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38 min read

What is customer delight and who's responsible + examples (HubHeroes Ep. 9)


What is customer delight and why does it matter? Customer delight, quite simply, boils down to how well you treat your customers. And since how well you treat your customers will almost assuredly translate into what your prospects hear about you while they're weighing their options ... its importance should be pretty obvious.

And yet, while the delight phase is invaluable to the health and future success of your business, it's often the most completely overlooked part of the Flywheel:


Don't get me wrong, the attract phase and the engage phase are just as essential to growing your business – heck we've devoted entire episodes to each of those phases. The problem is perfectly summed up by my guy and fellow HubHero, Max Cohen, who said in this episode:

"Delight is something you have to be focusing on. I think the big problem people put all of their effort and energy into marketing and sales – but not a lot into service. Many will say that's because, 'Oh, service and delight isn't revenue generating.' But it is revenue-generating."

That's why we invited HubSpot all-star Christina Garrett to join us on today's episode of HubHeroes to help us demystify what customer delight actually is, who is responsible at your company for making customer delight happen, and what are the best examples of customer delight around that you can learn from.


  • What customer delight really is, and why some companies who are desperate for their customers to love them often fail with the very basics of service delivery.
  • Why you need to think with both a short-term and long-term mindset when it comes to delighting your customers. 
  • How the customer delight phase is way more important than many folks realize and why it is often deprioritized below other initiatives.
  • What makes pet goods giant Chewy a master-class customer delight example, and what we can all learn from them.
  • That everyone in your company – in their own unique ways – is responsible for doing their part in creating delight for your customers.

Are you ready? Let's dig in!


Some of these we talked about, others we're adding because they're only going to make the episode that much sweeter for you ... 


This one is simple – if you've been deprioritizing delight because you don't think it's a profit center for your company, this is your call-to-action to make a change in your mindset. So, grab a pen, take lots of notes, and then choose one thing you can to today to make delight more of a priority at your company. Your success today and tomorrow depend on it.


Intro: Do you live in a world filled with corporate data? Are you plagued by silo departments? Are your lackluster growth strategies demolishing your chances for success? Are you held captive by the evil menace, Lord Lack, lack of time, lack of strategy, and lack of the most important and powerful tool in your superhero tool belt, knowledge. Never fear hub heroes.

Get ready to don your cape and mask, move into action, and become the hub hero your organization needs. Tune in each week to join the league of extraordinary inbound heroes as we help you educate, empower, and execute. Hub heroes, it's time to unite and activate your your powers. Before we begin, we need to disclose that both Devin and Max are currently employed by HubSpot at the time of this episode's recording. This podcast is in no way affiliated with or produced by HubSpot, and the thoughts and opinions expressed by Devin and Max during the show are that of their own and in no way represent those of their employer.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. No. They don't. And it's time to rock and roll, baby. I just can't wait.

By the way, we should have added Christina into that little subsection. I'm just saying I'm just saying because she has her own thoughts, believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen. But let's start out with that because it is a different crew today. We've got Max. We've got myself, but we have a special guest.

So, Christina, why don't we just start out by, letting all the hub heroes out there know who you are, what you do, where you do it. And, of course, I had to throw in one top secret thing that people might not know about you, the amazing person Christina Garnett.

Christina Garnett: Hey. Thank you so much for joining me. I am hyped by that intro. That was excellent. Like you said, just slide my name into that little legal jargon piece as well.

I am the senior marketing manager of offline community and advocacy at HubSpot, which is just a fancy way to say that I activate and work with all of our customers and partners who absolutely love and are deeply knowledgeable about HubSpot and my job is to delight them. Find opportunities for them. How can we help them to work with internal HubSpotters to be able to improve product, get the word out? We just had our inbound correspondence program which I created last year. That was activated again this past year and also the after hours show with the one and only George b Thomas.

So those are all coming back this year too, so very excited. I get to work with an amazing crew of just brilliant people, which I'm not surprised. Mac, you're one of my favorite HubSpotters, so I'm honored to be here with you. You're also one of my favorite TikTokers. And then things that people probably don't know about me, like, top secret things, I was a volleyball and cheer leading coach for 2 years.

So, yeah, little little side information there.

George B. Thomas: I love it. Max, can you imagine if your whole job was to give people the feels? Like, you had to go to work every day and just I have to make these people feel appreciated. I need to make these people feel loved. In other words, AKA, I need to delight the people who are part of, in this case, with Christina, the HubSpot and inbound community.

What a job to have. And I love that she's on this episode because that's exactly what we're talking about. We're talking about customer delight, which, by the way, we say customer, but I think it can be prospect delight. I think it can be customer delight. In other words, if we boil it down to what we usually do here on this show, think it's just delighting humans that happen to have interactions with us.

And we're gonna talk about what it is and who the freak is responsible, And we might even talk about a few examples along the way. But before we get into the deep end of the pool, again, we always like to kinda humanize this a little bit. And I wanna ask the question, what was one time in your life when you felt extremely happy?

Christina Garnett: Can it be personal personal?

George B. Thomas: Yeah. I didn't I didn't throw business in there yet

Christina Garnett: yet. I'd I'd have to say having my kids. I love my kids. They've completely changed. They're not a chapter.

They're like a whole different book. But it changes the way that you see things. And honestly, also as a marketer, they are my biggest hack. They are my biggest secret because I can immediately tap into younger culture by just listening to them. I know about video games.

