Turn Your Customers Into Evangelists? Just How Do You Do This?


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Delight customers. Ever hear that from an aloof executive? I worked at IBM for years and would marvel at our unit head telling us to delight customers. I sure wanted to delight them too. I wanted to respond quickly to customer needs and quickly to their requests and quickly to their orders and quickly to their support needs. I really did and I tried and tried. I wanted them to love me.

And think about love for just a sec… Does this grow because you attention is focused and it strengthens because your relationship becomes more intimate? And how does this happen? Is it because you are prompt for your dates and polite to the gate keeper, Dad, and you open the door, and you are not too pushy or to distracted?

Getting back to delighting customers. How should this be done? How can it be done? Done easy if you are sole source or sole reason for delirious delight. How do you do it if the the customer support knowledge base is not accessible, if the customer support database is non-existent, if the application engineer is on vacation, if it is 4:59 and your manager just popped his first cold one at Bennigan’s?

It is getting harder to delight, isn’t it?


  1. Jim,

    It is getting harder to delight customers for good reason. Here is the dictionary definition of delight:

    “To give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly: The show delighted everyone.”

    Psychologically, pleasure and enjoyment are fleeting emotions. Moreover, the next time one tries to elicit them in someone else (a customer), the source of delight needs to be ratcheted up to counter act habituation. Think of habituation like licking an ice cream cone. The first lick has more intensity (pleasure) that subsequent ones and when you finish the cone the pleasure stops.

    I don’t know who start using the term “delight your customers,” and associating it with building customer relationships but I think the term is a mis-direction.

    Certainly, emotional engagement is essential to customer relationships but lasting impacts on relationships don’t come from delight. They do come from emotional engagement on he part of the customer, where the customer get the psychological gratification of reducing uncertainty, solving a problem or finds great meaning or value in a situation.

    Or, they build trust in a relationship and feel they can count on the relationship to simplify things in and increasing complex world. The experience not only help in the immediate situation, the relationship value suggest the relationship will be valuable to address future challenges.

    John I. Todor, Ph.D., author of Addicted Customers: How to Get Them Hooked on Your Company.


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