W How to Delight Your Customers

How to Delight
Your Customers
Barry Berman
hile there is a wide body of academic and manager-focused
research on customer satisfaction (particularly SERVQUAL),
there is significantly less published material on customer
delight. While many academics have made contributions to
the now extensive literature on service quality, there is much less work on service excellence and how organizations can achieve delighted customers.1
According to one researcher, “customer delight is a new concept in satisfaction
There is a common confusion among many practitioners and academics
concerning the conceptual differences between customer satisfaction and customer delight. Delight is a construct related to but separate from satisfaction as
it is based on different things (in the same way that dissatisfaction is related to
but distinct from satisfaction). While customer satisfaction is generally based on
exceeding one’s expectations, customer delight requires that customers receive
a positive surprise that is beyond their expectations. The popularity of
SERVQUAL, a model that argues that satisfaction is based on a customer’s assessment of what services were expected versus what a customer perceives he or she
has received, may contribute to this confusion. In contrast, customer delight is
typically measured on a scale ranging from outrage to delight or terrible to
A second factor that further causes confusion is the notion among some
practitioners that customer satisfaction can be measured using such metrics as
delivery time, waiting time, and the presence of advertised goods in sufficient
quantities. While many of these attributes may lead to dissatisfaction if not fulfilled, they may not generate satisfaction even if they are fully met. A common
error among managers and academics is the assumption of a linear relationship
among dissatisfaction, satisfaction, and delight. Many firms, in error, measure
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customer satisfaction using a Likert-type scale with “not at all satisfied” and
“fully satisfied” as the extremes and equate fully satisfied with delighted.
Differences Between Customer Satisfaction
and Customer Delight
Whereas customers are typically satisfied through the meeting or exceeding of expectations, delight requires a mixture of joy and surprise. According to
Dr. Darrel Edwards, president of Strategic Vision, a market research firm, satisfaction means that a marketer has fulfilled the contract with the customer. Satisfaction is thus the midpoint of the delight index. “Delight is a more positive and
more emotional response than simply excellent,” according to Edwards. Delight
is viewed as an emotional response that commits a customer to the product.3
There are a number of empirical studies that support the notion that dissatisfaction is not the opposite of customer delight. One study found that in categorizing complaints and compliments in the restaurant and lodging industries,
satisfiers were high on the list of compliments, but were not present or low on
the list of complaints. Similarly, the researchers found a group of dissatisfiers
that were high on the list of complaints, but low on the list of compliments.4
An explanation for the reason that dissatisfaction/satisfaction not being
a dichotomy is the presence of three satisfaction categories: bivalent satisfiers,
monovalent satisfiers, and monovalent dissatisfiers. While bivalent satisfiers can
cause both satisfaction and dissatisfaction, monovalent satisfiers are “extras” that
do not contribute to consumer dissatisfaction. In contrast, monovalent dissatisfiers are basic attributes that do not contribute to satisfaction, but cause dissatisfaction when unfulfilled.5 Researchers view the anchors of customer satisfaction
to include outrage to delight6 and terrible to delight.7 Others refer to the intensity of emotion using terms such as “absolutely furious.”8
The must-be, satisfier, and delight categorization system developed by
Kano is a popular means of better understanding the key differences between
customer satisfaction and customer delight. According to Kano’s model, one
cannot merely satisfy customers through meeting their basic and performance
needs.9 Must-be requirements consist of the
basic criteria of a good or service that result in
Barry Berman is the Walter H. “Bud” Miller
extreme customer dissatisfaction if not fulfilled.
Distinguished Professor of Business at the
Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, Since a consumer expects and even demands a
Hempstead, NY. <[email protected]>
positive experience on must-be requirements,
consumers take these requirements for granted.
As a result, while severe customer dissatisfaction occurs if a must-be requirement is not fulfilled, the fulfilling of a must-be requirement does not result in
consumer satisfaction.10
Satisfiers consist of product features that have the potential to further a
consumer’s satisfaction beyond the basic product. A consumer’s degree of satisfaction among satisfiers is related to the level of fulfillment—the higher the level
of fulfillment, the greater the level of customer satisfaction. For satisfiers, cus-
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FIGURE 1. Conceptualization of Must-Be, Satisfier, and Attractive Requirements
Basic criteria of a product.
With a must-be requirement not being met, a
product cannot perform its
basic functions.
Features and services
that have the potential
to increase customer
satisfaction beyond the
basic product.
Attractive requirements are
neither explicitly expressed
nor expected by consumers,
but are surprisingly
enjoyable if met.
Basis of
Positive quality on must-be
requirements is expected
and taken for granted.
Satisfaction is based on
exceeding expectations.
Delight is based on positive
unexpected events or
of Fulfilling
Fulfillment does not lead to
satisfaction. Fulfillment of
musts leads to a state of not
Fulfillment leads to
satisfaction. The higher the
level of fulfillment, the higher
the level of satisfaction.
Fulfillment leads to delight.
However, if delights are not
met, there is no feeling of
of Not Fulfilling
If unfilled, customers will be
extremely dissatisfied.
If unfulfilled, customers will
be not dissatisfied.
If unfulfilled, customers will
be not dissatisfied.
Customers deprived of
must-be’s can become
“terrorists” who
communicate their feelings
to others.
Satisfied consumers have
little reason to communicate
their feelings.
Delighted customers are so
satisfied that they become
“apostles” who actively
communicate their delightful
experience to others.
Focus on must-be
requirements, service
recovery efforts.
Recognize that meeting
satisfier efforts is not a
sufficient competitive
Focus on attractive
requirements after must-be
and satisfier requirements
are fully met.
tomer satisfaction is a linear function of the performance of the product
attribute.11 High performance on a satisfier results in high customer satisfaction.
In contrast to satisfiers, attractive requirements are neither explicitly
expressed nor expected by the consumer. If attractive requirements are not met,
there is no feeling of dissatisfaction. However, if attractive requirements are met,
they will generate delight.12 According to two researchers, for satisfiers,
customer satisfaction increases super-linearly with increasing attribute performance.13
See Figure 1 for a conceptualization of must-be, satisfier, and attractive
An example of a must-be requirement is a department store that offers
to complete its free alterations for men’s and ladies’ apparel within a week of a
fitting. A satisfier is a tailor that is able to make emergency repairs while a customer waits. A delight is a tailor that is able to recut a larger-size jacket to a customer’s size, or a store that alters clothing for free to accommodate consumers
that have gained or lost weight.