I know about subculture. I know about anime. I know about all of these things that as a marketer, I would probably never know because it wasn't in my specific purview. I know that there there's a lot of, like, do you have kids? Do you not have kids?

But and I think it's a personal choice. But for me, it not only was a is a blessing, but it also unlocked a lot of knowledge for me that I wouldn't have otherwise. So I gotta say my kids. I love my kids.

George B. Thomas: I love that so much because it's almost like, what do you mean web 3? I know all of web 3. It's exactly what my kids are using. Like, it's I'm being educated right now on it. So, Max, I wanna get you to kinda give me and by the way, it could be the same thing.

It could be totally different. But what was one time in your life, personal or it could be business, when you just felt extremely happy?

Max Cohen: Yeah. Well, I mean, I have 2 daughters too. So I'll I'm a pick a different example because obviously that takes the cake over everything. So I've played competitive paintball my entire life, and there's this one particularly tough season that we had a a long time ago. It's a really, like, core group of guys that we were kinda building a a really cool kind of program for a while with.

And, you know, the team kinda, like, struggled a little bit, like, during the first, like, couple events of the year. We ended up kind of splitting up and losing some of our core guys, and they ended up going to this other team that was just kind of spanking us all season. We were we were coming in 2nd place, 2nd place, 2nd place, like, every single time. It was the final event of the year in this league called the New England Paintball League. They call it the Bone Cup, which stands for best of New England.

So we met them in the prelims. Alright? So we played them once in the prelims. They beat us 4 to 0. They just absolutely wiped the floor to us.

We somehow scraped into the playoff, ended up getting into the finals to face them yet again. They were up 4 to 0 when it was a race to 5. So you basically have to win, like, 5 points in a row. If anyone's not familiar with paintball, you have to win 5 paintball like, 5 on 5 paintball games, right, in a row. And at that point, they were up 4 0 on us.

And we ended up coming back scoring 5 unanswered points and actually winning, like, the best New England championship. And that moment was, like, really really cool because this crazy sort of insurmountable it was, like, the only, like, really wild sports moment I've ever really kind of been involved in. And so it was really cool to kind of experience what it was like to come from behind and, like, you know, win something with all the odds against you and get a little bit of revenge there. It was super emotional. Everyone was yelling at each other and hugging at the same it was just it was wild.

But that was, like, a really really cool moment for me back in the day.

George B. Thomas: And I feel like we should be playing, like, we are the champions or something under that story that you're telling. And I'm gonna come back to, by the way, both of you and kind of why I think that that is the moment that you picked, and we're gonna unpack that a little bit. Because it does have exactly what we are talking about in mind, but I have to tell you a little story. And it's a recent story. And I too, 4 kids, could say best days ever were when they were born and when they moved up.

No. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.

I'm just kidding. Yeah. But but here's the thing. I was recently And you get a you get a milkshake. It tastes like strawberry, and it's great.

And and just you're kinda used to that. In your lifetime, you may have actually ordered a strawberry milkshake with cheesecake bites in it. And you're like, oh, yeah. This is kind of next level. Like, I'm I'm I'm sort of delighted here.

I'm sort of delighted. However, when I was in Myrtle Beach, I had the opportunity to order a strawberry cheesecake milkshake. However, this thing, when it was delivered to me was a oh my god moment because it was an actual mason jar filled with strawberry milkshake, and then it had these 2, like, strawberry swizzle edible sticks kinda coming out of it. They had rolled the top of it in, like, some type of strawberry icing with some type of then crumble on top of that, and then laid a big fat juicy piece of New York cheesecake on top of the mason jar, and then whipped cream and a strawberry on top with some drizzle. Ladies and gentlemen, might I say that this was more than I ever expected.

Well, although I should have expected it because the name of the shake was take me back to New York. I'm just gonna throw that out there. But in that moment in time and I'll put a picture. My friends, they took a picture of me, and I am grinning from ear to ear because I am extremely delighted in the fact that I have received more than I ever thought that I would receive when I gave over my money and said, I would like a strawberry milkshake. Now if I think about what I just said, it's the fact that I got more than I thought I would get.

Max, when I think about your story, it's that you were able to achieve a place that you didn't think that you would be able to achieve. And when I think about you, Christina, it was that you knew that you were in a journey and you had these humans that you were gonna be able to pour your entire heart and soul into and grow into future human beings on the planet. And so it's these aspirational extraordinary large moments. Mine just happens to be about a milkshake in life. They just equal happiness and equal being delighted.

I'm super curious. I'm gonna pause my words and see when I say that, are there any things that come to mind from you 2?

Christina Garnett: I think for me, it really comes down to core core memories. Like, if you've ever seen the movie Inside Out, is creating those core memories, and they can be large and grandiose, but they can also be small and intimate. And that's what I think delight at the heart of delight is because it looks different to different people, but it's can you create a core memory so that years from now you're gonna tell that story about that cheesecake. Years from now you're gonna talk about that paintball tournament. Years from now, I'm gonna talk about memories with my kids.

Like, just those core memories that we keep hyper sacred to us. I think that's what is delight is all about. And I also think that's what love is all about, like, love and affinity. It's when you think about the people who are important in your life, whether it's romantic love or it's family, you intrinsically connect specific core memories to them and how that made you feel and it's that little, like, that's that dopamine. That's that little love chemical that I remember this and I remember how these people made me feel.

