arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash

Shopping Cart


The Value of Surprise and Delighting Your Customers

The Value of Surprise and Delighting Your Customers

by john roman

6 months ago

Amer and I chat through Surprise and Delights (S&D) including a recent one I had received. We discuss the different types of S&D and how to implement them.

Transcript from video:

John: got a little holiday card and present in the mail and hand ridden from one of our vendors Wunderkind who we use for email and SMS it's Surprise and Delight like it it wasn't an extravagant gift it was a it was a nice gift it was a gift I'm actually going to use but man it makes me feel warm and fuzzy it it wasn't expected and it just it was a great start to the day

Amer: no that's um that's awesome I think I think there's like a few layers to Surprise and Delight for me and it has a lot to do with I think holidays not to say it's expected but it's I think during the holidays it is nice to receive those but I also think you know how do we create Surprise and Delight throughout the customer Journey you know throughout the year

John: a 100%

Amer: and it it can be just listening to what's happening somebody's life depending how close you are to them but it could also be in the E-commerce World saying somebody maybe order four five six seven times from you and being able to throw something extra in their in their box uh as a than you for being loyal to the brand so I I think all of that kind of comes to together but I do agree with you I think for me whether it's a card or or a gift you know both are I would say equally appreciated it's the thought that truly counts

John: yeah 100% and I think you're right so you know talking you know coming from a BattlBox side it's it's very similar right we we do a lot of Surprise and Delight lights um we even have some automated where they're just through the journey of being a customer there's little tiny Surprise and Delight moments

Amer: so do you guys like sit down quarterly or yearly and say hey we're going to allocate X percentage of the budget to surprising delighting our customers like is a retention strategy as a appreciation strategy

John: I mean it comes it comes out of the the the marketing budget right um I don't think we we know that you know we're going to do x amount so so annually we do a a adhoc Surprise and Delight where we we stack rank by spend and tenure um our customers and depending on the product and the cost of the product we'll pick anywhere between 200 to 600 of our top customers that are active and and we'll send them something so we do that once a year we have a lot through some automation and we do little tiny Surprise and Delights um along the journey just might be a giveaway but no it's not it's not a set amount of budget it's very ad hoc and we have to obviously stay in the in the marketing budget right so it's coming out of the same bucket that we're spending for acquisition or we're you know making website development stuff too

Amer: okay no they makes sense um I I kind of I mean I understand that it has to come from a certain budget and there's still lot of limit to it but I do like that it's more getting a feel for things and understanding what everyone's going to so you not to say like hey figure out here X amount of people are going to get this Y dollar gift or whatever the case is it's just more it's more natural so

John: yeah so so you know now as you ask me that kind of peeling the layers of the onion back our CS team has does have a budget of $500 a month that they can spend no questions asked on pure Surprise and Delight opportunities that they uncover just through communicating on the day-to-day with our customers it was a idea that we got actually I think you were with me we were talking to Shar in the hallway corridor at SubSummit

Amer: and just one thing before you get to it and I as soon as we start talking about this death conversation popped into my head just a plug I'm sure the team at SubSummit is going to appreciate this but what we are about to mention right now are conversations that happen over and over and over again at SubSummit so tickets are on sale I have not no no you know no benefit from it but it is such an amazing community if you have not tried it it doesn't matter if you're subscription or not you got to be there

John: yeah I know and I mean it's a good call out I know that was not planned but it's it's true right it was an organic conversation that that we were just having we were literally in the hallway one some of us were going one way some um away from the conference to I think possibly the lobby bar and others were going back into the conference and we just stopped and and had what was was a 20 25 minute conversation but literally the end result was a aha moment and a tangible actionable Insight that we had and ran back and we implemented it

Amer: it's phenomenal like I have shared this story with so many people and how I'm taken away with that kind of approach to empower your customer service teams uh cuz a lot of people talk about with CX teams how do we monetize them and monetizing like how can they sell for us how can they be a revenue generator but no one ever sometime well I don't say no one obviously people think about it but not as many people emphasize on how do we you know empower them to go to another level and I'm sure for your CX them too and desar and everybody that must be really really cool to make somebody's day when they're least expecting it

John: yeah it's just such a it it's it's such a mutually beneficial on so many angles right you're doing solid for a customer which is going to make the customer feel good if you're a human being with basic emotions one would hope that doing a a good act like that for someone else makes you feel good as well right and then selfishly from a business perspective that little amount of money spent is going to pay so much dividends because you're experiencing a a brand that cares right and your your stickiness and your your desire to continue support supporting that business is going to go up like it's just everybody wins everybody wins but yeah not to bring it back full loop but it's it's SubSummit is where that that little nuance that little conversation organically occurred but it's like so many other ones there was years ago Anthony from Splendy it was when you know he's he's a good friend now but at the time we were just acquaintances in the early years of SubSummit and he gave uh it was a natural conversation we were talking about how you know when these issues and problems arise and come in to CS and how to respond to them and do you treat all customers exactly the same because you know you want to do the right thing but then you have people that abuse it and it's just a it's it's choppy waters right and it's navigating break fix is not easy and he gave me a takeaway and it was one of the first SubSummit's that I had gone to and it was a takeaway we still used to the state so we we have the average LTV for BattlBoxer right we know what that number is and when someone surpasses that and they're still active with us they get a special tag in in gorgeous so they're identified and we know who they are and at that point any little issue that might normally be like what do we do here we just side with making the customer happy and that's another was just an organic conversation that Anthony and I was having he told me what they were doing and it was just an aha moment we was like why would we not do this and that even plays back to what we're talking about surprise and delighting right turning a a a potential negative into a positive opportunity

