Have you ever received an unexpected upgrade, a complimentary appetizer, or some other pleasant surprise when you were not expecting it? How did it make you feel? I bet you can recall many details from the experience—probably because you’ve reinforced them by sharing the story with others.
Providing pleasant surprises that add unexpected perks to otherwise ordinary transactions, is an effective way to make lasting positive impressions on customers with little or no additional cost.
Here are three quick examples:
- I brought my Ford Expedition into the dealership for an oil change. When the maintenance was completed, an employee pulled it around front and, to my surprise, it had been washed and was gleaming! Wow—that was a memorable final impression of that experience!
- While using a self-service kiosk to pay for my groceries at Albertsons, I was approached by a store employee. She asked if I’d like a complimentary bottle of salad dressing that was being given away as a promotion. I gladly accepted and was pleasantly surprised by a complimentary 16 oz. bottle of Kraft Light Ranch salad dressing!
- And just last week, I stopped by Target to do some shopping. At the checkout register, the cashier rang up my purchases and then handed me a receipt together with a coupon for a complimentary Starbucks latte. Another pleasant surprise!
Providing pleasant surprises can transform bland and ordinary transactions (e.g., oil changes, retail checkouts, etc.) that will soon be forgotten, into unique and refreshing service experiences that will long be remembered!