Service)

    Magnetic Energy Generator Secret-Satisfied Customer Review

    by: Munxi Tran(November 27, 2011)
    (Home Improvement/Energy Efficiency)

    Measure Customer Service Performance - How To Treat A Customer Like A Customer

    by: Sam Miller(July 07, 2007)

    Client or Customer? There Really Is A Difference

    by: Larry Galler(June 14, 2005)

    Customer Service Tip - Remove Communication Obstacles to Build Customer Loyalty

    by: Leanne Hoagland-Smith(March 11, 2008)
    (Business/Customer Service)

    Top 7 Tips to Build a Customer Loyalty Program through Exceptional Customer ..

    by: Leanne Hoagland-Smith(June 09, 2007)
    (Business/Top7 or 10 Tips)

    Wielding Customer Service Tools To Ensure Customer Satisfaction In Your ..

    by: Stephen Kavita(September 20, 2010)
    (Business/Customer Service)

    Top Customer Service Speaker Says: You Revoke Customer Entitlements at Your ..

    by: Dr. Gary S. Goodman(October 06, 2006)