While the origins of the phrase “surprise and delight” in marketing lingo are unknown, it’s something that business owners and marketing professionals are always trying to accomplish. In today’s competitive markets, standing out in small ways can have big business benefits from customer retention and increased sales.
By its very nature, the term surprise and delight means you’re going above and beyond for your customers. You’re not just delivering a great product in a timely fashion, providing excellent customer service and support, or stocking favorites that your customers love. You’re doing more to keep those customers curious about your product, sharing content about your business, and recommending you to their colleagues, friends and families. After all, word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising there is, with 83 percent of consumers saying they trust recommendations from people they know.
Here are five ways you can surprise and delight your customers today!
Meaningful Giveaways & Freebies
A freebie or a giveaway can be a great way to surprise and delight a new customer, especially if you are an online store without the benefit of in-person interaction. It’s a great way to inject some personality into your packaging and another way for your customers to get to know you.
Don’t fall into the trap of just giving something away to give it away, though. Make sure it is meaningful and valuable in some way to your customers. Encourage sharing of your products and freebie by offering giveaways to anyone who shares the product using your social media handles.
Standout Social Media Campaign... With a Twist
A standout social media campaign that goes beyond your typical sharing can not only create media buzz, but it can also endear customers to your brand and give you valuable insights into what your customers value.
Lord & Taylor’s #obsessed campaign breathed life into an older brand by encouraging customers to post about a product the store sold with #obsessed. Customers were then surprised when those same products they had shared were delivered to their homes.
Get Personal With Handwritten Notes
There is nothing like a personalized, handwritten note to really surprise a customer. It’s delightfully analog in a digital world and makes customers feel like you have taken a lot of time out of your busy schedule to write a note just for them.
With automation tools like Bond, this doesn’t even have to take a ton of your time. You can choose handwriting styles or even upload your own distinctive writing to make it even more personal and then send out handwritten notes to your best customers.
Pay Attention to Small Talk & Act On It
If you’re not selling a product, but instead selling a service or your business is more consultative in general, use all the information you have about your customer to your advantage. During your meetings with your customers, pay close attention to the small talk and details that your customers share with you.
Are their kids getting ready to graduate from high school? Did they just buy a new house? If you have a good relationship with your customers, these kinds of details are sure to come out during your in-person meetings and conference calls.
When you find out big life moments are happening for your favorite customers, don’t let them go unnoticed. While you can always send flowers, cards, or gifts, even a simple email on a big day is sure to surprise and delight your customers. You care about them and what is going on in their lives and acknowledging those big life moments will go far to impress your clients.
Create an Exclusive VIP Loyalty Program for Your Best Customers
These days, loyalty programs can seem like an empty gesture. Every company has loyalty cards that don’t provide much beyond a couple of cents off every month, if that. But if you can create a loyalty program that truly goes above and beyond with the level of additional benefit, it can be a great way to surprise and delight your best customers.
Some examples of loyalty programs getting it right are points towards purchases that aren’t tokens, meaningful birthday rewards, a membership service that includes an additional cost with big benefits, like free shipping, or build an exclusive community. Sephora, Starbucks, and Amazon are all big companies getting the loyalty program right.
No matter what you do to surprise and delight your customers, thinking innovatively about how to engage current customers and attract new ones is never a bad thing!