At Chromatic, delighting our clients is a part of our core values. On a day-to-day basis, we try to apply this principle whenever we contribute to a project, be it replying to an email, implementing a feature, or wrangling tickets. Whenever we see an opportunity to offer a genuinely pleasant experience for a client, we take it. This focus on client delight does not occur in a vacuum. We are, after all, clients ourselves, and we’re not immune to that fuzzy feeling you get when you know you’re in good hands.
Sometimes delighting a client means going the extra mile to exceed requirements or expectations on a feature because we know it will bring value to them. Other times, it means jumping into an unexpected fire with a calm disposition to get things under control. Delight can take many forms, but the hallmark is, in my view, that a client feels taken care of. A recent experience made me reflect on this way of conducting business and I realized that opportunities to delight a client present themselves at unexpected times.
I’m planning a backyard project that includes pouring a new driveway. I made an appointment with a gentleman who owns a concrete pouring company in my city which was highly recommended by an acquaintance. When he arrived, I told him where I want the driveway and what dimensions I have in mind. He could tell that this is part of a much larger project, so he asked to hear more about it. I think he also sensed that there was a lot of uncertainty about how some of the pieces would come together.
As I ran through the whole project with him, he paid close attention to what I was saying, asked lots of questions about specific problems, and seemed almost as excited for the project as I am. Most importantly, every time he identified a logistical or technical problem I had no idea how to address, he would offer potential solutions. Some of them involved his crew doing part of the work, others did not. Most importantly, none of them felt like a gratuitous upsell. These were legitimately useful solutions to real problems for which I had no feasible plan and which, to be honest, I found overwhelming.
He could have quoted the driveway job and left, and I would have been satisfied. And yet, by the end of our appointment I had two quotes: one for the driveway, and another for the driveway plus solving all of these other tasks. The cost difference is far outweighed by the sense of relief I have knowing that not only could I check off “Get quote for driveway” in my to-do list, but I also no longer have to stress over all those little problems. Needless to say, he delighted me to such an extent that I feel I’m getting more than my money’s worth by hiring his company.
Every interaction with a client —including ones before they even are a client— is an opportunity to make them feel that they’re in good hands. Fulfilling requirements is always a good thing, but making a client smile every time they hear your name? That’s the stuff that long-term partnerships are made of.