Customer Experience | 10 MIN READ

Customer Satisfaction vs Customer Delight

Customer Delight vs. Customer Satisfaction: Who wins in this tug of war and which one matters more? Which one precedes and which one succeeds? Read on!

Simran Mohanty
Simran Mohanty
Jul 31, 2020

customer delight

customer delight

As a customer-facing brand in a highly competitive market, what gives you the cutting edge over others? What does it take for the customers to pick you over the competition? How to ensure customer delight or how to improve customer satisfaction? Satisfying your prospects and creating a bond which is more than just a mere relationship demands you to delve deeper.

While customer satisfaction is all about the practical procedure of achieving goals and delivering value, customer delight is the emotional ‘wow’ factor that you add on. Needless to say, the tough tiff between customer satisfaction vs customer delight can go on for time immemorial. But how do we draw the thin line of difference?

While one achieves what was expected, the other delivers the additional value. What stays common is the target that both when pursued together render quality as well as a passion for perfection. Establishing a clear pathway that creates customer relationships and indicates progress is all that matters. And it is customer satisfaction that stems from following the outlined path and loyally working towards that goal.

On the other hand, meeting the requisite milestones reproduces customer delight. What is customer delight and why is customer delight important? Similarly, what is customer satisfaction and why is customer satisfaction important? Are you two sister-terms from the dictionary of customer success? Nonetheless, they do have their own tales of difference. Let us now have a sneak peek at how both these terms differ. But before that, let us brush up on some of the basics.

What is Customer Delight?

The definition of customer delight mainly hovers around exceeding the nominal customer expectations and coming up with something afresh that augments your overall brand loyalty or customer experience quotient.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

The definition of customer satisfaction tells on how happy or unhappy are your customers with your product or services. Customer satisfaction information which includes reviews, ratings, and surveys can let a brand know how good, bad, or ugly are they performing.

Levels of Customer Satisfaction

Levels of Customer Satisfaction
Source: Bankerguide

Here, in this illustration, you will find that Customer Satisfaction is nothing but the net satisfaction that you received after subtracting expected service from the perceived service. Now, this leads us to three levels of customer satisfaction:

  1. Much better than expected: This is where the perceived service represented in the blue bar is higher than the expected service, represented in the purple bar. As and when this happens, the customer is totally satisfied with your product and would be totally loyal to your brand.
  2. As Expected: This is where the perceived and the expected service equate, resulting in a normal satisfaction level. Here, a customer may or may not churn away.
  3. Worse/Different than Expected: This is where the expected service is way higher than the perceived service. This is something that a customer does not like, or appreciate. They will simply churn away and add negative reviews about your brand.

How do the terms differ?

1. Competition and Expectations

Satisfaction has many levels whereas delight is the pinnacle of satisfaction. While satisfaction is about meeting customer expectations, delight involves surpassing it and taking the entire experience to an emotional plane. A delighted customer is less likely to go to a competitor as against a satisfied customer.

2. Customers and Experience

Delight is an emotion that one would want to experience more than once. So, there’s a fair chance that your customers would come to you each time with an expectation when you make delight a habit. But, what matters is that they come back to you, which means an increased lifetime value and enhanced customer stickiness.

3. Referral and Influence

Customers usually share their experience through different channels such as word of mouth, social media etc. When they’re delighted, the overall sentiment that is built around your brand among their spheres of influence is largely positive, and benefits your brand.

4. Loyalty and Stickiness

A delighted customer is less likely to go to a competitor as against a satisfied customer. Consistency, Empathy, empowered customer-facing employees, personalized experience etc. are key factors that get you ahead in terms of customer delight. Satisfaction is a thing of the past, whereas delight is here to stay & grow.

With the advent of SaaS businesses, it has become important to create moments of customer delight as well as customer satisfaction whenever possible. Impressing rather than just servicing a customer makes them feel valued and increases loyalty.

How to achieve Delight and Satisfaction?

Here are a few ways that tell us how to achieve customer delight as well as how to create customer satisfaction, and successfully ace the business. Before that, check out this video that differentiates between both the terms in a nutshell:

Switch to proactive, Personalized Messaging

Closely tracking your customer behavior allows you to send out personalized messaging around the customer’s existing status. These kinds of engagements enhance the practicalities of following your product plan. Not only that, but it also prepares the customer for the next phase of their customer journey. Proactive, personalized messaging helps to connect well. When sprinkled with a personal touch, takes them through customer delight and customer satisfaction.