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FIGURE 2. Zones of Outrage and Pain, Dissatisfaction, Satisfaction, and Delight
Zone of
Outrage and Pain
Zone of
Zone of
Zone of
Outrage and pain
occurs when a customer
experiences a poor and
unanticipated scenario.
Dissatisfaction occurs
when a consumer’s
expectations have not
been met.
Level of satisfaction is
based on the extent to
which expectations have
been exceeded.
Delight occurs as a
result of fulfillment of
unexpected, valuable,
memorable, and positive
reproducible events.
In contrast to the customer delight scale, SERVQUAL measures a
customer’s satisfaction with service quality by comparing the service level
received against the service level he or she would have preferred and the service
level he or she would be willing to accept as adequate, based on a firm’s meeting
and/or exceeding a customer’s expectations. Customer satisfaction is assessed
from comparing what services were expected versus what a customer perceives
he or she has received. While SERVQUAL assumes a linear relationship between
customer satisfaction and attribute performance, Kano’s model assumes that the
relationship depends on whether the attribute is considered to be a must-be, a
satisfier, or an attractive by a consumer. Lastly, while SERVQUAL provides marketers with important information on gaps between predicted and perceived
service levels, Kano’s model also provides marketers with the implications of
closing gaps for different forms of attributes.
Kano’s model enables marketers to see the sources of satisfaction and
delight and to differentiate these from must haves. From a managerial perspective, a firm must fulfill all must-be requirements, be competitive with regard to
satisfiers offered by key competitors, and to stand out from all of its competitors
with regard to those variables that generate delight. Kano’s model assumes that
a firm can achieve a long-term competitive advantage only by consistently providing delightful experiences that its key competitors would have difficulty in
The notion of must-be, satisfier, and attractive requirements can be further explored by examining the three zones of consumer satisfaction: the zone
of outrage and pain, satisfaction, and delight (see Figure 2).
A customer’s judgment falls within the zone of outrage and pain when
the “better not, worst-possible scenario” occurs. There is a high degree of emotionality to the dissatisfaction continuum.14 Customers who have experienced
service failures often feel annoyed or victimized. A recent study by the Customer
Care Alliance shows considerable outrage and pain among a large sample of U.S.
consumers. This study, based on a national telephone survey of 1,094 households, found that 45 percent of households reported at least one “serious problem” in the past year with a product or service and that more than two-thirds of
those customers had experienced “rage” over the way the incident was handled.
Twenty-eight percent of the respondents said that they “yelled” or “raised their
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voice,” 16 percent of respondents stated that they desired “revenge” on the company, 8 percent commented that they have cursed at a customer service representative in the past year, and 3 percent pursued legal action. Ninety percent of
the angry customers reported that they shared the story with a friend.15 Very
unhappy consumers could become “terrorists,” who speak out against a poorly
delivered service at every opportunity.16
The zone of satisfaction ranges from getting what one expects to meeting
or even marginally exceeding expectations. A firm whose customers are in the
zone of satisfaction has not adequately distinguished itself from its competitors.
According to the 2003 results of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, an
annual survey that asks some 70,000 consumers to rank their experiences with
roughly 200 companies, the overall customer satisfaction score across all industries was 74 out of 100 as of the beginning of 2004. While this was its highest
level since 1995, we still have far to go as the aim is for 100 percent
At the far right end of the customer satisfaction continuum is the zone of
delight. A number of academics and consultants view positive surprise and joy as
the key ingredients in customer delight.18 According to two management consultants, “the key to creating a memorable service . . . is to create conditions and
do things that are unexpected, unpredictable, valuable, memorable, and reproducible.”19 Another analyst uses the term “positively outrageous service” for
customer delight that he refers to as unexpected, random, extraordinary, and
disproportionately positive.20
A firm’s positioning in these zones is based on consumers’ expectations.
For example, a camera dealer’s having well-trained salespeople assist in a customer’s choice of a new digital camera may be viewed as being within the zone
of satisfaction for an experienced camera hobbyist, but within the zone of
delight for a camera novice. Likewise, satisfier versus delighter requirements for
a car dealer may differ depending on their brand, average price, and customer
expectation sets. For example, Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti routinely provide customer pick up, loaner cars, and more attractive waiting room areas than their
Honda, Toyota, and Nissan counterparts. Lastly, a customer’s perceptions can
change over time as a result of new competitors, past experiences that can
change their expectations, and new technologies such as the Web, which provides 24/7 ordering capability and e-mail access.
Measuring Customer Delight
The idea that surprise and delight are related was suggested by a
researcher who described delight as the result of joy and surprise.21 In contrast,
outrage is a combination of surprise and anger. Other researchers found indirect
evidence of a “positive-surprise-satisfaction” link.22 These studies identified a
cluster of consumers with high scores for surprise and joy. Another study found
a causal path “arousal > positive emotions [positive affective reactions] > satisfaction path.”23
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In studying the emotional profiles of auto buyers, researchers found
major differences between satisfied and delighted consumers. One group experienced happiness and contentment, while the other group experienced a pleasant
surprise or delight.24 In another study, the group showing the highest levels of
joy and surprise was designated as “delighted.”25 These studies suggest that joy
and surprise, as well as high levels of arousal, play an important part in
consumer delight.
The theoretical foundation of customer delight assumes that the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty is not linear. It also assumes that
there are differences between the intensity of different arousal levels between
satisfied and delighted customers. One set of researchers, for example, found
that pleasantly surprised respondents had higher levels of arousal whereas those
with moderate satisfaction had lower levels of an emotional reaction or none
at all.26
Unfortunately, there is no commonly accepted scale to measure customer
delight. Some studies have determined the emotional responses associated with
delight by asking subjects to suggest an appropriate name for an emotion/feeling
produced by a mixture of emotions. For example, one study used four emotional
adjectives: exhilarated, thrilled, delighted, and exuberant to measure delight on
a five-point scale ranging from very little to very much.27 Others used in-depth
interviews and/or the critical incident technique where respondents were asked
to describe absolutely, positively delightful experiences.28 These were labeled by
the researchers as delight.