And because of that, I have this natural tendency to have this level of affinity with them.

Max Cohen: I agree with all that, and I think what we're you're kinda hitting on here is that delight can mean a lot of different things. Delight doesn't just mean happy customer, like, it means so much more than that, and there's a lot of tactical value behind it. And I think those are kinda 3 different examples that was, like, very different versions of Delight. There's always gonna be different versions for your customers, and it always takes a much more nuanced approach when you're thinking about this stage of the inbound methodology.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. It's funny because there's probably the listeners like, okay. We're, you know, 10 minutes into this. We haven't really talked about business. Although, yes.

We have. Yes. We have. If you've paid attention, there's been several little nuggets of wisdom that each of us has dropped that you could be using for your business. But the one thing that I wanted to lead up to here is if you are in a place where you're trying to figure out how you can delight the prospects, the leads, the customers, the humans in your life, one of the key things that you've heard through this whole first 10 minutes is that you probably need to understand what their language is, what their love language is.

Is it that you should give them a shout out on social or send them some HubSpot socks or some Hub Hero swag? What is it that actually would make them feel delighted? Now here's the thing. I wanna ask you another question in this vein, and then we are gonna get into the core topics of the conversation. That is, when has a company made you feel extremely happy?

Max Cohen: I have a small one. Something that, like, I think probably a lot of us have maybe experienced. You've all, you know, shopped on Amazon. I remember there was a couple of times where I, like, I ordered a whole bunch of cables to kind of set up my whole thing here, and I clearly, like, ordered way too many. Even some cases, I got the wrong one.

You know, I had, like, 5 or 6 cables left over that I was just, like, alright. I I shouldn't have bought these. Like, I gotta go ahead and send these back. Back. Totally my mistake.

Nothing that Amazon did wrong. It was not like, you know, it was not any sort of kind of mistake they made in what they sent me. But I went to go do a return, and they have this funky little thing that happened that just said, alright, cool. We've, we went ahead and returned it. We've given you a refund.

Keep them. Don't even send them back. Don't even bring them in. Just just hold on to them. And, you know, it's crazy because the the lesson there is, like, no.

Don't just give everything away for free. Sometimes, it's just gonna make more sense to do the right thing for your customer and not create an issue over something small. Because if they had really made that, like, a lot more difficult, what they're doing is they're risking a bad review from a customer or maybe I'll I would shop there a little bit less if they had made that super difficult on my end. And that would have been way more expensive than just, like, giving away a couple cables that cost them nothing. Again, I don't want it this to sound like give the stuff away for free because that's not what Delight is.

But it's, like, finding things that you can sort of compromise on that will give you leverage to create a much better interaction. It was much more important for Amazon in that case that I had a good experience and I stayed with them as a customer versus getting a couple cables back that they could go and turn around and sell.

George B. Thomas: And let's be honest. Let's be honest, Max. They realized the lifetime value of Max Cohen and the amount of gear that he's they can look at the dad and be like, this homeboy has bought some stuff. Hey. Let's give him a couple cables.

But the thing is it made you feel a certain way. And what I love that you said in there, you said, just do what's right, and the right thing is always right, ladies and gentlemen. It just is always right. I'm gonna talk about why I'm asking it in a secondary way here in a minute. But, Christina, what was the time when a company actually made you feel extremely happy?

Christina Garnett: I have to go with Pinterest. I got to go to Cannes earlier this year to go to, see the Cannes Lion, festival. And I got to go to a lot of the activations that a lot of brands were holding. And it was in in me being who I am, I'm live tweeting absolutely everything. My phone never leaves my hand.

And I go through all these different activations and I went to Twitter Beach and I went to Pinterest Beach and I went to all these other things. And I said lots of positive things about all of them. My favorite activation, though, wound up being Pinterest because it was so other. It was so separate from all the other types of activations where it was like here's a beach, here's a DJ stand, here's some couches, go. Pinterest wasn't.

You actually wound up walking in through this activation with, like black rubber tarp with, like, white ink all over it and it's all these, like, negative comments that you would see on social media. And while you're going through it you get these social notification sounds. So it's this interactive hellscape of social media like all the bad of social media in one place. But then you come out on the other side and it opens out onto the beach and you see this little pergola that says it's different here. And then you have these tiny little hyper activations and it is such a celebration.

Like their CMO, they get it. And so they did all these things and it really much they really understand that their strategic advantage is that they are a creative, peaceful place on social. It's really hard to be negative on Pinterest. So that's not that that's not the part where they made me happy. That that made me super happy, but where they personally did was I do a lot of social listening.

I am hyper curious. I am a Alice in Wonderland. Was born in North Carolina and wound up in marketing. And so I'm constantly looking for content. I'm constantly doing social listening.

And so I know what that looks like. Pinterest is the only, and I mean the only brand that I talked about their activation positively and they responded. They liked me. They followed me. They retweeted my content.

And it takes seconds to do that, but it shows that you paid attention and then you acted on that once you found it. There are so many brands that want people to love them and they literally don't engage with their customers. They don't engage with anyone on social. And then they're like, why is this so hard? It's not hard.

You're not doing the work. It takes seconds seconds to make someone's day. I have Mark Hamill who like a tweet of mine. Makes my entire week. It took a second.

