Surprise and delight marketing can have a profound effect on customer experience. No matter what industry a company is in, these tactics present businesses with ample opportunities to impress clients in ways that ensure all parties benefit. While the company can get the benefit of inspiring loyalty at low cost and high ROI, the customer receives a memorable experience that fulfills needs they may not even have realized they had. Ultimately, adding elements of surprise and delight to existing loyalty programs can assist businesses in forging tighter bonds with their clients.
One thing companies should keep in mind is that at the heart of surprise and delight is the idea that companies have a duty to meet all of their customers' needs, whether they've vocalized them or not. For this reason, these methods can actually be used in businesses' upselling efforts, which serve a similar function. By giving people a truly special experience that ties in with higher-priced or more exclusive offerings, individuals may be more motivated to buy these premium products and services.
The real purpose of upselling
According to Hotel News Now columnist Caroline Cooper, the idea that upselling is all about a company's bottom line is a common misconception. Cooper explained that while this process can seem one-sided, it actually benefits customers.
"Although upselling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, it also can simply expose customers to other options they might not have considered," Cooper explained. "Upselling implies selling something that is more profitable or otherwise preferable for the seller instead of the original sale. But is it just about increasing the customer spend, or is it also about giving the customer a better experience overall – offering them something they forgot to order or never even thought of?"
Cooper also noted that if businesses think of upselling in this sense, it also means that the strategy doesn't always have to involve promoting more expensive products and services. Instead, companies should focus on these tasks with an attention to personalization. For instance, Cooper noted, it isn't a good strategy to attempt to sell someone on a costlier bottle of wine if it's not a type that suits their tastes. Upselling doesn't need to follow a rigid structure. Instead, companies need to engage in an active listening process to find out what each client really wants.
Enter surprise and delight
So where can surprise and delight come in? These marketing solutions serve some functions that are essential to the upsell process. For one, thoughtful, relevant surprises will naturally make the customer feel a more meaningful emotional connection to a company. Loyalty360 noted that the positive feelings that come with small gestures can be powerful. As an example, the source said, including coupons with purchases can have a long-lasting, effect on perceptions. When customers feel good about a brand, they'll be more likely to want to experience all it has to offer.
Loyalty360 added that using surprise and delight tactics allow companies to distribute specialized treatment and loyalty rewards to customers whether they have a membership card or not, expanding the impact of any marketing campaign. Used as a tool in the upselling process, this means that more individuals will receive high-quality, tailored treatment, increasing how receptive they will be to completing desired behaviors.
Additionally, surprise and delight can support upsell efforts by offsetting some of the costs of a business' products and services. If companies opt to include special discounts, coupons and other highly valuable offers in these strategies, customers' wallets will benefit. They may then be willing to channel their savings into upgrading their service, buying premium products and more.
Another strong idea may be for companies to tie the products and services they're trying to upsell directly into surprise and delight efforts. For instance, a hotel could thrill guests celebrating a birthday by upgrading their room or a cable company could give a long-time customer a free chance to try out a new, premium package. As a result, those happy customers might see the benefits of upgrading on their own in the future.