Right Software to Rescue

Managing all your customers manually could be consuming your time, patience and energy too. Further, there is no guarantee that you get your desired results. Hence, providing your team with the right customer success platform is crucial and can garner stellar performance. You will find many platforms online which will allow you to closely monitor the health of your customers, without demanding any intensive high-touch resources.

Moreover, it will make it really easy for you to keep an eye on the key metrics, analyze customer data and identify the best course of action. Additionally, you can establish an early-warning system that informs you of any changes in customer behavior as early as they occur.

Segment your Customers

Customer segmentation is a great way to scale your customer success efforts and accurately track accounts of the same business type, and size.

It can also be used as a learning tool. The experience of one customer can become the unexpected value of another.

For example, recognizing low usage of a particular feature can help you determine when and how to increase your outreach and training. You can segment your outreach to reach the customer most in need of resource documentation to get started, an interactive webinar, or best practice refreshers.

Share Customer data

Kindly ensure that a customer should not be in a position to repeat data themselves when talking to your team members. By gathering timely customer data and sharing it across your enterprise, you surround the customer with personalized service. Every time your customer engages with anyone, they should be impressed with how intimately your team understand their needs. These tiny bits can take you a long way into customer delight and customer satisfaction.

How to measure Customer Delight?

It is no surprise that the happiness of a customer is a strong measure to foresee the future of any given company. That is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into picture. Track your customer delight with these easy metrics and progress towards your goal

1. Churn Rate

Churn rate is said to be the total percentage of the customers that refrain from using your product over a certain period of time. Try to keep this metric as minimal as possible. A high churn rate is an indicator that your business might soon run out of profits and it is time to pay special attention to the details. It is given by the formula:

Number of customers lost in a period of time / Number of Customers at the beginning of the period

2. Retention Rate

In simpler terms, retention rate is the opposite of the churn rate. To measure your customer delight, having a high retention rate is a must. For this, you will have to take the number of current clients you have from the beginning of the year or quarter and compare it to the number of customers you have till the end. It is given by the formula:

Pre-existing customers at the end of a year / Pre-existing customers at the start of a year

3. Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value is seen as the value that every customer brings over in the lifetime of their respective relationship in a given period of time, be it a year or a quarter. Further, it predicts your net profit in the given entirety of your relationship with a customer, starting from the first touchpoint to the end. It is given by the formula:

Average value of Sale x Retention Time x Profit Margin x Amount of Transactions

How to measure Customer Satisfaction?

  1. Customer Effort Score: CES, measures your ability to reduce efforts which in a way is a good driver of customer loyalty. It is more or less similar to that of CSAT, except for measuring the simplicity and ease of customer experience. It should not be too difficult for your customers to find their desired product or services seamlessly, without having to break their heads. This is what it is about.
  2. Customer Satisfaction: CSAT, is accounted to be one of the most widely used KPIs for measuring customer satisfaction. It comes in simple forms of 1-5 or 1-10 scales to let the customers rate their score of satisfaction. As it only costs a second worth of your client’s time, you can know their gut reaction at the most relevant time.
  3. Net Promoter Score: NPS, is by far one of the simplest and most efficient ways to measure customer satisfaction. It is easier to collect and quick to understand as well. All you need to do is ask your customers to rate their likelihood of recommending your product to their friends and family. Now, you just have to deduct the number of detractors or the ones who gave you a low score from the promoters, who gave you a high score – with this, you will have your NPS.

Final Take

The sentiment is intrinsically linked to a customer’s engagement with a product or brand, be it a purchase, an online review, or a mention on social media. Many customer delight examples prove that there is always an emotional aspect connected to their actions. In fact, statistics back that up. Satisfied customers are 80% more likely than unsatisfied customers to renew their policies. So, if you listen to your customers, you will learn to be more aware of what they want and need. This way, you can cater to them more effectively to ensure customer satisfaction and company growth.

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Originally Published July 31st, 2020, Updated February 26th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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