And so for me, that's what's hyper important.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. We could probably stop the podcast right now, ladies and gentlemen, because the idea of paying attention paying attention to your prospects, to your leads, to your customers, and that really goes along with mine, my story because mine actually what was giving me the most aggression this morning, my headphones by SteelSeries, is actually one of the companies that delighted me most. Because when I received the headset, 1, it was solving a problem that I hadn't been able to solve before because I was looking for a Bluetooth headset that actually tied in to my RODECaster Pro mixing board, and that's actually very hard to do, and I hate walking around with a cord. Here's the thing. The thing that delighted me though was they understood the audience and the packaging.

And when you open up, it's like this magical it's like Christmas. It's like Christmas because you're opening up the package, and it's like this cloth that you pull it out and these different pieces. But then where they really got me was there was this silver card of, like, this almost superhero looking kind of gamer collector's card. And I was like, oh, well, this is so good. I was like, this is amazing.

And I was just extremely happy because, I was solving a problem. They understood that I was a nerd, and they paid attention to the small details that would actually make me enjoy the experience that I was going through with their product. So here's the thing. What I wanna tie back to and my my son, Noah, will probably edit out the pause when I ask the second question of company. But even Max was a little bit like, why is it that when I ask the first question, something in life that made you extremely happy, we all immediately could say this thing?

But when we said to a company, we took pause and we had to think about that. Why do you think that is?

Christina Garnett: The bar is the floor. The bar is to do right now, there's so many companies who can't even do what they promise. They can't even do what they pay them for. That right now the standard is to hopefully make them okay. A lot of companies haven't even can't even get to Delight because they can't get people to just not even not be mad.

That's why.

Max Cohen: Yeah. It's pretty funny that I got super stoked over Amazon giving me a couple of cables that cost them, like, a few cents. That puts a lot in perspective.

George B. Thomas: Right? I am who I am, and I do what I do with these episodes. But the whole point is, ladies and gentlemen, if you're listening to this and you think you've historically been delighting your customers, I would ask you to rethink everything you've been doing and listen to the rest of this podcast and what we're about to say because I really do fundamentally feel there's a ton of space for growth around this conversation of delighting from a business standpoint, people, and what we're talking about. So with that said, we're just gonna jump into when you think about this question, just brain dump, Max, Christina. What does customer delight really mean?

Because maybe they're at bar 0. Maybe they're just trying not to keep their customers not being mad because it's a moving target. So let's stop moving the target and really define what is customer delight really mean to you guys.

Christina Garnett: For me, it means understanding that just doing what you said you were gonna do is the bare minimum. It is the absolute bare minimum. And then from there, what are you doing to make them feel safe and happy in the short term and in the long term? So you could have a really happy customer, but nothing's perfect. So maybe there's a problem down the future to be able to say, like, alright.

We've taken care of this for you. We took care of this in the time period that you wanted. We solved the that you had but, you know, if something happens please reach out to me. That's the thing too is a lot of companies want to automate absolutely everything but people, especially when things go wrong, I want a human. A bot is not gonna understand my needs.

A human will. That's why you get so many people getting angrier and and angrier and angrier is they're almost waiting for the bot to wake up and realize like at this level of anger maybe I should like change to a change to somebody else. But it's creating safety. It's creating the ability to understand that you actually care about their success. That you want there to be a relationship between you and this customer, that lifetime value that you you created.

When you treat someone like a one time transaction, they feel that. When you treat someone like a relationship, they feel that too. So if I feel like I can trust you, if I feel like if something happens, I can come to you and you're reliable and I know you'll fix it. You're giving me resources that, hey. Maybe I don't wanna ask questions, but I'd like to do stuff myself.

Where can I go to find solutions for things? When you open up a world to somebody that's why I think community is that piece. It's a conduit for a lot of companies where they're trying to figure out where delight can be. Community is a really great bridge for that because then you're giving them an entire group of humans who can also help them, who can also make sure that they feel connected, that they feel welcome, that they feel like they're a part of something bigger.

Max Cohen: So even kind of, Christina, how you started talking about delivering on, like, what you promised is is kind of the bare minimum. I think there's also, like, a lot of work people can do to ensure that they're even delivering that first. That's a foundation you kinda have to set before you can add in all these other things. It doesn't matter, you know, how great your additional stuff that you're doing to keep your customers happy if you're not, like, delivering on what they're expecting in the first place. You know, so, like, when you're thinking about delight, if you haven't kind of already just nailed delivering your product or service in the way that it's promised to be, That's what you really should be figuring out first, then adding stuff on top of that, like, all this other stuff that we're talking about here.

And, you know, that can touch other areas of the business too as well. Are you marketing it in a way that will meet someone's expectations if they purchase it? Are you setting proper expectations in the sales process? Are you setting folks up that work with customers post sale in any capacity? Whether it's support on a product someone's buying or customer service on a product someone's buying or you do sell a software or a service, people who are supporting the implementation of that product.

Are you setting those people up for success so they can deliver it in a way that's gonna make sense? There is a lot of work that I think a lot of companies can do to ensure that, okay, step 1, our foundation is laid when we know we're delivering what we're promising and we're setting good expectations around it and not having to lie in order to push that product out the door. Because again, if you can't get that right, no amount of additional customer delight or anything is gonna do anything because there's no foundation for that house to even sit on. You're just gonna have walls and roofs falling down on people, like, on on the dirt. But I think there's a lot of people who kinda look at the delight phase and just go, oh, this is the very fluffy part of it about.

