How to Surprise and Delight Your Customers |

The art of customer amazement: Surprising and Delighting done right

Diana Alcanzar

You might have known that by now, it costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. But, as a small business, competing with bigger players in the market is challenging. It can be tough to earn repeat loyal customers.

The good news is, you don’t have to break the bank to stand out and delight your customers. A small investment in customer experience can significantly impact the bottom line.

Investing in customer experience is a strategic move toward building brand loyalty. Small gestures, like personalized services, and a responsive support system, contribute to a positive brand perception. These actions help establish customer loyalty and also increase your brand’s presence. This is because happy customers often share their good experiences. This naturally makes your brand more visible and trusted in the market. Marketers call this surprise and delight marketing.

How a customer experience matters to your brand 

Social media has allowed consumers to share their experiences online. Whether it’s a negative or a positive review, it has a measurable impact on your brand.

93% of shoppers say reviews impact their choice to purchase a product or not. This means you can’t afford to have unhappy customers. They take to social media to air their grievances. By providing a positive customer experience, you’re cultivating loyal customers. They can’t help but gush about your brand.

You’re no stranger to social media complaints. You’ve seen countless posts and tweets about customers frustrated over a product or service they received. You’ve also seen praises about brands who’ve gone above and beyond to deliver results. The bottom line here is that your brand will get the attention it deserves no matter what.

You can turn this endeavor in your favor by providing top-notch customer service. This is your chance to stand out from the competition.

To help you find new ideas on how to deliver a memorable experience, here are five low-cost ways of delighting customers. We’ve included some of our favorite examples. 

Transform onboarding into a wow experience

How you initially engage with new customers sets the tone for your new relationship. This is the perfect chance to quickly make customers happy. That way, they’ll keep doing business with your company.

The first step is to make customers feel good about choosing your company. This doesn’t need to be extravagant. It’s about creating moments that reassure them of their decision. Use the first 90 days after purchase as a key period. Consistently reinforce their choice with positive experiences and interactions.

Simple actions, like sending a personalized email or a welcome video, can go a long way. They help create comfort with the purchase and your company. You want to communicate that you’re here to help and committed to their success.

Part of offering help is to anticipate questions that they may have. You can provide a knowledge base to ensure those questions get answered. Don’t forget to include your customer support channels in case a customer wants to reach out to you.

Mark their milestones

Showing your customers you are paying attention to their lives, both professionally and personally, demonstrates that you value your relationship with them. You can acknowledge birthdays, important anniversaries, or other life milestones with a fun email, a phone call, a card, or even a small gift.

If you offer services of any kind, the end of a project is an ideal time to say thanks. Remember, your goal is to earn repeat business. Wrapping things up on a positive note will help set up the possibility of working together in the future. Your customers may not remember everything that happened while they worked on the project. But, they will likely remember a thoughtful gift at the end! 

If your business sells a product, you can send a small gift or card to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, new babies, and key holidays throughout the year. Keep in mind that these gifts don’t have to be elaborate but thoughtful and well-timed.

Make it personal

Most of our communication happens online. So, sending a handwritten note or card with a personalized message is sure to stand out. You want your customers to know that this card is specific to them. It’s not a generic thing you send to every customer. 

This may seem like a lot of work. But, with the right systems in place and pre-selecting a series of gifts or cards, you can have them on hand to send out as needed. You may want to consider using a service such as Postable. It will allow you to select, schedule, and send cards online. It’s a bit less work for you but every bit as impressive to your customers. 

Host a special customer event

Nothing says “we appreciate you” quite like an invitation to an exclusive event. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or last for hours. It needs to allow your customers to mingle with you and your staff.

The event itself can include:

  • Trying new products or services.
  • Shopping at a discounted rate.
  • Getting a sneak peek of upcoming things happening with the business.
  • An exclusive draw for a coveted prize. 

Beauty retailer Sephora runs exclusive events for their Rouge-level customers. Invitees have access to sneak peek products, exclusive gifts, and refreshments. These events are incredibly popular with their customers. When invites are issued, they quickly fill up. 

Offer coupons or discount codes

You don’t want to offer discounts all the time. However, a well-timed discount to loyal customers can help them feel rewarded. It can also keep them coming back to you. It can provide a way to remind them of your product or service and entice them to do more business with you. 