Lastly, other researchers used the assumption that it takes a large and
positive discrepancy (positive affect) between performance and expectations to
generate surprise. These researchers generated two summative scales: one representing positive affect and the second representing “pure arousal.”29
There are important differences between satisfaction (including extreme
consumer satisfaction) and delight:
b Satisfaction is more cognitive; delight is more affective. Satisfaction is
based on perceptions, while delight is more emotional. Delight is often
associated with such emotions as arousal, joy, and pleasure.
b While satisfaction is schema-based, delight results from a recreated
schema. Surprise results from a discrepancy between what we expect the
series of events surrounding a goods purchase or use and its perceived
performance. While satisfaction is based on meeting or exceeding expectations, delight requires out-of-the-ordinary performance.
b Satisfaction has a weaker memory trace than delight. Delightful experiences are much more memorable than experiences that are viewed as
b Consumers who feel joy (anger) as a result of being surprised will be happier (more angry) than if they had not been surprised. Thus, surprise will
increase the intensity of both joy (positive surprise) and anger (negative
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FIGURE 3. A Model of Dissatisfaction, Outrage, Satisfaction, and Delight
Presence of Expectation (Cognitive)
Existing Expectation
No Prior Expectation
Outrage and Pain
b Satisfaction is based on fulfilling the expected; delight is based on fulfilling unexpected positive surprise-based occurrences. Satisfaction is based
on meeting or slightly exceeding expectations, while delight occurs from
features that are not expected or that add unexpected utility.
b One’s experiences lead to actions that are consistent with the experienced
performance levels. The memory trace and likelihood of action are low
when one’s expectations are merely confirmed. The memory trace and
likelihood of action (repurchasing the good/service, word-of-mouth
effects) increase as the difference between the expectation and the actual
experience increases.
Figure 3—a model of dissatisfaction, outrage, satisfaction, and delight—
can be used to further explain the differences among these different constructs.
The model has two dimensions: the presence of an expectation (cognition) and
the level of performance experience as judged by the consumer (negative or
positive). The presence of an expectation relates to whether the consumer has a
prior expectation as to the level of a good or service.
According to this model, the only two possible outcomes when a
good/service’s performance relates to an existing expectation is either dissatisfaction or satisfaction. Outrage and delight, on the other hand, occur when performance does not relate to a prior expectation. The major difference between
satisfaction and delight and dissatisfaction and outrage/pain is the element of
surprise. For example, performance that is a positive surprise will result in
delight, whereas a positive expected level of performance yields satisfaction.
Likewise, a negative surprise results in outrage and pain, and a negative
expected performance results in dissatisfaction.
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The arrow from the no prior expectation column to the existing expectation column indicates that, over time, consumers form expectations through
their experiences.
This model shows that:
b The “mirror image” of customer delight is customer outrage. Likewise, the
mirror image of dissatisfaction is satisfaction.
b Due to a consumer’s experience with a product or service, he or she will
develop expectations when none existed in prior purchases. Thus, there
is continually movement from the no prior expectations to the existing
expectation columns. This movement from no expectations to expectations indicates the difficulty in developing a marketing strategy to continually delight consumers.
b Different market segments may have different expectation sets. The
schema for a luxury car buyer’s dealer showroom facility may include an
elaborate waiting room equipped with an espresso machine, fine pastry,
and current magazines. This would not be in the expectation set for an
economy car buyer. Likewise, a plumber purchasing a kitchen faucet has
a different set of expectations concerning the need for directions and customer support than a do-it-yourselfer. A small organizational consumer
has different expectations and needs for computer software support than
a large firm with a separate IT department.
b Consumers’ expectation sets continuously change due to competition, the
economy, and their experiences. Increasingly, car dealers have begun to
promote extensive inspection programs, as well as extended warranties
on selected used cars. While this service was initially outside a typical
consumer’s schema, many consumers now expect these programs.
Figure 4 outlines some attributes that distinguish between satisfactory
and delightful experiences. The attributes are grouped by good/service characteristics (performance versus customer expectations, value, ease of use,
good/service variety, bundled services included with product, and warranty);
good/service purchase experience (personnel and store experience and presence
of novelty and entertainment); and after-sale support (availability of emergency
service, post-purchase customer support, and service recovery availability).
In the satisfactory experience in Figure 4, the product’s performance,
value, variety, purchase experience, and after sale-support are each within a
buyer’s expectation set. The overall purchase in terms of the good/service characteristic, purchase experience, and after-sales support are each positive, but fit
within the buyer’s existing expectations. In contrast, the delightful experiences
are outside the buyer’s expectation set. Most consumers do not anticipate
extremely high value, mass customization, extensive bundled services, a lifetime
warranty, empathetic and courteous personnel, and extensive service recovery
efforts. Identifying areas of no expectations is an important stage in a firm’s pursuing a strategy of customer delight. It is important to note that often the nature
of the delightful experience is not simply a linear extension of the satisfactory
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FIGURE 4. Attributes That Distinguish Between Satisfactory and Delightful Experiences
Performance vs. Customer
Product/service performance meets
or slightly exceeds expectations.
Product/service drastically exceeds
the consumer’s schema.
Value is reasonable relative to
comparably priced goods and
Value is extremely high due to a
combination of high product quality
and low price.
Ease of Use
Product can be used by most
consumers after studying owner’s
manual. Support personnel are
Product is extremely user- friendly.
Support personnel are highly
trained and enthusiastic.
Good/Service Variety
Good, better, best price points sold.
Exceptional good/service variety
due to mass customization.
Bundled Services Included with
Bundled services are commensurate with price level and
competitive offerings.
Bundled services are extensive and
are not expected by consumers
nor offered by competitive brands
or vendors. These may include
need assessment, assembly, training,
troubleshooting, and warranty.
Standard industry warranty.
Long or lifetime warranty available
at no additional expense.
Personnel and Store Experience
Not memorable, self-service.
Especially memorable due to
courtesy, empathy, and special
efforts and high levels of knowledge
of personnel.
Presence of Novelty and
Little novelty and retail
High level of novelty and
entertainment present.
Availability of Emergency Service
Limited emergency service
Full emergency service is available
at no additional cost.
Post-Purchase Customer Support
Low levels of post-purchase
customer support.
Highest levels of post-purchase
customer support.
Service Recovery Availability
Service recovery period is similar
to competition.
Extensive service recovery efforts
including free replacement product.
Purchase Experience
After-Sale Support
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one. Enthusiastic personnel, mass customization, a lifetime warranty, and novelty/entertainment are not straight extensions of competent personnel, limited
variety, a standard warranty, and a traditional store environment, respectively.
