Why customer delight is critical in “new rules” world

What is a good example ofcustomer delight?

Exhibit A: you go online to an airline’s website. Let’s call them American Atlantic. You are in a rush, as you need to get some flight times and prices before rushing off to pick up your son from kindergarten but you need the details to discuss with your wife over dinner. Up pops a box asking whether you’ll take a survey. You utter a brief expletive, click ‘no thanks’, feel annoyed at the interruption and rush through the site to get what you need, jot it down and run out. After said discussion with your wife, you go online to buy the flights later that evening. Up pops a different box asking if they can help you. You utter a brief expletive, click ‘no thanks’, feel annoyed again at the interruption and buy the tickets. So far, so annoying. It’s been a real challenge to fight your way through the site to find what you need. A month later… vacation time! Your flight out is OK, but the flight back is poor, the airplane isn’t cleaned well and the service is very slow. Having returned from your vacation you turn on your PC, still unhappy with the service and smarting about it.You are feeling somewhat short-changed but no-one bothers to ask you about it and you never get around to complaining directly to the airline. The idea of the endless call center queues fills you with dread. Instead, you vow never to travel with American Atlantic again. You also hop back onto the web and comment on a few travel sites, blog in a few places and generally tell quite a few people about your poor experience, thereby spreading the anti-love.

Exhibit B: you go online to American Atlantic’s website. You are in a rush, as you need to get some flight times and prices before rushing off to pick up your son from kindergarten but you need the details to discuss with your wife over dinner. You rush through the site to get what you need, jot it down and run out. After said discussion with your wife, you go online to buy the flights later that evening. All done and dusted, no interruptions. A month later… vacation time!  Your flight out is OK, but the flight back is poor, the airplane isn’t cleaned well and the service is very slow. Having returned from your vacation you turn on your PC, still unhappy with the service and smarting about it. You are greeted with an email from American Atlantic saying “you flew with us last week, how was it for you?”. You have a choice of red, amber, green or gold star. You click the amber light and are called the same day by a senior representative who apologises for the service  shortcomings and sends you a bottle of wine, a personal note and a voucher for discounted travel by way of apology. Your surprised by how American Atlantic has turned it around and you become an advocate, against all the odds. You mention the turnaround in your comments and posts online. You also tell many of your friends about your experience and rebook with American Atlantic for the next vacation.

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