Let's just let's all be just Ku'baiad, make everybody happy. It's, like, no, dude. There is a very tactical reason and it comes down again. I talk about inbound physics, like, all the time. This is really where all the momentum in your flywheel comes from.

The physics around delight is that if you don't have people who are successful, not just happy, successful using your product. They're not gonna keep buying it. They're not gonna renew if you're in some sort of, like, renewal type product you sell, like a software or service or anything. And And they're not gonna recommend it to anybody else. In fact, they're gonna stop using your product.

They're gonna give you terrible reviews. And if any of their friends, colleagues, family members, or whatever, they catch wind that they're considering that, they're gonna say, no, don't do it. And you create all these negative forces on the outside when you don't pay attention to this. And the funny thing too, it's to kind of like talk about how this has always been there. Like, delight is not a new concept.

If anything, it's older than even the idea of inbound itself. When I was an implementation specialist and we were getting people up and running on the marketing hub for example, the question I would ask is, like, how are you getting leads and new business and, you know, all that now if you're not, like, doing any digital marketing or any inbound stuff or anything like that? And they always go, word-of-mouth. Where do you think the word-of-mouth comes from? The word-of-mouth does not come from not delighting your customers.

It comes from delighting your customers. Whether it is all in the great products that you sell, because having a great product can delight people by itself, that is that's a fact, but it's everything else you do. It's it's everything you do to ensure that they're actually successful with it, not just happy with it. There's a big difference between those but they play into each other. The big point I wanna get across, like, it's a lot more tactical than people think it is and it provides a lot more value beyond the very feel good aspect that this part of the inbound methodology kinda provides.

And a lot of us wanna be good people, so a lot of us tend to have sort of, like, a natural disposition and maybe, like, focus on it, especially kind of in our space and and talk about how important it is. But for folks that haven't drunk the inbound Kool Aid yet, you know, sometimes they might, oh, it's this day. It's a little weird. Right? It's like, no.

Like, it's the most important part.

George B. Thomas: Max, I'm so glad that you unpack that. It's not a moment because it is really the most important. And while 2 actors have been stealing the show, traffic awareness and convert engage, Delight is actually the actor that everybody should be paying attention to because I bet I would. I'm not a betting man. Well, actually, I am.

When I get on a cruise ship, I like but anyway, not why we're here. But if I was a betting man, because that's how the saying goes, if you were tracking your word-of-mouth sales process, I bet it's faster, I bet it's easier, and I bet you close more of them because you've already won with the trust because it was other people talking about you. But here's the thing. What's funny is there's 3 of us talking about this concept. We're all 3 gonna end up giving you different answers to what is what does customer delight really mean.

You need to be writing down and unpacking all of them kind of across the whiteboard or your notes or whatever. And before I give you mine, might I say this. If you don't have a voice of customer system in place right now, that would be an action item that I might talk about at the end of this episode of listen. All of our customers are going to have a different version of what it really means to be delighted. We need to be able to hear them.

This needs to be a conversation. Meaning, they're talking. We're listening. We talk. It delights.

Boom. Now here's what I'll say. There's 3 major things that I think about around this topic. The first one is that I truly am delighted when people figure out how to simplify the complex. If you'll please just take a moment to look at the bowl of spaghetti that you're trying to hand me as far as a process to either navigate your website or go through your sales process and just straighten it out just a little bit.

Make it rigatoni where I can drive right down the center or something. Besides this convoluted mess, I'm gonna be delighted. The other thing is if I'm going through that process, number 2, if you can please evoke an emotion because I'm waiting for my next hit of oxytocin so that I just feel good about what I'm about to do. And by the way, humans, we purchase based on emotional response. And so if you can streamline the process, simplify the complex, and actually evoke an emotion along the way, I am 75% of being a delighted customer of yours, but the last thing that I will say is in the way that you would treat me.

Please, by all that is wholly focused on being transformational and not transactional. Because if you're there to truly transform me from where I am to where I need to be, you've actually simplified it so I can get there, and you've made me feel good about myself. I am going to talk to 1 1,000,000,000 people about who you are as a company. That to me is truly what delight means. Now let's go ahead and move forward to this next one because we are quickly running out of time on this episode.

Because here's the thing, somebody's listening to this Max and Christina, and they're like, sweet. This is the dopest episode ever. Let's pass it over to Jimmy in service. Let's pass it over to Bobby in marketing. Let's give it to Jose in no.

No. No. No. Which team is responsible for everything that we're talking about?

Max Cohen: Some examples might be helpful for folks too as well. I say this a lot. Let's say you're a marketer. You gotta remember, like, you're delighting people with your content if it's educational. Why?

Because they're finding it when they have a problem. They're consuming it. Hopefully, they're learning something from it, and then they're taking some sort of action that makes their life, their job, their goal, their channel, whatever it is, better in in a certain way. You've created delight there and then you've built a little bit of trust and that kinda helps them move through their relationship with you a little bit further. Those little, like, micro progressions if you will to kind of get them further down the chain in in building a relationship with you.

Also, like, if you're a marketer, you stop trying to educate your customers after they become a customer? No. You can there's nothing wrong with continuing to ensure that they are well informed, they're educated, they know how they can use your product, they how they can get the most out of it. You could teach them something new every once in a while, make them feel a lot closer to you, make them continue to trust you. Continuing to build trust is something, not just getting it at the beginning and then, you know, selling something to them.