While these attributes are treated separately in Figure 4, in reality, consumers look at the totality of the experience. For example, the attributes “a customer’s perception of value” and “the bundled services that are included with a
product” are interrelated. The attributes that distinguish between satisfaction
and delight can also be product-specific (such as a shirt’s crease and stain resistant fabric, or a camera’s extra powerful flash).
Figure 5 shows how these attributes can be meaningfully combined using
six examples: digital camera, furniture, house renovation, supermarket, organizational software, and a vehicle product recall. These examples reflect goods and
services directed at final and organizational consumer markets.
As in Figure 4, the satisfactory experiences, while positive, fit within most
consumers’ expectations. The typical supermarket buyer expects that its produce
and meats are of good quality, that the store is clean, and that checkout lines are
reasonable. He or she does not expect assistance in car loading, free delivery for
out-of-stock goods, or the presence of an in-store dietician for meal planning or
for the consumer’s special dietary needs. The fact that these services do not fit
within the customer’s expectation set yields customer delight.
Likewise, most organizational consumers expect that its software vendor
will install and troubleshoot new software. It does not, however, anticipate that
the software vendor truly understands its business, that the software’s user
interface will be changed by the vendor to minimize training time, or that the
firm’s personnel will be trained at times that do not interfere with its peak sales
Benefits of Delighting Consumers
While there has been much research conducted on the linkage between
customer loyalty, feedback, profits and stock market price, and customer satisfaction, the association between delight and profitability has been much less studied.30 A key issue is whether customer loyalty increases significantly as the
consumer moves from satisfaction to delight.
Several studies suggest that the loyalty curve is relatively flat after satisfaction is achieved but climbs rapidly as a result of delight.31 Other researchers
argue that increased loyalty is the result of delighted customers ignoring competing brands in favor of the brand that has delighted them in the past.32 There are,
however, contrary findings that suggest that delight does not improve customer
retention above the level of customer satisfaction.33
Some published data on company experiences suggest that there are large
differences in the degree of loyalty between satisfied and delighted consumers.
Mercedes-Benz USA found that the likelihood that a client who is dissatisfied
with the service at a retailer will buy or lease from the same retailer is only 10
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FIGURE 5. Examples of Differences Between Satisfactory and Delightful Experiences
Camera has a good
performance-to-price ratio in
terms of combination of size,
weight, and lens quality.
Camera will accept customer’s current film-based
lens and flash accessories; 24-hour customer suppor t
hotline staffed by experienced photographers
knowledgeable about camera features.
Furniture available on promised
date; furniture delivered within
3 hours of appointment;
furniture adjustments made at
no cost within reasonable time
Salesperson-decorator verifies style and furniture
size based on pictures of current furniture and room
layout; salesperson verifies that furniture can fit into
elevator and through front door prior to delivery;
furniture inspected and repaired prior to delivery (if
needed); old furniture removed prior to delivery;
salesperson arranges for pickup and donation of old
furniture from one of several charities (based on the
customer’s preference).
Contractor arranges for
necessary permits; one-year
warranty provided on all
material and labor.
Contractor knows how to maximize usable space
and is creative in designing room layout; contractor
arranges for cleaning service so that home is as clean
after renovation as before; five-year warranty
provided on all material and labor.
Produce and meats are of good
quality; supermarket is clean;
checkout lines are reasonable.
Assistance in car loading; free delivery for out-ofstock goods; menu suggestions for sale and seasonal
items offered on the Web and in-store; dietician
available for meal planning for special dietary needs
(i.e., low cholesterol, low salt, low sugar); purchases
vegetables and fruits from local farms to maximize
Vendor ascer tains software
needs and works with IT
personnel in getting software
installed; vendor has on-site
personnel available until
software is fully operational.
Vendor truly understands client’s business and
software needs; software is matched to customer’s
current and proposed equipment; software interface
is designed to be similar to present software to
minimize training needs; troubleshooting is performed
prior to system being installed; customer’s personnel
are trained at times that do not interfere with peak
sales times.
Appointment for recall can be
made within 3 days of receipt of
recall notice; vehicle ready on
time; final consumer is not
charged for recall.
Dealer calls customer to explain nature of recall
and offers to pick up and deliver recalled vehicle at
customer’s home or office; dealer arranges for car
wash and gasoline fill-up of recalled car; letter sent
to customer apologizing for any inconvenience.
percent. Mere satisfaction produces a 29 percent likelihood of rebuy or re-lease.
However, the likelihood of a delighted client rebuying or re-leasing is 86 percent.34 Likewise, J.D. Power and Associates, in a study of 2,646 people in the
United Kingdom, found that only 2 percent of delighted customers stated that
they would switch electricity suppliers in the next 12 months as compared with
5 percent of pleased consumers.35
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The low levels of loyalty among some satisfied consumers have been
referred to as the “satisfaction trap.”36 Managers unfamiliar with the satisfaction
trap wrongly assume that satisfied customers have high levels of customer loyalty. Since satisfaction alone does not translate linearly into outcomes such as
loyalty, businesses must seek to achieve total customer satisfaction and even
delight to achieve the kind of loyalty they desire.37 Another potential trap can be
overcome by managers understanding the difference between “false loyalty” due
to loyalty promotion programs or high switching costs and “real loyalty” based
on delight.
The impact of increased loyalty on profits can be quite high. In a heavily
quoted study, researchers estimate that a 5 percent increase in customer loyalty
can produce profit increases from 25 percent to 85 percent.38 This is due to the
fact that loyal customers buy larger quantities more often. According to research
cited in the McKinsey Quarterly, instead of defecting to another brand, many consumers may simply reduce their purchases. At one retail bank studied, the 5
percent of checking account customers who defect each year take with them 10
percent of its checking accounts and 3 percent of its balances. However, the 35
percent of customers who reduce their balances substantially during the course
of the year cost the bank no less than 24 percent of its total balances.39
In addition to customer delight driving loyalty, delighted customers
provide feedback on their positive experiences to others. According to one
researcher, delighted consumers report their experiences on the Internet and
provide full-sized samples to friends. Through these actions, an apostle can
generate the same lifetime value of as many as 11 customers who are merely
loyal.40 Similarly, the J.D. Power study of United Kingdom electricity consumers
found that 61 percent of delighted customers were willing to recommend the
company to friends and family as compared with 45 percent of customers who
were merely pleased with the service.41
Other potential positive consequences of delight include lower costs
due to increased word-of-mouth promotion, lower selling and advertising costs,
lower customer acquisition costs, higher revenues due to higher initial and
repeat sales, and long-term strategic advantages due to increased brand equity
and increased ability to withstand new entrants (see Figure 6).
