You’ve implemented a great loyalty program, your rewards program is converting quicker than you can imagine, but you’re trying to think of that little extra special something to give to your customers in 2019. Lucky for you, we have just the thing. The perfect way to send your customers a bonus for taking loyal actions like referring friends or making purchases is by implementing surprise and delight tactics to your loyalty program. We wrote a recent white paper How to Surprise & Delight Your Customers with Loyalty, which can be downloaded here.
According to the Harvard Business Review, surprises are the most powerful marketing tool because they are addictive. Surprise and delight is a strategic way to give unanticipated perks to customers in order to renew interest, boost purchases, restore loyalty, or educate consumers on new products. Surprise and delight acts as a complement to your existing loyalty program, rewarding top-tier customers and/or welcoming new ones in interesting, surprising, and unexpected ways.
While traditional customer loyalty programs build a structured platform for retaining loyal customers, surprise and delight tactics help nurture the customer relationship by making your customer feel well-treated and appreciated. According to Help Scout, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. These positive customer experiences can be such a great opportunity for businesses.
As per a research survey by the Temkin Group, a moderate increase in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues. The numbers are clear, so how do you apply surprise and delight tactics in your customer retention strategy? Rather than reinvent the wheel, we can mimic the successes of companies that have deployed these strategies to great effect.
Sometimes, a surprise can come after a negative customer experience. Oftentimes, companies are able to retain customers even through a difficult or trying complaint. A handwritten apology, note, or personalized email may help delve to the root of the issue and help your company reach an otherwise lost customer. This may ultimately be the reason your company can flourish in the face of ecommerce giants like Amazon. If you’re able to reach your customers personally, even after a negative encounter, you have just made the difference to that customer.
MacKenzie-Childs, a high-end furniture boutique, offers a highly structured customer loyalty program, called TrulyMC. This program offers highly valuable perks like free shipping and first-time order and birthday discounts, for all membership tiers, although its higher-level membership holders have access to unexpected surprises such as early access to sales events, dedicated customer service concierge, and annual surprise gifts ranging from candle sets to tablecloths.
A surprise does not always need to carry a cash value. Companies like When I Work find customer satisfaction boosts by personalizing their services. A simple, handwritten thank-you note has been mentioned in positive reviews, friend referrals and social media accounts by their customers. If you don’t have the bandwidth to produce handwritten notes, MailLift and Vistaprint can help.
California Surf Co. is a surf apparel and lifestyle brand based in Malibu, CA. Their ideals build heavily on giving back, ethical business practices, and environmentally-friendly manufacturing. Through the “Get a shirt, give a shirt” program, for every shirt California Surf Co. sells, they donate a shirt to underprivileged kids. It’s these types of business practices that influence the industry to do more with the resources they have available. Their surprise and delight strategy of philanthropic endeavors has allowed them to grow a community of over 10,000 followers on Instagram.
Sugarfina, a high-end candy company has integrated some big, exclusive surprises into its customer loyalty repertoire. For members of its ‘Sweet Elite Club’ customer loyalty program, customers who’ve spent over a certain amount will be the envied recipients of an in-store party thrown in their honor. Other surprises include a ‘pick your perk’ exclusive gift, invitations to Sugarfina store events and even an exclusive and limited candy ‘bento box.’
Surprises shouldn’t always be exclusive to loyalty program members. Sometimes, a well-marketed universal delight can help boost conversions. Take for instance West Elm and their random free shipping days. Customers are notified via an email campaign to a major boon: free shipping for everyone! Suddenly purchases skyrocket for this limited-time engagement and customer satisfaction levels go through the roof!
Sending free samples to customers before the purchase has been made is a great way to build customer trust and boost brand loyalty. Warby Parker, prescription glasses purveyor, is known to ship up to 5 frames to prospective customers in order to help them make the right decision on what they ultimately purchase. Through their company philanthropy program “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair,” they’ve donated over 4 Million pairs to those in need. Those without access to the right prescription eyeglasses were at a huge developmental disadvantage, Warby Parked wanted to help.
With the proliferation of subscription box services, it’s easy to lose customers in the veritable avalanche of competitors. One way Trunk Club surprises and delights its customers is by including a surprise item, often a small accessory or trinket in each month’s dedicated box. A tiny surprise can carry a surprisingly good ROI for your company.
Every day, brand trust diminishes because of negative customer experiences. The ecommerce industry now allows formerly low-level competitors to reach an increasing number of potential customers. This is due to the low barriers to entry and the proliferation of easy-to-use marketing tools. Investing in customer retention means investing in unusual strategies like surprise and delight. Annex Cloud can help. By strategically analyzing a brand’s entire marketing strategy, its customer base and unique challenges, we are able to identify the pain points your customers face and develop strategies to minimize those points.
Our unified platform blends customer loyalty, UGC, and referral marketing all into one comprehensive system. We are able to employ unique and innovative surprise and delight strategies across all of these campaigns. In choosing Annex Cloud, a dedicated customer success team will work to maximize your customer satisfaction, conversion, and retention rates. To learn how to surprise and delight your customers, contact us today!