You can do these offers via email or direct mail using a variety of formats, such as flyers and postcards. They offer exclusive coupons or discounts to drive repeat business. 

Another option is incentivizing your best customers to share your product or service. You can offer discount codes or referral links. They can share these with friends to help get your business in front of new audiences. 

Surprise and delight marketing campaigns

Various companies have used “Surprise and Delight” marketing campaigns. They aim to create memorable experiences for their customers. Check out these notable examples:

  1. WestJet’s Christmas miracle. Airline WestJet set up booths where passengers could video chat with Santa before their flight. They shared their Christmas wishes. The passengers were surprised upon arriving at their destination. They found the gifts they’d asked for on the baggage carousel.
  2. TD Bank’s ‘ATM Thanking Machine’. TD Bank transformed ATMs into “Automated Thanking Machines” that dispensed more than cash. Selected customers received personalized gifts. The gifts included cash, flowers, and even tickets to visit distant family members.
  3. Coca-Cola’s ‘Happiness Machine’. Coca-Cola installed special vending machines. They dispensed free products, including pizza and a bouquet. The vending machines brought unexpected joy and surprise to customers.
  4. Mastercard’s ‘Priceless Surprises’ campaign‘. Mastercard users were randomly selected for surprises. The surprises ranged from free concert tickets to meeting celebrities. This campaign aimed to create unforgettable moments linked to using their service.
  5. Sephora’s birthday surprises. Beauty retailer Sephora offers free birthday gifts to members of its rewards program. This adds an element of surprise and delight to the shopping experience.
  6. Starbucks’ random acts of kindness. Starbucks is known for occasional campaigns. During these, baristas surprise customers by paying for their orders. This creates a ripple effect of customers paying it forward.
  7. Amazon’s random acts of kindness. During the holiday season, Amazon surprised customers with unexpected gifts and personal notes. This enhanced the holiday spirit.
  8. KLM’s ‘Luggage Surprise’. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines surprised passengers with personalized gifts. The gifts were based on their social media profiles. They delivered the gifts to passengers while they were waiting for their flights.
  9. Lexus’ ‘December to Remember’. Lexus has surprised select customers by fulfilling their Christmas wishes. They received a Lexus, complete with a big red bow.

These surprise-and-delight campaigns show how brands can create positive, lasting impressions on their customers. This increases brand loyalty and leads to word-of-mouth promotion.

23 fun ways to surprise and delight clients any time of the year

  1. Surprise them with a singing telegram
  2. Hand-write a thank you or birthday note
  3. Hand-deliver a product – or gift
  4. Hire them a personal chef for one night
  5. Send a book based on their interests
  6. Send a copy of your favorite cookbook
  7. Send a copy of a movie you talked about
  8. Buy them tickets to a concert (even at a small venue)
  9. Buy them tickets to a sporting event
  10. Treat them to a meal at the hottest restaurant in town
  11. Send a bottle of Champagne, Burgundy, single malt Scotch, or hand-crafted Bourbon
  12. Give them a $100 gift card to Starbucks
  13. Bake them cookies or brownies – and hand deliver them
  14. Buy their dog (cat, fish, ferret) treats
  15. Send flowers from a high-end designer
  16. Sign them up for a monthly subscription service like BirchBox
  17. Buy a round of golf
  18. Introduce them to someone who could change their life (personally or professionally)
  19. Hire them a babysitter for the night
  20. Reimburse them for parking meters and garages
  21. Bring a sweet treat to every meeting
  22. Offer a variety of beverages and snacks when they come to your office
  23. Call them – just to say Hi

Delight your customers with a stunning website

The truth is that your customers want to be valued and appreciated. As a small business, focusing on delighting your customers will help you stand out. This is true even in the most competitive markets. And part of impressing your customers is by creating a stunning website. A website that’s both visually appealing and functional can ensure customer satisfaction because customers can easily accomplish what they want on your website (purchase, read a blog, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.).

To make that possible, we encourage you to try out’s user-friendly Website Builder solutions. It has a drag-and-drop feature that allows you to drag elements anywhere on the page. It also comes with convenient tools that you’ll need! Give our Website Builder a try today and craft your online identity.

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