A firm needs to quantify the value of the potential benefits to determine
the cost effectiveness of its specific customer delight program. Aside from a
cost/benefit analysis, commonly used metrics that connect customer service
quality to financials include return on quality, customer lifetime value analysis,
cost of customer acquisition, and customer equity.
Implementing a Customer Delight Program
There are two separate management issues that must be understood in
planning a customer delight program. The first issue studies how companies
have used different means to delight their customer. The second issue studies
organization changes necessary to better deliver delight.
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FIGURE 6. Potential Positive Consequences of Delight
Lower Costs
Increased word-of-mouth
Delighted customers are more likely to tell others about their experiences
due to the surprise and joy elements associated with the transaction and
the good/service.
Lower selling and advertising costs
Positive word-of-mouth and a high proportion of repeat customers can
lower promotional costs.
Lower customer acquisition costs
Lower promotional expenses and higher brand and store loyalty may lower
customer acquisition costs. Customer acquisition costs can also be reduced
through fewer customer defections.
Higher Revenues
Higher initial and repeat sales
Delighted customers may increase the degree of brand and store loyalty.
Increases in customer loyalty can have a major impact on company
profitability since satisfied customers may buy a firm’s products more
often and in greater quantities.
Strategic Advantages
Increased brand equity
A firm’s brand equity can be increased as a result of its high proportion of
delighted customers.
Increased ability to withstand new
The elements that cause delight can be a competitive advantage or a
barrier to entry if not equally accessible to current and potential
Examples of How Companies Delight Their Customers
Firms achieve customer delight through:
b recognizing the importance of courtesy, empathy, and efforts in understanding customer needs;
b finding exactly the right product/delivering unanticipated value;
b refusing to be content with merely satisfying consumers;
b making sure that novelty and entertainment are provided;
b focusing on multiple points of contact with consumers; and
b repositioning the business to deliver “solutions,” as opposed to products
and services.
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Recognizing the importance of courtesy, empathy,
and efforts in understanding customer needs.
One researcher studied 150 Indian executives who were asked to report a
critical incident of delight or outrage with a service firm.42 Since no restriction
was placed as to industry or time, the researcher sought to uncover experiences
that were profound enough for the executive to recall. A total of 97 usable incidents were collected, of which about one-half were either outrage or delight.
The analysis of delight incidents was marked with such adjectives as
“pleasurable,” “unforgettable,” and “memorable.” The most important aspect of
service contributing to customer delight was how the customer was treated in a
service episode. Courtesy (employee politeness, respect, friendliness, and consideration) was the most frequently cited factor, being mentioned 26 times. How
employees responded to customer requests and their willingness to genuinely
help was the second most important aspect of service that delights customers,
being mentioned 14 times. The third most important element contributing to
customer delight was efforts by a service provider in understanding customer
needs. It was mentioned 8 times. Beyond the SERVQUAL dimensions, four other
aspects of service were found to be delighters: service recovery management,
personalization, going beyond the call of duty or out-of-the-way help, and customization.
Similar findings were obtained in a more recent study where researchers
asked respondents to recount critical incidents of delightful shopping experiences within a retail setting (except grocery and drugstores). Respondents
reported that the major interpersonal factors associated with delightful shopping
experiences were “helpful,” “friendly/nice,” “willing to go outside of rules,” “not
too pushy,” and “took time/looked for product.”43
Finding exactly the right product/delivering unanticipated value.
According to the previous study, the major non-interactional factors associated with delight were “found exactly the right product” and “price/bargain.”44
Finding exactly the right product related to a customer’s locating a long-needed
product or finding exactly what he or she is seeking. Finding exactly the right
product can be a function of such factors as a firm’s selection (such as a category
killer retailer like Bed Bath & Beyond or Lowe’s) or the ability of a firm to mass
customize a product based on a customer’s unique needs (such as Dell with
computers or Levi Strauss with jeans).
Unanticipated value is finding an unexpected bargain or purchasing a
product at a lower price than expected. Unanticipated value may be a function
of a firm’s low cost structure. For example, while Jet Blue’s walk-up fares are 60
to 70 percent lower than other airlines’ full coach fares, the discount airline uses
new planes, has leather seats, and offers direct TV programming at every seat
with 24 channels of live satellite programming. Jet Blue is also ranked number 1
in customer satisfaction by both the J.D. Powers and Associates and the Condé
Nast Traveler magazine surveys of customer satisfaction with airlines.
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Refusing to be content with merely satisfying consumers.
Firms need to think in terms of delight, not just satisfaction. Horst
Schulze, president and chief operating officer of the Ritz-Carlton Company, said,
“Unless you have 100 percent customer satisfaction—and I don’t mean that they
are just satisfied, I mean that they are excited about what you are doing—you
have to improve. And if you have 100 percent customer satisfaction, you have
to make sure that you listen just in case they change . . . so you can change with
Ritz-Carlton’s credo has the goal of fulfilling “even the unexpected wishes
and needs” of its guests. According to John Collins, Ritz-Carlton’s human
resources director, “If you go to a good hotel and ask for something, you get it. If
you go to a great hotel, you don’t even have to ask.” Ritz-Carlton uses its chainwide guest-recognition database to track guest preferences such as a guest’s preferred floor and newspaper. It also gathers data from employees such as
housekeepers, who track events like a guest’s moving a desk to get a better view.
That observation is placed on a guest recognition slip so that furniture can be
arranged according to a guest’s preference on his/her next visit.46 Another
author argues that marketers need to delight, entertain, and thrill their
Customer delight comes from doing the little things that customers don’t
expect but will certainly remember.48 For example, a consumer tells the tale of a
Lexus auto customer who was delighted at finding his new car’s radio pre-set to
his favorite channels. A technician, who noted the buyer’s settings on his radio’s
trade-in, set the new car to the same channels.49
Making sure that novelty and entertainment are provided.
At the Buena Vista Holiday Inn, near Disney World, children have their
own check-in, their own restaurant, and can be personally “tucked in” by a resident Disney character. The hotel also offers a “free” day care service, as well as
multiple entertainment options.50
American Girl Place, Build-A-Bear, ESPN Zone, and Niketown are frequently viewed as providers of novelty and entertainment. American Girl Place
generates delight by building an experience around its products. For example,
American Girl Place’s stores include a musical stage show, a beauty parlor for
dolls, and a theme restaurant. Often called an “indoor theme park,” American
Girl Place also features a photo studio (where children can have their picture
printed on the cover of a “souvenir” issue of the company’s magazine) and a
theater (with a one-hour “live” musical with performers dressed in period costumes).51
Focusing on multiple points of contact with consumers.
