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Today we have a special treat, with a guest post by Bob Thompson, author of the new book Hooked on Customers.


If you go to a bank to use the ATM and it doesn’t work, you’ll be unhappy and more likely to switch banks if it keeps occurring. Is it worth trying to delight customer when they just want to withdraw cash and be on their way? Probably not. ATMs are viewed as a basic need, with little opportunity to delight, only to disappoint if they don’t work.

In the 2010 Harvard Business Review article “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers,” authors from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) argue that consumers are more inclined to punish bad service than to reward delightful service. Therefore, companies should focus on delivering the basics, which is more likely to drive loyalty.

The title of the article is provocative and the authors make a number of great points. But if you take their advice literally, you’ll lose a great opportunity to create genuine customer loyalty. (more…)