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What Takes Your Customer By Surprise May Separate You In A Crowded Industry

Last week we talked about Signature Moments, the first type of moments to help us define what differentiates our brand related to Customer Experience. Today, we are introducing the second type…

Surprising Moments

Who doesn’t love a good surprise? The delightfully unexpected moments in life are the ones that make it memorable, and those are exactly the kinds of moments that can differentiate the experience customers have at your brand.

Think about the way a restaurant celebrates your birthday. The ones that do it well go all out for the customer. I’m talking birthday hats, major fanfare, the entire staff singing along, candles sparkling atop that free dessert they bring to the table. How much better is that experience than the one that only offers a stale cookie for your special day?

I once found myself in the middle of a surprising moment on a flight with Southwest Airlines. Most of us would probably want to avoid any major surprises when it comes to deplaning after a long flight, but this one served to make a normally frustrating experience a lot more fun! You know that moment at the end of a flight as you are taxiing to the gate and everyone seated in the aisle seats jockeys for position to stand up first. It is so awkward, isn’t it? Well on this flight, just before the wheels touched down at our destination, flight attendants came over the speakers to let us know we were about to engage in a friendly competition. Each side of the plane would be given a pillow and whichever side could pass the pillow from the front seats of the plane to the back the fastest would get to deplane first. Y’all, I have never seen adults so amped for a group game of “pass the pillow” in my life! That surprising moment stuck with me so much that I think about it nearly every time I fly!

Surprising moments have a way of doing that. They’re the delightfully unexpected moments that stick with a customer long after they leave us. They’re the moments that deliver fun. They’re the moments that are meaningful.

Where can you infuse life into the customer experience at your company? Consider the ways you can do something fun—something the customer doesn’t see coming. Where can you create the surprising moments that go above and beyond expectation?

Maybe it’s in offering a customer a free cup of coffee just because.

Maybe it’s in leaving a handwritten note on top of a delivery.

Maybe it’s greeting your frequent customers by name each time they walk in your doors.

Maybe it’s in the way you choose to be generous, or celebrate, or remember your customers in real, tangible ways.

Use your creativity to make surprising moments happen for your customers. If your company has empowered you to go all out, then go all out! But even if they haven’t, you can still make surprise a part of the interactions customers have with you. You can do what’s in your power to make the day fun, different, exciting, and memorable for the people who cross your path. Start by asking yourself: What can I do to set this interaction apart from the rest in a surprising way for this customer?

Continue learning and growing by ordering your copy of The Power of Customer Experience and the book club video series and user guide for your team.


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