According to Starbucks’ senior vice-president of North America retail,
“Our goal is to create an uplifting experience every time you walk through our
door. Our most loyal customers visit us as often as 18 times a month, so it could
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be something as simple as recognizing you and knowing your drink or customizing your drink just the way you like it.”52
Likewise, Jan Carlzon of Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) uses the
phrase “moments of truth” to refer to the multiple contacts a customer has with
an organization. According to Carlzon, any contact can make or break the organization. An organization that seeks to delight its customers must determine
what problems can occur at each contact, how these can be corrected, and how
it can recover from failures that inevitably occur.53
Periodically producing a “new and improved” model is not enough.
Instead, companies need to focus on the setting where customers buy their
products, the delivery system that gets the right products to the customer on
time, and the service function that resolves service issues.
Repositioning the business to deliver “solutions,”
as opposed to products and services.
Based on a recent survey of a broad group of 33 multi-industry companies by Best Practices LLC, a consulting firm, a customer delight initiative should
enhance convenience for the customer (such as improved Internet self-help
King Arthur Flour sells bread machines with additional instructions, has a
“troubleshooter” baker on call that can be reached via a toll-free phone number,
and fully tests all items before placing them in its catalog for sale. According to
its catalog, “Trust is earned, not given. We earn your trust the hard way, by testing products, and then testing them again . . . and again. We drop timers, use
metal utensils in nonstick pans, run gadgets through the dishwasher for days
on end . . . We actually bake the recipes from the cookbooks we sell, we conduct
yeast ‘rise-offs’ and chocolate tastings . . . all so that we can stand behind the
products in this catalog 100 percent.” Customer delight at King Arthur comes
from knowing that products purchased there really work, as well as the assurance of being able to contact a baker for help.
Organizational Changes Necessary to Better Deliver Delight
Customer delight cannot be consistently delivered using a firm’s traditional organization. Most businesses find implementation the most difficult part
of the customer delight process.55 These firms fail to appreciate the required
effort, as well as the need to change the culture of the organization. Among the
key tasks are: determining the necessary projects; identifying the key individuals
who will sponsor, facilitate, and manage the changes; and managing the resistance to organizational change.56
There are seven necessary organizational changes to better deliver delight:
b being aware of the need for organizational change to establish delight
b linking customer delight to bottom-line benefits;
b looking at world-class customer satisfaction criteria;
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b listening to customers to ascertain what’s important;
b empowering employees so that they can go “the extra mile”;
b making measurement of customer delight and loyalty a priority; and
b linking raises and bonuses to customer satisfaction scores.
Being aware of the need for organizational change
to establish delight objectives.
One essential step is to establish a customer advocate position. Such a
position helps resolve customer issues and questions, obtains feedback on company products and performance, and issues reports to management. In a recent
study of “best practices” in customer value satisfaction, leading companies had
executives with such titles as Director of Customer Satisfaction, Vice-President
of Quality, or Manager of Customer Loyalty.57 A firm also needs to implement
major changes in information technology, as well as its employee selection,
training, and motivation practices to consistently achieve delight.
Linking customer delight to bottom-line benefits.
Firms need to establish the financial return on investment associated
with achieving customer delight. Unless executives understand that delighted
customers have higher levels of customer loyalty than those that are merely
satisfied, no firm will go through the inevitable effort and increased costs.58 To
address these return-on-investment concerns, researchers are using statistical
techniques such as multiple regression, structural equation modeling, and neural
Looking at world-class customer satisfaction criteria.
World-class quality customer satisfaction criteria can be found in the
publications of the U.S.A.’s Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, KPMG’s
World Class Finance Benchmarking, and the European Model for Total Quality
Management. Country-based quality management associations include Business
Excellence Australia, Singapore Quality Award for Business Excellence, Japan
Quality Award, Confederation of Indian Industries, and Fundibeq (22 IberoAmerican countries). These organizations offer principles of business excellence,
describe “best practice” characteristics, and set benchmarking standards. Many
offer training programs, have annual conferences, online libraries, and traditional bookstores.
Listening to customers to ascertain what’s important.
Firms need to ascertain what is important to customers. Sources of
customer satisfaction data include customer surveys, analyses of customer complaints and questions, and feedback from frontline personnel.60 A variety of listening tools should be used to best understand customers: critical incident
surveys (for example, of those that returned a product); relationship surveys
(a traditional customer satisfaction study); benchmark studies (of all major
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competitors); complaints; and won/lost and why surveys (of recently gained or
defected consumers).61
In analyzing this data, firms need to recognize that consumers may have
a difficult time in determining what constitutes delight to them, as these are
features and attributes that a consumer does not expect. Several researchers
recommend asking the following questions to determine especially attractive
requirements that would otherwise be hidden:62
b Which associations does the customer make when using the product?
b Which problem/defects/complaints does the customer associate with the
product’s use?
b Which criteria does the customer take into consideration when buying
the product?
b Which new features or services would better meet the expectations of
the customer? What would the customer change in the product?
An additional benefit of listening to customers is the increased consumer
involvement in the purchase process through an ongoing activity. This increased
involvement may have an affect on consumers’ emotional responses.
Empowering employees so that they can go “the extra mile.”
Both interpersonal effort (helpful) and interpersonal engagement
(friendly/nice) each account for a large percentage of reported delightful experiences.63 These experiences relate to a customer’s account of being surprised to
see the attention paid to him or her, to being treated as someone special. The
empowering characteristic has important ramifications for employee selection,
training, and motivation.
Making measurement of customer delight and loyalty a priority.
Customer delight data must be reported in an unbiased, consistent manner on an individual customer basis.64 For example, at FedEx, each package
must be delivered on time and calls must be answered in four rings or a maximum of 20 seconds.65 FedEx uses a point-based system. For example, if a package arrives on the right day but is late, one point is given. If the package arrives
on the wrong day, five points are given. If the company cannot tell the customer
the status of his or her package within 30 minutes of the call, the customer’s
money is refunded and the company gets one point.66
At Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the Enterprise Service Quality Index (ESQI) is
a most important score. ESQI scores are communicated widely inside the company. Every month, every brand, region, and group manager in the company
determines how well he or she is doing, and how well everyone else is doing.67
Linking raises and bonuses to customer satisfaction scores.