If you're in the sales process, there's plenty of things you can do to delight people in the sales process. Again, it comes down to being honest with people, not selling them a false bill of goods, not being a snake oil salesman or whatever whatever the saying is, ensuring that you're being honest with folks, being clear when things aren't a good fit, explaining why things are a good fit in a way that's actually true and it makes sense and not disingenuine, and ensuring, like, you're not hounding them. You're not jumping down their throats. You're not being too aggressive. There is such thing as a delightful sales process.

Like, we can do this. We don't have to kinda rely on old school quote quota quota killing focused, like, sales tactics. There are, like, better ways to sell in ways that you can delight folks. It's kind of easier to clearly see if you're in some sort of customer success, customer service, customer support, whatever sort of role on on that side of the coin where you're kinda taking care of folks who who are paying customers, things like that. Mean, you're delighting in every single action that you take.

But there are also things that you do to attract and engage as well. Right? But that's a different episode.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. It is. And by the way, if you haven't watched or listened to those episodes, definitely go back and head over to the main page for hub heroes. I wanna kind of still dig into this a little bit more, Christina, because really what Max did is he went down the avenue of okay. So we all quickly went,

Max Cohen: everybody.

George B. Thomas: So in that case, if it is multiple teams, which we know it is, when we ask the question, what are their responsibilities? Where does your mind go? Are there certain things that you kind of pick out or think about responsibilities of humans who are helping other humans be delighted?

Christina Garnett: Yes. I think the heart, HubSpot heart. I think that that is something that is intrinsically focused on all of the employees, and those are the characteristics that we want everyone to have. And so I think that that becomes our North Star as to how we behave with each other, how we behave with customers, how we treat others. And so I think just having, like, just how how you would have a North Star for, like, KPIs or mission or anything like that.

I think having just a sense of what does your what do your employees need to be like when they are working together, when they are working with others. And I think heart sets a really good precedent for what that can look like so that and you see this online when you do social listening, when people talk about HubSpot, they talk the employees and how it's great to work with us and how it's great to talk to us and we genuinely wanna help them. That's because HubSpot hires nice people. Like, we hire kind people, but also you have to go beyond that. You have to actually care.

And because we care, you can see it in all of the different steps that we take. We just naturally want to be there for them, and it shows in our work.

George B. Thomas: Love it. So when we think about this, let's actually dive in because, you know, a lot of people, myself included, I I really do come from the show me state. Like, show me a great example of where this is happening. So I cannot necessarily clone it or copy it in a bad way, but I can maybe mirror it a little bit and make it mine for the company that I work inside of. So when you think about some great examples of customer delight in action and I'll go last, by the way because I have one, and it's very personal, but I still feel like I wanna share it here.

And and when I get to that point, I'm not trying to be grandiose, but I think it's something that everybody needs to hear. And so we'll get there. But when you guys think about what are some great examples of customer delight in action, where does your mind go?

Max Cohen: I bought this, like, streaming software that I use every once in a while when I'm on, doing some stuff on, like, Twitch or or YouTube or LinkedIn. And they have this premium membership that you can get. It does a bunch of stuff. It lets you, like, set up a merch store. It lets you set up, like, a little website for your stream and lets you set up, you know, a whole bunch of fun extra stuff on your actual stream itself.

What's cool is when you actually become a member there, they're constantly sending you, like, a whole bunch of different tips and educational information around streaming, how you can get most out of a lot of the really, like, super deep features that I just would not stumble upon on my own. When I was trying to, like, set up the store and the website, I was having trouble because I actually messed up and punched an incorrect spelling of, like, a name I was using for something. And it kind of got, like, hard coded into the back end of the website, and I didn't have a way of changing it. But, like, I was able to, like, easily get access to their support team who brought in their engineers and was able to go, like, fix this thing in the back end for me that, like, I wasn't able to do through the settings. And I think that kinda ties back to this very specific thing we see in the customer code called solve for my success not your systems, where they could have easily told me, hey, that's a mistake you made that you you can't do that.

Like, they went above and beyond to say, like, oh, you know, it was kind of on us that we didn't allow you to kind of, like, change that or fix that on your own. So we kind of, like, you know, took a little bit more of an extra step in the back end to to make that right for you. Shout out to Streamlabs. If anyone uses Streamlabs, it's great.

George B. Thomas: I have

Christina Garnett: to go to Chewy. Chewy is the gold god tier standard delight. They don't treat their customers like customers. They treat them like family and friends. They treat them like individuals.

They are empathetic on levels that I have literally never seen a company be empathetic. If your great ex and they go viral every time they do it. So it pays for itself in dividends every time. They there's been multiple examples where someone's pet has died, and they have called support to basically say, like, hey. I have, like, a recurring payment for this.

My pet just died so I don't no longer need this. Sometimes they even have they have, like, dog food or cat food left over and they'll say, like, that's okay. Like, you can donate that to, to, like, a local, like, dog shelter, animal shelter, things like that. And then they'll give them flowers with, like, a note from the person that they spoke with the name of the person they spoke with. Or they sometimes do probably the best, like, day of the year activation I've ever seen is for May 4th.

They actually had requested customers share their pets that were named after Star Wars characters and they had hand painted portraits of their pets given to them. So like you have all these like Chewy's and Yoda's and like it's precious. That is, in my opinion, just like god tier delight. Where that is saying, we know your animal is a family member of yours and you genuinely love them. And we want to make sure that you're taken care of in the good moments and in the bad moments.

