Stop Trying to Delight your Customers.

Many folks have been fed a fairy-tale, a giant whopper in fact. They’ve been sold the idea that they should constantly “delight the customer”. They are crushed under the weight of expectation and ultimately, disappointment. It’s sad, almost cruel, and entirely unnecessary.

Aarron Spinley
The KickStarter
Published in
7 min readJun 24, 2020

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Delight is to lifetime customer value, what peanut butter is to parrots. Not connected. Not relevant. Not even remotely sensible. I submit, that strategy-wise, the concept of “delight” is actually, laughable.

Yet keynote speakers and industry players, many supposed “CX Experts” repeat on it like a cheap curry. If you apply just a smidgen of critical thought though, you realize very quickly that it’s not sustainable, not economic, and almost impossible to achieve repeatedly at a neurological level anyway.

Let’s unpack that in reverse and start with the humans in the equation: your customers.

Customers and Wooden Clowns

Ever been to a local fair, and tried to lob a ball down the wooden throat of a swivelling clown, his mouth wide open, whilst he stares off with that far away unseeing look? His demeanour is all happiness and joy, as much as an inanimate object can exude it, his outrageously jubilant features only slightly tainted by the odd chip in his paintwork. The battle scars of a long existence being hauled around fairs all over the countryside, only for strangers to throw things at his face, are slowly catching up with him. But, he smiles on.

Of course, if you ever met a real person walking around with a similarly vacant yet enchanted look fixed to their face, mouth wide open in some kind of bizarre ecstasy that no one else understands, you would — quite naturally — assign them to the psychopath category, and cross the road at the earliest opportunity.

Given your customers, who I take this opportunity to remind you, are actual human beings and not fairground clowns, it is unlikely that they possess the ability to be forever delighted. Our neurology is such that we live in highs, lows, mountains, valleys, and somewhere on the plains the…

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Aarron Spinley
The KickStarter

Growth & brand theory from a top 10 global thought leader (Thinkers360). SPINLEY.CO