Firms such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car do not enable field managers to get
an increase unless their satisfaction scores are at or above the company average.
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At FedEx, the company must meet a given service quality indicator (SQI) score
for employees to receive semiannual bonuses.68
Managerial Pitfalls of Implementing
a Successful Customer Delight Program
Managers need to be aware of the potential pitfalls associated with developing and implementing a customer delight program. There are four potential
pitfalls in implementing a successful delight program: delivering delight so consistently that customer expectations change so that they expect delight; difficulties in delivering delight for mundane products; the potential high costs
associated with delivering delight; and developing a delight package that is difficult for competitors to copy.
A common concern is that consumer expectations may be raised based on
delight so that they may update their schema and come to expect the surprise.
As a result, what might previously have been regarded as delightful service may
now be viewed as merely satisfactory. This notion argues that firms need to continuously upgrade their service levels. Delight that raises expectations makes
delighting or even satisfying customers more difficult in future transactions,
particularly if the delight program can be effectively copied by competitors.
One argument against this notion is that there are two varieties of delight:
one that raises expectations, and one that is appreciated on a one-time basis and
may be attributed to fate, randomness, or serendipity. Consumers can also completely forget the delighting experience on the next purchase occasion and the
delight will appear as a first-time event on the second and future rounds.69
There are two possible solutions to the problem of raised expectations.
One, consumers can be given the option of choosing among a delight menu. For
example, an appliance retailer can have a menu consisting of free delivery and
installation, free removal and disposal of a customer’s current appliance, or a
free choice of color. In this way, the surprise elements change over time. Two, a
marketer can alter the surprise options offered randomly. Through randomizing
performance along different domains, for each of several expectation sets that do
not exist in buyers’ minds, a marketer can prevent any specific expectation from
forming. A marketer can also use a different range of surprise elements for different customer groups. This would prevent one group from learning from
another group’s experiences. For example, a car dealer can include a free car
wash, interior cleaning, or free delivery to one’s home or office on a random
basis with each tune-up to generate a surprise element. Another way of addressing this issue is for the marketer to continually seek to upgrade its products and
services to maintain its competitive advantage.
In addition to the need to “raise the bar,” increased expectations can create difficulties when a firm is incapable of consistently delighting customers. A
firm could be worse off due to the increased expectations from delightful experiences. This implies that marketers need continued commitment to delighting
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A second potential pitfall argues whether delight is possible for mundane
low-involvement products and services such as newspaper delivery or an ordinary telephone connection. One argument is that for delight to work as a motivating factor, there must exist a range of exceedingly pleasing performance that
is unexpected either because of its low frequency or because it did not exist in
the consumer’s schema.70
A third pitfall involves the need for marketers to determine the costs versus benefits of delighting customers. Payoffs can vary drastically in different
industries. For industries like banking that are characterized by a high degree of
inertia, payoffs may be small. For example, a relatively small percent of a bank’s
customers exit from their main bank annually. This may be as low as 2 percent
per year, but is about 4 percent per year in most countries.71 Firms seeking to
delight their customers need to be careful in managing the costs associated with
delighting customers. One way of managing costs is to carefully compute the
profitability of the delight program through measuring the additional revenues
(through higher initial and repeat sales) associated with delight, as well as
reduced costs (as the result of lower promotional efforts, increased word-ofmouth promotion, and reduced sales and advertising costs). Another way of
managing costs is to use the delight-based program selectively on their most
profitable customers.
Lastly, a firm would not benefit from delightful experiences that can be
easily copied by competitors. One way to avoid this pitfall is for a firm to constantly increase the delightful components of its good/service offerings while
competitors seek to catch up to the prior level. Another potential strategy is for
a firm to focus on delightful experiences that competitors would have difficulty
matching due to their lack of expertise in an area, or due to limited financial or
organizational resources.72
Summary and Conclusions
Delight as a construct differs significantly from customer satisfaction.
While satisfaction is more cognitive, delight is more affective. While satisfaction
is schema-based, delight requires recreating the schema. Satisfaction may also
have a weaker memory trace; this difference may be due to the extent of
Figures 3 and 4 (which describe attributes that distinguish among dissatisfaction, satisfaction, and delight-based experiences) can be used as a basis for
managers to determine their degree of customer satisfaction, as well as a guide
to management strategies that can increase customer satisfaction levels. Firms
need to explore the combination of good/service attributes that results in an
optimal level of customer delight. Alternative customer delight delivery strategies (including outsourcing some services) need to be assessed from the perspective of cost/benefits, return on quality, ability of competition to copy a specific
strategy, and a firm’s ability to deal with raised expectations associated with each
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FIGURE 7. A Customer Delight Readiness Audit
Answer yes or no to each of the following questions:
Does your firm . . .
. . . understand the impor tance of surprise and joy in differentiating delight from
satisfaction and outrage?
. . . distinguish among customer perceptions of must-be, satisfier, and attractive
. . . identify the domains where consumers have expectations?
. . . identify the domains where consumers do not have expectations?
. . . study how customer expectation sets differ among its major market segments?
. . . determine how customer expectation sets change over time?
. . . understand the difficulties in continually delighting customers?
. . . develop a long-term program to continually delight consumers through adding
additional elements where consumers do not have expectations?
. . . compute the costs and benefits of delighting customers (through such metrics as
return on quality, customer lifetime value analysis, costs of customer acquisition, and
customer equity)?
. . . evaluate alternative customer delight delivery strategies?
. . . examine how other companies delight customers?
. . . place responsibility for customer delight under a director of customer satisfaction, vice
president of quality, or similar title?
. . . continuously monitor customer delight levels?
Firms also need to determine their readiness to adopt a customer delightbased strategy. A good first step in pursuing a strategy of customer delight is to
identify areas of performance where consumer expectations do not exist. Focus
groups and examinations of the strategies for prestige goods and services may be
useful in better understanding consumers’ schema. In evaluating consumers’
current schema, it is important to recognize that schema change over time and
that different market segments may have a different range of expectations. Figure 7 is a customer delight readiness checklist. Through answering each of these
questions objectively, a manager can ascertain his or her firm’s readiness to
adopt a customer delight-based strategy.
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Quality, 14/2-3 (2004): 129-133.
2. R.L. Oliver, Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill,
3. “Delight Moves Customer Response to Next Level,” Business Wire, January 3, 2003, p. 52.