And those paintings, those people will never ever ever ever ever ever throw them away. And every time they think about going to a different vendor, they're going to think about that picture and think no one's ever going to take care of me the way they are. No one's ever going to go that extra mile the way they are. And so delight is the biggest, biggest strategic advantage because people can beat you on price and people can beat you on location or flexibility, but they cannot beat you on delight when you are taking care of people at that level. Like, it's impossible.

So I have to go chewy every single time.

Max Cohen: And you know what's even, like, cooler about that too is there is a high probability in that situation that that customer is done spending money with you. Because a lot of time, like, your pet goes, you're, like, I'm not getting another dog if that's what I have to do again. Especially, if it's your first time losing a pet. A lot of people don't wanna go through that again. There's a very good chance that person is not gonna spend any more money on you, but you spend time resources and effort to essentially thank them for for being a customer, and also really make sure that they're taking care of and they're sort of pain is recognized and things like that.

It's okay to do those things even if you don't think there's gonna be some sort of return. Like, they're they can't always be sitting there being like, now they're definitely gonna buy cat food for us again when they get another cat because the poor whiskers is gone. They're not doing that.

George B. Thomas: Well, they definitely get it. They definitely get it. And, Max, couple things. 1, thanks for going because I needed a hot minute to not be emotional talking about this whole process that we went through. As somebody who has lost a pet and and now has new pets, like, this this whole process.

But it's funny because Chewy gets it. Right? It's they evoke emotional response, but they also understand, yes, this person may never buy again. But the family they're gonna talk to about the photo, the people that maybe they share the photo on social, like, there's this 6 degrees of all the people that we know. And I I fully believe that's not why they do it, but they get that that might happen as a byproduct.

It's not an expectation. It's just a possibility. Here's the thing. Mine and again, I don't say this to be grandiose. I'm not trying to boast, but it is it is I'm gonna get to a point where I wanna ask if you're doing this for your customers.

Because I had a recent experience where I was delighted beyond anything that I ever thought that I would be delighted in in my life. Now many of you, who are listening to this may have been following me for the last 10 years and know that, fundamentally, when HubSpot gets it right, I talk about when HubSpot gets it right. And when HubSpot jacks it up, I'm not a HubSpot Homer. I don't work for HubSpot. My name isn't in that intro.

I can say whatever it is that I wanna say because I can say it. So the rest of the story has to go under that context as I'm going to tell it the way that it is. I was at inbound, and I kept walking around. And normal people, HubSpot users, would be like, hey. Congratulations on your new endeavor.

The fact that you started a business, great job. Then the strangest of things started to happen to me, and it was HubSpot employees coming up and saying, hey. Congratulations on your new venture. Congratulations on your new venture. Congratulate and we're talking like Nicholas Holland.

We're talking Dan Tyre. We're talking Dharmesh Shaw. I'll get to the last one, which was just the the piece, like, oh my god. My brain is gonna just fry and melt down. But all these HubSpot employees were like, dude, congratulations.

We're rooting for you. We're in your corner. I'm getting ready to leave inbound. I'm in an Uber, myself and Zach Basner, and Brian Halligan himself had just got done interviewing Barack Obama, and I see him kind of walking towards the Westin. I lean kinda just to look, but I'm like, no.

I'm not gonna bug him. Man, dude is super busy. Whatever. I lean back in my chair, my seat of the Uber. All of a sudden, we hear a knocking on the trunk of the car, and we're like, what is going on?

And then all of a sudden, the knocking at the window where Zach is sitting. And, so Zach looks over. It's Brian at our window. And so Zach window goes down. Brian leans in the car, shakes my hand, says George b Thomas, congratulation on on your new venture.

We're rooting for you. Goes out of the car and just walks away. Window goes up. We're paused there for a second, and Zach goes, well, that just happened. And we both and we both start laughing.

But here's the thing. I got to the point about 80, 90% of the way of this happening, and my brain started making up things like, does HubSpot have a Wiki that I quit my job? Like, what is going on? And here's the point that I want everybody to realize. For me, it was a matter of how are they doing this?

And ladies and gentlemen, I gotta ask you, when is the last time that your customers have wondered how are they doing this? How are they making this magical? How do they know me so deeply? Because HubSpot by the way, I will never ever use another CRM for the rest of my life ever because I've been delighted so much by the way that the employees have paid attention. The founders have paid attention.

The emotional response that it invoked at inbound and the way that I'll move forward and talk about. I mean, I've already been talking about, like, it's amazing, but I'm gonna talk about it, like, it's amazing because of this whole relationship. And by the way, that's the one word that we really haven't said through this episode is that when you're focused on delight, you're focused on building a long lasting relationship without expectations. No matter if it equals revenue or not, you're just doing what's right because it's right. Now here's the thing.

Why with, like, a couple minutes left here, why do you think it's so dang important for people to pay attention to this and implement something today around delight in their business if they aren't doing it?

Max Cohen: You're just missing a fundamental piece if you don't. That question is kinda just like, oh, you know, how can you build a sailboat without a sail? It's something you have to be focusing on. I think the big problem is, like, people just put all their time and effort and energy into marketing and sales, and not a lot in the service. Because a lot of people say, like, oh, service isn't revenue generating.

