Feelings drive consumer behavior. Smart businesses tune into these feelings and use them to deliver more value to their customers. Amazon, which is on track to soon become a trillion dollar company, has latched on to this insight to fuel its growth. Jeff Bezos explains: 

"There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but here's the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great."

When customers are happy with you and the experience you deliver, they are more likely to spend more money with you. And if you solve an unmet need, they are more likely to spend more money with you. It's a win for all.

Why rewarding your customers fuels growth.

A few weeks ago, I went on a cruise with 18 other family members. The staff was fantastic, and the overall customer experience was carefully crafted and highly pleasurable.  Because of the remarkable experience we had, we've already declared we will cruise again for our next reunion in two years. And I've already decided that on the next one, I want to have an upgraded stateroom with a balcony. 

Even though I enjoyed my trip, I know it would be even better if my room had the outdoor space. My desire to go from good to great will make me even happier while resulting in more sales for the cruise line.  

On the way home from vacation, I stood frustrated in the airport. The check-in and bag drop process for my international flight was filled with long lines and frazzled travelers with confused and frustrated faces. There was no engagement from the employees, and they looked like all the joy had been sucked out of them. 

The flight was oversold, so I got upgraded to a business class seat. The experience of flying business class was as delightful as it has been every time I've been in it.

From the seats that lay flat, to the tablecloths and real dishes you receive for your meals, to the cushy slippers and socks they give you, it was clear there was plenty of attention to detail when it came to planning the experience for business-class passengers.

But even in business class, I couldn't forget the poor experience I had upon check-in.

It's not that the airline didn't know how to deliver remarkable experiences for their customers. They demonstrated they could do a stellar job of it for their business-class passengers, who pay five times more for their tickets.

But for their passengers who fly different variations of economy class, there was an intentional choice to strip away elements of the experience that could have made it better. As such, mass levels of chaos and frustration are the norm. It felt like a penalty for flying economy, rather than a reward for buying a ticket. No bueno.

Feelings of chaos and frustration don't make me want to spend more money with that airline. It makes me want to fly less.

Want to get your customers' feelings to work in your favor? Deliver remarkable customer experiences to all of them. Not just the ones who pay more. Here's how.

Make your baseline customer experience a delightful one.

Do this for all customers at every price point, at every touch point. 

After a scorching-hot day walking around our ports of call during our cruise, the staff was always there waiting for us to board the ship with cool washcloths and ice cold water. Everyone got access to this thoughtfulness, no matter the cost of their cabin.

Consider how you can elevate even the simplest parts of your customers' journey, by transforming a pain point into a smile. Make all your customers feel cared for every step of the way.

Show your customers how to access even better experiences.

Enable them to go from good to great if they so choose. Lots of companies do this simply on their pricing page, by showcasing different tiers, along with the benefits of each.

The cruise line has sent me various emails about trips on bigger ships, with more exotic ports of call, that get me excited about other possibilities.

3. Reward your best customers with VIP treatment.

Loyal customers will fuel the growth of your business. They buy more, cost less to service and maintain, and they tell their friends about you. Thus it pays to keep them happy.

Give them exclusive perks that make them feel special and fuel their desire to continue to come back.

Induce the kind of feelings in your customers that make them want to spend more money with you.

Published on: Aug 16, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.