4. E.R. Cadotte and N. Turgeon, “Dissatisfiers and Satisfiers: Suggestions for Consumer Complaints and Compliments,” Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, 1 (1988): 74-79.
5. Oliver, op. cit.
6. B. Schneider and D.E. Bowen, “Understanding Customer Delight and Outrage,” Sloan Management Review, 41/1 (Fall 1999): 35-45.
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7. F.M. Andrews and S.B. Withey, “Developing Measures of Perceived Life Quality: Results
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10. K. Matzler, H.H. Hinterhuber, F. Bailom, and E. Sauerwein, “How to Delight Your
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13. Tan and Pawitra, op. cit.
14. Schneider and Bowen, op. cit.
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as a Marketing Tool: Customer Delight Might Not Always Lead to Long-Term Satisfaction
and Loyalty,” MIT Sloan Management Review, 44/1 (Fall 2002): 15; C.H. Chandler, “Quality:
Beyond Customer Satisfaction,” Quality Progress, 22 (February 1989): 72-94.
19. C.R. Bell and R. Zemke, “Service Magic,” Executive Excellence, 20 (May 2003): 13.
20. T.S. Gross, Positively Outrageous Service (New York: NY: Warner Books, 1991).
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Consumer Satisfaction,” Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (June 1991): 84-91; R.L. Oliver and
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23. Oliver, op. cit.
24. Westbrook and Oliver, op. cit.
25. Oliver and Westbrook, op. cit.
26. Westbrook and Oliver, op cit.
27. A. Kumar, “Customer Delight: Creating and Maintaining Competitive Advantage,” unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, 1996; A. Kumar, R.W. Olshavsky, and M.F.
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28. M.J. Arnold, K.E. Reynolds, N. Ponder, and J.E. Lueg, “Customer Delight in a Retail Context: Investigating Delightful and Terrible Shopping Experiences,” Journal of Business Research,
58 (2005): 1132-1145; H.V. Verma, “Customer Outrage and Delight,” Journal of Services
Research, 3/1 (April-September 2003): 119-133.
29. Oliver, Rust, and Varki, op. cit.
30. Oliver, op. cit.
31. K.P. Coyne, “Beyond Service Fads—Meaningful Strategies for the Real World,” Sloan Management Review, 30/4 (Summer 1989): 69-76; A.S. Dick and K. Basu, “Customer Loyalty:
Toward an Integrated Conceptual Framework,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 22
(1994): 99-113; T.A. Oliva, R.L. Oliver, and I.C. Macmillan, “A Catastrophe Model for Developing Service Satisfaction Strategies,” Journal of Marketing, 56 (July 1992): 83-98.
32. A.E. Anderson and V. Mittal, “The Satisfaction-Profit Chain: How Solid Are the Links?”
working paper, The National Quality Research Center, University of Michigan Business
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33. P.V. Ngobo, “Decreasing Returns in Customer Loyalty: Does It Really Matter to Delight the
Customers?” Advances in Consumer Research, 26 (1999): 469-476.
34. T. Keiningham and T. Vavra, The Customer Delight Principle (New York: NY: McGraw-Hill,
35. K. Ockenden, “See the Delight,” Utility Week, March 4, 2005, p. 24.
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36. F.F. Reichheld, “Learning from Customer Defections,” Harvard Business Review, 74/2
(March/April 1996): 56-69.
37. Schneider and Bowen, op. cit.
38. F.F. Reichheld and W.E. Sasser, Jr., “Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Services,” Harvard
Business Review, 68/5 (September/October 1990): 105-111.
39. “Beyond Customer Retention,” McKinsey Quarterly Chart Focus Newsletter (July 2004).
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41. Ockenden, op. cit.
42. Verma, op. cit.
43. Arnold et al., op. cit.
44. Ibid.
45. T.O. Jones and W.E. Sasser, Jr., “Why Satisfied Customers Defect,” Harvard Business Review,
73 (November-December 1995): 88-99.
46. P. Hemp, “My Week at the Ritz as a Room-Service Waiter,” Harvard Business Review, 80/6
(June 2002): 4-11.
47. G.M. Heil, “How to Delight Customers and Win Their Loyalty,” CMA Magazine, 69/4 (May
1995): 42-44.
48. Bell and Zemke, op. cit.
49. N. Hatch and E. Schell, “Delight Your Customers,” Target Marketing, 25 (April 2002): 32-36.
50. Heil, op. cit.
51. “American Girl Place: A Lesson in Niche Marketing: Affordable Dolls Offer Gateway to
Seemingly Endless Add-on Products and Services,” Photo Marketing, 77 (November 2002):
52. Y. Moon and J. Quelch, “Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service,” Harvard Business School,
Case #9-504-016, revised February 3, 2004.
53. R.C. Ford, C.P. Heaton, and S.W. Brown, “Delivering Excellent Service: Lessons from the
Best Firms,” California Management Review, 44/1 (Fall 2001): 39-56.
54. “Customer Service Insights: Novel Initiatives to Delight Customers,” Business Wire, April 2,
55. P. Donovan and T. Samler, “Delighting Customers: The Ten-Step Approach to Building a
Customer-Driven Organization,” Managing Service Quality, 4/6 (1994): 38-43.
56. Ibid.
57. M.S. Garver and G.B. Gagnon, “Seven Keys to Improving Customer Satisfaction Programs,”
Business Horizons, 45/5 (September/October 2002): 35-42.
58. Donovan and Samler, op. cit.
59. Garver and Gagnon, op. cit.
60. Jones and Sasser, op. cit.
61. Garver and Gagnon, op. cit.
62. S. Shiba, A. Graham, and D. Walden, A New American TQM: Four Practical Revolutions in Management (Portland, OR: Productivity Press, 1993).
63. Arnold et al., op. cit.
64. Jones and Sasser, op. cit.
65. “Empowering Employees to Delight Customers at FedEx,” Management Development Review,
10/3 (October 1997): 112-113.
66. Ibid.
67. A. Taylor, “Top Box: Rediscovering Customer Satisfaction,” Business Horizons, 46/5 (September/October 2003): 2-14.
68. “Empowering Employees to Delight Customers at FedEx,” op. cit; Rust and Oliver, op. cit.
69. Rust and Oliver, op. cit.
70. Oliver, Rust, and Varki, op. cit.
71. K. Stewart, “An Exploration of Customer Exit in Retail Banking,” International Journal of
Bank Marketing, 16/1 (1998): 6-14.
72. Rust and Oliver, op. cit.
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