When in fact, it is revenue generating. It's all the revenue that continues to stay with you. It's one of those things where it just you gotta think about it a little bit more nuanced, and it has a much deeper impact on the business than you think it does. If anything, it's an amplifier for marketing and sales. If you go out there and you create folks that are shouting your name from the mountain top, those are the best kind of marketers.

Those are marketers that pay you because they're your customers, but they're doing marketing for you. It's just as big of a piece of the puzzle as marketing and sales is and and, know, attracting and engage or however you wanna think about it.

Christina Garnett: I think probably the best visualization is that meme with the couple and he turns around to check out the other girl. That is what every company does with new customers versus current customers. Retention is so critical. Think about, like, Netflix in the past 2 years. Their stocks dipped not because they didn't get new, it's because they lost.

Retention is hypercritical and it takes less money to keep than it does to to get new. The thing is is that your your current customers have the potential to be the best sales team you've ever had. The best marketing team you've ever had. Better than any paid ads you've ever had because people actually believe them. People will listen to strangers over a brand.

So HubSpot and any company can say how great they are, but I don't care. I wanna know how your customers feel about you. How do the people who have to use your product or service daily, are they happy? If they have problems, do they get fixed? The thing is that if you really believe in in bound marketing, if you really believe in the shift from the funnel to the flywheel, then you have to believe in delight.

If you aren't delighting your customers, you are still running a funnel model where as soon as you're done and you get that check, you're done. They fall straight through and, like, whatever happens happens. You have to have that flywheel. And the thing is, especially with, like, the work

George B. Thomas: that I do for advocacy it greases the flywheel.

Christina Garnett: It creates that momentum that Max was talking about because they create ripples every single day. Every time they mention you. Every time they talk about a win. Every time they get a HubSpot Academy certification. They are creating ripples that you will never ever ever know about.

There are people talking about HubSpot right now in a community that we don't own and they're talking about HubSpot and what questions they have and there are HubSpot users in there answering those questions. We may never know about that conversation, but that's happening. And that's influencing people whether or not they wanna become a customer. It could could be crossing them over the edge to try like, alright. That's the sign.

I'm finally gonna do it. Customers, your current customers and delighting them, that is the ultimate the ultimate thing. The reason I think that people don't like to do it is because they don't like to do things that don't scale. There's a lot of personalization on this side of the flywheel and a lot of people wanna automate and and absolutely everything. And what you need to do is you need to create this really beautiful balance of what's automated and what's human.

And once you find that nice balance, you're gonna be able to have things run efficiently, but you're also gonna have that very personal piece where people feel like they're genuinely being taken care of and cared about.

George B. Thomas: So good, ladies and gentlemen. It's about the ripples. Alright. One of the things and we'll do this quickly because, well, we gotta get back to work, ladies and gentlemen, and so do you. 1 of the things we like to do, Christine, at the very end is give them an action item that they should do.

So after this conversation that we've had, which, by the way, in my opinion, has been absolutely amazing. What is the action item? We'll go Christina then Max, and I'll close it out. What is the action item you would tell the Hub Heroes audience to take next?

Christina Garnett: You need to interview your customers. And not just when you need quotes for an ebook or a marketing asset, you need to talk to them and you need to be open and create a safe space so they can be negative. Because even the fans that you have, they have negative things because to say because nothing's perfect. But you need to be just as receptive about the negative as the positive because the negative is actually where you can create change. If someone comes to you and be like, everything's perfect.

I'm good. I can't action action on that. But if someone's able to tell you, like, hey, I like this but I wish we could do this, you can action on that. Your customers will not only be able create those ripples but they can also create your roadmap. And a lot of times they'll even tell you how to do it.

They'll tell you exactly what they want, how they would use it, how it would help them. They can be such a core secret weapon for you. So talk to them and be okay with it not all being sunshine and rainbows.

Max Cohen: I have 3 takeaways. I'm gonna rip through them really fast. First one is if you're not already, try to start thinking a little bit more tactically about the lights, specifically through the lens of how can we make sure people are being genuinely successful. How can we make a genuine effort to ensure our customers are successful. Happiness is a byproduct of that.

It will come. Successful is what you really wanna focus on. The second piece, which kinda contradicts the first, it's okay to do something because you think it's the right thing. It's okay to do something because it feels good. Give yourself the space.

It doesn't always have to have a tactical tie back to revenue or the business. It's okay to do something because you think it's the right thing to do. Last bit that I will do is if anyone needs any really kinda solid sort of tenants, if you will, on how you might think about Delight and, like, specific actions you can take. Go check out the HubSpot customer code, something that we published a few inbounds ago, And it has some of, like, the best stuff in there in terms of, like, how you can kinda take care of your customers and promises you can sort of make to them. So if you just Google HubSpot you're genuinely making people successful, how well, you're taking care of them, and and how you're driving to life.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. I'm gonna, first of all, upvote everything that both Max and Christina said, then I'm on a plus one to listen to your customers. Ladies and gentlemen, seriously, I mentioned it earlier. If you don't have a voice of customer system in place, I need you to do that. And then when you can actually hear your customers, I want you to start thinking, how can I simplify the complex from what I'm hearing?

How can I evoke emotion from what I'm hearing? How can I build a system processes that are transformational instead of transactional based on what I'm hearing? And then I want you to stop, rethink everything, and ask yourself, is it possible? Okay, hub heroes. We've reached the end of another episode.

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