Amer: I was at um was a conference it was maybe like a Ecom get together maybe a month ago in Chicago and I was actually trying to find in my phone right now I can't find a company name so I do apologize to the presenter and the company but it was also a baby company I think it was Bob

John: like baby baby new or baby like little infant

Amer: like infant uh

John: okay

Amer: it's for like yeah infant company basically create formulas and it's an indirect form uh uh Surprise and Delight but when formulas I believe this is when they um if I'm recalling the story correctly the way they implemented when there started to be a baby formula shortage in United States during covid and everything else what they basically did to protect their existing customers is they didn't allow any new subscribers and they basically created a format where baby formula would be guaranteed to their existing subscribers now from a individual level you know is that a big you know surprise like no but when you're telling all your subscribers hey during this time we're not in the business to make money we're in the business

John: acquire new

Amer: yeah acquire new customers we are in the business of protecting those who have trusted us to with the the baby formula journey cuz that's like very it's a very challenging process for parents especially new parents to go through that especially when of the news you always say see shortages shortage shortages for a company to come and say you know what we're going to protect you and we're going to give all the resources we have to everyone that has signed up with us right now and not over promising under delivering and having this potential or gouging prices when there's shortages and all of that so like those are forms of surprise and the light uh to me as well

John: yeah it's just a different it's a different flavor of it

Amer: yeah

John: it's uh yeah just a different flavor but it's it's it's the same thing it's taking care of your customers right back to this so also hand handwritten that doesn't occur like it used to right there's power in getting getting a handwritten note it just it's almost a forgotten act

Amer: one part that um is a little bit challenged to me and I think about it and I don't know any numbers for it cuz when we send gifts and packages and notes to to people like for example for you I know exactly where you live where to send it to and all of that but uh in a lot of instances we have merchants and brands that have an office but nobody ever goes to that office

John: sure

Amer: but like when we sign a agreement with somebody they give us their legal address or whatever the case is so uh we always get a little bit scared when we're sending stuff like is it going to get where it needs to go is that the correct address and then sometimes it's kind of like it removes the surprise element of the uh in the surprise in the light if you go and verify every address before you send something

John: so yeah so Wunderkind actually verified so what they did is they took an interesting approach they said hey we want to send you a Christmas card

Amer: okay

John: they didn't say it was a gift they just said a Christmas card so they they said they were sending something but they set the bar really really low and they also worded it were like they might not like it was it was they they definitely there was strategy behind how it was presented right so it said hey you're probably going to get a Christmas card from us but it was just a Christmas card right and then requested the address it was an interesting move because it's still a surprise and Delight I didn't expect I was going to get handwritten and an actual gift they definitely didn't say that when they asked for my address

Amer: so out of curiosity what is your take when it come to surprising. light as an example or what not to get swag from the company that maybe you're working with is that something you're like oh this is cool or do you prefer something more like personal I I know we're not we're we're grateful for everything that we get but I'm just curious

John: It's I don't think it's a it's a black and white yes no answer it depends right so anybody that has worked with me in any capacity and been on calls with me knows that um I have my wife would argue it's a problem um I have I probably have about 50 hoodies

Amer: how many

John: fifty

Amer: five zero

John: probably more it's a problem but I but I love hoodies right like I am in my natural efficient ready for anything moment when I'm just in my hoodie cuz it's comfortable and I'm ready to go

Amer: you a song me and my hoodie me me me and my hoodie

John: but it but so if you've realized that and if you've had three calls with me there's a chance especially if it's not summer that you've seen me in in multiple hoodies I mean air you probably see me in 50 different hoodies if a company knows that you know sending me a hoodie yeah I'm in a rocket I have I think I have five different different recharge hoodies they know that I like hoodies so something like that now a branded hat I don't know right like I'm very particular um I wear this hat 99% of the time that I wear a hat cuz I found one that I like helps that it's a BattlBox app but so it's Hit or Miss Right shirts you really can't go wrong his shirts for the most part are going to be used if they're the right size I don't know I think it's hit it's hit or miss on branded swag

Amer: yeah no I agree with that one thing uh is not hoodies that I have but um I have uh a bunch of different uh drinking cups or whatever

John: okay

Amer: if I open one cabinet I probably have every single fulfillment center every single subscription so it's like it's like endless and uh and I sometimes feel bad because like you know you get it you kind of want to use it and appreciate it but on the other hand it's uh it's so much so sometimes I I do give them away just okay you want this like I mean how many can I have

John: yeah so I think it's I think the Koozie Koozie is overplayed right there's certain things that are that are overp it's not the proper swag I think um T-shirts if they're of good quality I'll give you a shout out the Las Pella shirts are super soft super comfortable like they are a they are a high quality t-shirt and I enjoy wearing them like I I wear mine it's in my regular rotation of shirts because it's so comfortable right so I think if you're going to go shirts you you don't just go beefy te hannes cheap because it just it's it's after a few washes it's going to get funky but if you go Quality quality and then different right so there's been swag that's been like stuffed animals I think that's normally a really good move because people are going to want to bring it back to their their their kid as a gift and then you're forced to see the brand in my case I've I've brought back multiple branded stuffed animals to my to my dogs and bunnies but I then continue to see the brand right so I think there's some value

Amer: it's not ripped out

John: oh yeah I'm it's just just initially then it's destroyed but for a moment

Amer: if if I ever send you a stuffed animal that has a Praella logo I'm going to like tape over Praella so it doesn't get like slobbered on and shoot on I'm kidding

John: um but yeah

Amer: I'm going to find some carrots to send to your rabbits that have a Praella logo on it

John: but they're eat them they eat carrots

Amer: well no you know there's a point

John: well if it has the logo on it I don't know if it'll be safe to eat depends on how the

Amer: we'll carve it we'll carve it

John: okay

Amer: I'll take an out to to Cara P logo just so your rabbits can eat it