Customer Service, Joe GirardStop trying to delight your customers! Get ready to rethink your business.  Perhaps you have been going about your customer service all wrong?  The concept of WOWing your customer is so common that most companies build their entire business on creating the most amazing customer service.  BUT, a new study and book show that customers don’t want to be “wowed” ; they want an effortless experience. 

I have mentioned previously the The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson where they look at how sales has changed.  Years of research went into that book and if you sell with even a bit of complexity, it is a MUST READ.

Well Matthew Dixon is at it again with The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty.

Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty is with service so good, so over the top, that it surprises and delights. But what if everyone is wrong?

The concept outlined in this book is similar to the one from the Challenger Sale.  Relationship selling doesn’t actually work.  People don’t want a relationship with you – they want to know that you can uniquely solve their problem. Your ability to solve their problem is what builds the relationship.  Same goes for service.

Not every customer wants a hug.  They want you to serve them.


In the book, they discuss a study of more than 75,000 people interacting with service and found that over-the top efforts actually made little difference.  Customers want a simple, quick solution to their problems and these WOW-type programs actually do more harm than good.

If you think about it as a customer, what do YOU really want from a company?  An over the top experience, or one that gets you exactly what you want?  Now, the book does not say you can’t delight your customers at the same time, just that the major priority should be to improve speed of service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn, and as they say, “generate the elusive loyalty that the ‘dazzle factor’ fails to deliver.

Companies that still try and create these delightful customer service experiences will quickly find themselves outpaced by others who keep the friction low for their customers.

 “Loyalty is driven by how well a company delivers on its basic promises and solves day-to-day problems, not on how spectacular its service experience might be”

So the challenge to you is to start to think about how you will reframe the way you look at your customer service efforts.  if you are in sales and marketing, your goal should be to question your own assumptions about what actually creates loyal customers.  Are your “customer appreciation” days really worth it?

Now I know this may not sit well with you, so all I ask is for you to take a hard look at what activities actually get you more business.  I am a huge supporter of service training and ensuring your customer facing people do a great job. You can make the user experience enjoyable by all means, but not at the sake of getting things done for your customer.

So take a look at these books and start thinking about what customer service efforts are actually working for you.  I would love to hear your comments below as well!

original image by Ruocaled

Joe Girard
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