How To Surprise & Delight Your Prospects & Customers…
When I was 14 ¾ (that is/was the law in South Australia) I got my second job at Big W.
My first job was delivering the Messenger Newspaper (and I have no idea how they got around the 14 ¾ age barrier!)
My job at Big W was a customer service and sales role.
I recall one day a colleague by the name of Theo (who was a little older than me) go above-and-beyond with customer and he got publicly praised by the store manager in front of passing by staff and customers.
Big W really instilled great customer service in all of us.
The only two things I recall in the induction training were:
- “The customer is King”; and
- “The customer is always right”.
Those two lessons have always stayed with me.
I would personally carry bags of soil (I worked in the garden section of the time) to customer cars.
It was old school service, that you rarely see anymore.
Side note: I really think this is what will save brick-and-mortar retail in 2020 and beyond.
Later, when I promoted night clubs, we used to give aware a free drink the birthday person and each of their friends if they came to the club.
I would literally call each patron a week before their birthday, wish them happy birthday and ask them their plans.
If they had nothing on, I would invite them in for a round of free drinks to celebrate.
Again, no one does this.
Years later I had a friend living in Thailand…
For their birthday, I ordered a birthday cake online and had it delivered to them remotely 6737km away.
For many years now, I send people emails with article links they may find interesting, or surprise SMSs with well wishes for the week.
When I turn up to someone’s house or to parties, I always bring food or drink.
In my classes, I always give out chocolates and lollies on the first day.
Consumables are a safe bet, most of the time as they need to be consumed — physical items can be hit-and-miss
Surprising and delighting people and random-acts-of-kindness is so underrated.
In my experience, it is the way to build likeability and strengthen relationships.
We used to live in small tribes, which made it easy for all of us to do this.
We only had to recall the important things about 150 people.
Technology has allowed us to expand our networks far beyond what is anthropological natural or possible.
This is both good and bad.
Good, in that we can be exposed to things we would normally not be:
We can contact people we don’t know on Twitter.
We can meet dates on Tinder without leaving the house.
And so on…
Bad, in that we cannot personalize.
Imagine having to write a birthday card for every person you know in your network.
It would be very time consuming, if not, impossible.
Yet, technology also wants to bring us closer, to connect with others and do so easily.
Facebook notifies us of birthdays and LinkedIn notifies us of birthdays and work anniversaries and both give us easy tools to give well wishes.
Although currently, it’s hard to be hyper-personal on a large scale.
The data is almost there:
Many tech companies have mapped geographic, demographic and behaviour graphs.
Facebook has mapped the social graph and allowed us to search it in 2013.
Instagram and others are likely mapping the psychographic-interest graph.
Once the data is available it is up to us to use it.
All that is left is using those categories to be hyper-personalized.
Yes, you can personalize can email-blast with merge tags for first name, but everyone knows that is automated.
Likewise, you can personalize messages based on interest categories, but we are not at the sophistication of truly personalized communication just yet.
Again, technology will help us to be hyper-personalized on a larger scale:
One way, with the help of machine learning, will get us closer: we’ll be able to track every behaviour and thought that occurred before a purchase happened and extrapolate that back in time to predict purchase behaviour and deliver the perfect sales communications at the perfect times. I think we will be able to do that for the entire human population at some point.
Artificial intelligence will likely be able to then create specific sales communications to match those billions of combinations of segments and deliver multiple specific sales communications customized to billions of individuals via distribution channels (of the future) at the snap-of-our-fingers/click of a button (or whatever the future equivalent is).
But, in the interim, we have to scale the unscalable…
An example of this is I am building a first party data CRM (in Excel) for those who are close to me.
It maps their interests, their appreciation style and their personality type (I have to manually put all these things in), so I easily have a reference of what would surprise and delight people, just like carrying soil to peoples car or giving them free birthday drinks, yet more personalized way.
Are you doing something similar for your business?
If not, I highly recommend you do.
The easiest way to do this is follow, friend or connect on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn with whoever you want to surprise and delight — employees, customer, biz dev partners etc and observe what they are interested in.
Facebook makes it easy as you can check Likes here: https://www.facebook.com/THEIR-USERNAME-HERE/likes.
Then, plug those interest into a database to give you categories for ideas to surprise and delight.