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The Power of Surprise and Delight


Brand Voice, Content Marketing

“Surprise and delight.” 

If you’ve ever worked in customer service or marketing, I can feel you rolling your eyes right about now. If you’ve never come across this term before, your job may not have required it. Unless you were, like, a children’s magician or something.

Anyway, what does surprise and delight mean, especially for digital business owners or those who mostly engage with customers online?

That’s what we’re talking about in this blog post. 

What is surprise and delight?

If you didn’t know yet, surprise and delight is a customer retention marketing tactic. By surprising customers with small gifts, this tactic builds customer loyalty, increases brand reach, and encourages customer engagement. 

Think free gift cards. Discount codes or coupons. Product upgrades. An extra add-on or free piece of swag to your purchase. When you surprise and delight your customers, you’re essentially giving away something valuable for free with the hopes that you’ll persuade customers to return (and talk about you positively in reviews or social media).

But there’s something else that we think of when we say “surprise and delight”: It’s everything about your customer or client experience, from their first touchpoint with your brand. In this day and age, the first touchpoint is often your website or your social media.

Are you entertaining people? Are you giving them something that makes them think, “Huh. Haven’t seen that before!”? If not, you’re leaving an opportunity to get more proverbial fish on your proverbial hook.

Get creative with your tactics

Website design & copy

Here at Uncanny Content, we’re big fans of well-designed and well-written websites that have unique design and engagement features (like our little animated icons on our services page!). Especially if you’re in a crowded market, having a website that doesn’t immediately look and feel like every other website can surprise and delight from the first.

Social media

And then there’s social. Ugh. Honestly, we’re pretty burnt out on social (we’re writing this November 2020, sooooo. Can’t imagine why.). However, the power of social is still there – if you give people something new and engaging. While we’re copywriters who don’t really “do” social for our clients, we know that having your brand voice on point, working with an amazing designer, and staying consistent are the keys to really surprising and delighting on any platform.

What you give away

For online businesses, “freebies” and opt-ins are all the rage. They’re great tools for building your audience and growing your business with future email promotions, but are you really knocking people’s socks off? Are you really surprising people with your free resources or how much advice you’re really sharing?

Honestly, this is one of our biggest pet peeves: People slapping a dollar amount on beginner-level content, requiring payment for their discovery calls, and gating content that, quite honestly, could be found for free with a quick Google search.

At this point, the best way to blow people away is to… well… give it away. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t charge money for your expertise, products, or services. We’re simply saying be generous. It’s OK if you share information with someone that normally should have cost them, or if you give people a refund without asking them a million questions.

Make it easy for them to learn from you, to build trust with you, and to move on if they decide you’re not the right fit for them. We know you may be thinking, “This has nothing to do with content and copy,” and you’d be wrong.

Your content starts with what you’re willing to share with others. You may think everything you share has a dollar value, but we think your brand value is worth — and your content will have more impact — if you’re willing to be generous.

Customer service

Last but not least, yes, let’s talk about your customer service. Is your customer service experience really knocking their socks off, or are they expecting to talk to a bot or wait 17 days for an email response? 

For us, our client experience starts with a discovery call, which we make super easy (and we think pretty dang cute) with a scheduling link in our email footer and on our contact page. We also never make our clients wait for an email response — ever.

But not every business is a Type A service-based business, so think about ways you can surprise and delight hands-off customers who purchase your physical or digital products. Take a cue from online retailer Zappos, a brand that’s known for its legendary customer service. They’ll go to all sorts of lengths to not only make their customers happy, but surprise and delight them. 

Like the time they overnighted a free pair of shoes to the best man in a wedding when the original pair he ordered got lost in the mail. Or the time they went the extra mile for a woman who ordered multiple pairs of shoes after her feet were sensitive and damaged after medical treatments. How? By sending her an enormous bouquet of lilies and roses. Excuse us while we cry over here for a minute.

We even have a client who has a “no questions asked” refund policy on her digital products — no muss, no fuss. Just return it and go about your day. How’s that for surprise and delight?

The key to surprise and delight? Know your customers 

To really knock your customers’ socks off, you need to know who they are. What are their pain points? What do they value? From there, you can find opportunities to surprise and delight them, and set yourself apart from your competitors. You can do this with your free content, your website, your extra goody bag bonuses with delivery. Whatever it is, just give them a little something that stops and make them feel… like a human!

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