Surprise – Don’t Shock – Your Customers
Surprise: /sə(r)ˈprīz/ noun: an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing.
Shock: /SHäk/ noun: a sudden upsetting event or experience.
The difference in the definitions is slight, but being surprised vs. being shocked are two very different experiences. When it comes to your customer, you always want to surprise them – never shock them!
Over the past few weeks, we’ve covered the basics when it comes to surprising and delighting your customers, and how it can help your business grow. However, just because something is unexpected, doesn’t mean it’s surprising (or delightful!).
For example, when you surprise and delight your customers with a freebie, special experience, or other treat – there should be no strings attached. They shouldn’t have to purchase something to get it, nor should they be obligated to participate in something else or mail a card back in, or save a coupon for their next visit in order to “cash in.” Customer gifts should be given out of the goodness of your heart as a business owner. End of story.
Additionally, never add something to a customers bill that they haven’t asked for or agreed to. One example from personal experience comes to mind… I was staying at a fancy hotel in Miami for a weekend, and they had an espresso machine in the room. There was a sign showing you how to use the machine, but no signage on it to denote that it wasn’t free, and I just assumed this was the upgrade from the traditional hotel room coffee pot (since there wasn’t one of those in the room). I must have had 3 coffees a day for 3 days in a row, just for the fun of using the machine. It wasn’t until I got the bill at check out that I realized each coffee was $5. Needless to say, I was shocked to find this out, and embarrassed that I had assumed they were free. It left a bad taste in my mouth, but what could I do?
Don’t let your customers leave your restaurant, shop or other small business with a bad taste in their mouths. Make sure they know that you care for them by surprising and delighting them often – no strings attached!