By Adrian Swinsoce

In a post I wrote on my blog a while ago (Delight is over-rated, less customer effort is better) I wrote about a new tool called Customer Effort Score , which focuses on measuring how you can reduce a customers effort when engaging with you. Now, whilst this tool is focused, in the majority, towards larger organisations I think the principle of reducing a customers effort works for organisations of all sizes.

However, that got me to thinking about customers, in general, and what we do and don’t want. I think that what we all want is an easy life and, in business, the Customer Effort Score and other tools can help us understand with that. But (and this is the big BUT), I believe that we all like surprises or to be surprised whether it is:

A surprise party

A gift

A problem is solved before I even knew it was a problem

An award or recognition for our efforts

The odd thank you from time to time

A personal phone call to say hello

A birthday card etc

And it’s those surprises that create the positive feelings about our business, the positive stories, the word of mouth marketing, the buzz, the referrals, the recommendations…..all the good stuff that contribute to customer loyalty, retention and a sustainable business.
Are you building in surprises to your customer experience or are you leaving that to chance? If I were you I’d be planning them in as part of your customer retention and loyalty strategy.

What ideas or surprises have you implemented that have worked for you?