5 Ways to Digitally Delight and Surprise Your Customers!

39691967 - a funny businessman with shopping bags. a contemporary style. vector flat design illustration with isolated white background. vertical layout.In today’s fast-paced digital environment, instant gratification and high consumer expectations reign supreme. Meeting the needs of such customers in a clear and efficient manner is not only necessary, but expected. Therefore, it is important when thinking about your business to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to differentiate yourself from competitors and turn a one-time customer into a brand loyal advocate.

While reading, keep in mind that “when it comes to poor customer service experiences, 56% of consumers talk to people about them all the time.”

This article examines some of the ways you, as a business owner, can act to delight and surprise your customers in order to leave a long-lasting and positive impression.

Share the Spotlight

Too often than not, companies misuse their social media channels as a medium to push their products and advertisements, as opposed to nurturing digital community by showcasing customers and their loyalty. When working with social media, flip the script a little here – instead of highlighting your best products, use this as an opportunity to share the limelight and share with the world your biggest fans and largest consumers.

Take, for instance, a company like Forever 21. Their Instagram feed is chocked full of real-life images of customers and fans, not product shots and advertisements. Their fans can be seen in almost every photo flaunting their favorite collections and sharing the joy they find in the brand.

Not only does this approach still showcase the brand’s product offering, it also can help their marketing team take advantage of the psychological effect known as “social proof” – which is the theory that people will adopt the beliefs or actions (or in this case, products) of a group of people they like or trust.

Make Their Lives Easy

While online shopping offers consumers a ton of benefits, including the convenience of being open 24/7/365 and offering an almost endless display of products, what online shopping does lack is the inclusion of face-to-face interaction with both products and people. Sometimes this can take shape in the form of a customer mistakenly ordering the wrong size of an item, while other times the item may have looked different when searching online, either in color or cut.

Companies like Burlington Coat Factory have updated their return policy and figured out how to correct for these mishaps and make their customers’ shopping lives easier.

If a customer wrongly purchases an item for any reason, Burlington allows them to return the item either in the store or through the mail. This option of no-hassle returns radiates convenience – and people like convenience (they were shopping online in the first place, weren’t they?). Such policies are sure to delight your customers and ensure they find the right fit without worry or hassle each and every time.

Surprise Them!

Did you know that on average waiters who leave two free mints with the check get a 21% better tip?”

Say it with me now – People like free things. It’s that simple. In a time when everybody is cutting corners and trying to nickel and dime everyone else, it is a breath of fresh air to find companies that offer free perks and benefits to their customers. Instead of inflating shipping and handling costs or tacking on additional hidden fees, companies instill a sense of trust between them and their customers through complementary services.

Let’s take another example and examine the language on Colorescience’s product page. Notice how they clearly and boldly state that there is “Complimentary Shipping & Returns, Plus Free Sample with Every Order.”

Not only does this policy help with giving customers peace of mind, it also exposes them to a free sample. This simple, low-cost addition could have huge, positive impacts towards increasing brand loyalty, repeat business, and can even contribute to the success of a new product line or offering.

Exhibit Honesty

Consumers can often feel a sense of helplessness when having to deal with customer service departments. Between the run-arounds customers are made to go through, largely due to pre-determined customer support scripts, and outsourced call centers located in foreign countries, consumers are finding it more and more difficult to have an actual and honest human interaction.

One company that is changing the game here is Moz. Moz co-founder, Rand Fishkin, recently wrote an open letter addressing some of the upcoming changes his company is implementing to combat the challenges they’re currently facing.

Instead of putting the onus on their customers by having them pick through the consequences of the company’s actions, Mr. Fishkin put pencil to paper and wrote out a thoughtful letter detailing the upcoming changes and his thoughts on why they were occurring.

This corporate transparency and personal writing that comes from the heart establishes a relationship with the consumer base and makes the company seem more human than digital. This is especially important when trying to connect with a group of consumers that, more often than not, feels alienated when dealing with large corporations.

Commit to a Cause

Corporate greed, dishonesty, and overall bad morals are largely the focus of the news and media channels as of late. Take, for example, Martin Shkreli and the Daraprim price hike, John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo and the fake account scam, Heather Bresch and the EpiPen price increase. The list goes on and on…

When faced with such negativity in the world, it is a nice breath of fresh air when you can find companies that are doing well for the global community.

One such example is a classic – Tom’s Footwear. With every pair of shoes purchased, Tom’s donates a pair to a child in need. It is this type of good-willed initiative that gets down to the customer’s ethics and leads to a higher rate of consumer backing for your company and its products.

However, for smaller companies such an initiative may not be financially feasible. Keep in mind that similar philanthropic offerings do not always have to be company-wide.

Instead, you might want to focus your corporate social responsibility efforts around a single product or line. For example, FTD’s USO line has arranged to donate 5% of each purchase amount to the United Service Organizations.

Instilling such deep moral cause (whether it be patriotic, humanitarian, or anything else) is important towards motivating your consumer base to take action and speak with their dollars.

Final Thoughts

Consumers have an incredible amount of choice in today’s global economy. When preparing to connect with your customer base remember that people like to feel good about the choices they make and the companies they shop with.


Sam Wheeler
Sam Wheeler
SAM is a graduate of Northwestern University and an expert in the digital space. Sam has spent the last 5 years working for both fortune 500 companies and startups, helping to improve their digital presence. When he is not behind the computer, you can find Sam surfing off the coast of San Diego.

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