Surprise and Delight: Tips and Ideas to Show Appreciation and Enhance Customer Satisfaction
Marketing plays an important role in every part of a buyer’s journey. From creating a memorable first impression to finding ways to turn customers into raving fans, it’s important to know how to create experiences that enhance customer satisfaction.
The concept of “surprise and delight” is one of our favorite tools in our marketing tool belt. In essence, surprise and delight is a strategy to reward customers when they’re not expecting it. These customer experience tactics have proven to trigger positive feelings, create a deeper sense of brand loyalty, increase referrals, and multiply revenue. These moments work as a brand differentiator, and they can also be a highly effective strategy for fostering long-term customer loyalty.
Some of our favorite marketing campaigns over the years have included helping our clients find ways to “surprise and delight” their customers. It’s always fun to show appreciation and bring joy to someone’s day. We’ve also learned a thing or two about how to enhance customer satisfaction using this technique. Here’s what we’ve learned:
3 Tips for Incorporating “Surprise and Delight” Into Your Marketing
As you look for ways to surprise and delight your customers, here are three best practices to consider:
1. Make it Personal
The best surprise and delight campaigns are personal. Giving a gift or reward to a customer can inspire strong brand loyalty. If you have a small number of clients, consider how to make each gift or reward as personal as possible. Companies with a large number of customers can still find ways to have a personal touch. Customer segmentation is an effective tactic to incorporate personalization into your surprise and delight campaigns so that particular types of rewards target the customers who will appreciate them the most.
2. Make it Genuine
Today’s customers know the difference between a gift and a marketing tactic. For example, some companies create “surprise and delight” campaigns based on coupons or discounts. Other companies use location-based services to reach customers on mobile devices and offer discount coupons when they’re near a particular physical location. But these are classic sales promotions, rather than surprise and delight campaigns.
The best surprise and delight campaigns show customers you genuinely care about them. It could be bringing unexpected gifts or simply creating special moments in the purchasing process for consumers. Even website design can include moments of surprise and delight. For instance, an unexpected 404 error page can bring levity and playfulness to website navigation. The more small moments of joy you can include in the customer journey, the more likely customers are to retain positive feelings about your brand.
3. Make it Simple
One obstacle that keeps businesses from investing in surprise and delight is a fear of the unknown. Established brands may have trouble finding places in their customer experience for a breath of fresh air, a moment of joy, or a truly human connection. Our advice to these brands is to start small and go from there. Don’t overthink it. Maybe your sales presentation could incorporate a meme or pop culture reference. Your merchandise or packaging could include a character, pun, story, quote, or tasteful joke. With attention to detail and an understanding of your customer base, you can find places to spread joy and build brand integrity.
3 Ideas to Enhance Customer Satisfaction with Surprise and Delight
As you consider how to incorporate surprise and delight into your marketing efforts, here are three specific scenarios you can create campaigns:
1. Send Client or Customer Appreciation Gifts
According to data from Merkle HelloWorld Loyalty Report, the best ways to engage consumers is through surprise offers or gifts for being a customer. Many companies send gifts during the holiday season. But sending gifts randomly throughout the year is a great way to create a more memorable experience. In today’s digitally connected world, virtual client appreciation gifts are also valuable tools to enhance customer satisfaction.
2. Incorporate Surprise and Delight into Client Onboarding
The onboarding process is important for establishing the foundation of the relationship with your clients and customers. While creating a seamless onboarding experience and setting expectations are important for creating an outstanding onboarding experience, why not find a way to surprise and delight them from the very beginning?
3. Celebrate Your Customers’ Personal Wins
One way to show customers you care about more than just their business is to celebrate their personal victories and successes. This is where social media channels can help you stay connected with customers. As you get to know them, find ways to show you have a genuine interest in them as humans. It could be sending a personal birthday card, congratulating them on an educational milestone, or sending a meal or gift card for their newborn.
The best way to enhance customer satisfaction is to make them feel like you’re going above and beyond for them. Surprise and delight customers by doing something unexpected to show appreciation and let them know how much you value knowing them.
7 Marketing Tips to Effectively Explain a Complex Product or Service
As business leaders and marketers, it’s easy to get so focused on our businesses that we forget to step back and see things from a customer’s perspective. We’re wrapped up in questions about operations, market positioning, staffing, and finances. But we often forget to stop and ask, “Do people understand what we do?” As a result, our potential customers walk away confused and unengaged whenever they visit our website or engage with our marketing materials.
If we want to generate leads and expand our business, we must stop confusing our customers and start connecting with them. The first step in marketing a complex product or service is to learn how to simply and effectively explain the products and services we offer. Then we need to clearly communicate how we can help customers experience success. That can be difficult if you work in a complex industry, but it’s not impossible.
7 Marketing Tips for Explaining a Complex Product or Service
Here are a few marketing tips to help you capture the attention of your audience, make it easy to understand your product or service, and ultimately convert them into a customer:
1. Define how your product or service helps your audience achieve their goals.
If you want to help people understand your complex product or service, it’s important they know the answers to a few foundational questions:
- Who is this product for?
- What does this product do?
- Why should customers want to use it?
- Why do customers need it now?
- How is this product different from what else is out there?
You’ll know your messaging is working if your buyers can instantly find out the answers to these questions.
2. Try to simplify your buyer’s journey into three or four steps.
Making it simple for people to understand how they can become a client or customer is one of the easiest ways to gain potential business. That’s why we recommend breaking your buyer’s journey into three to four steps that explains how you can help them get from where they are today to where they want to be.
3. Ask questions that help you get inside the mind of your audience.
If you want to figure out how to communicate with your audience, it’s important to understand how they think. Taking time to evaluate your product or service with the questions potential customers might be asking can help you create messaging that resonates with them.
4. Get direct feedback from your audience through surveys.
If you’re not sure what people think about your product or service, ask them! Potential and current customer surveys are one of the most effective ways to truly determine how well people understand your complex product or service. Whether you’re a brand new startup or have been in business for years, surveys provide a simple way to get qualitative and quantitative feedback on your products, services, and messaging.
5. Leverage storytelling to make facts or processes easier to understand.
People respond to stories. If you’ve struggled to gain traction by explaining your complex product or service with facts and details, consider integrating storytelling into your marketing efforts. This could be done through case studies, explainer videos, or a creative approach to advertising. Telling stories your potential customers want to hear can be an effective way to not only help them understand what you do but inspire them to take action.
6. Rely on data and analytics to help discover what content to create.
You can discover what messaging resonates with customers by analyzing what type of content they engage with most. Analyze the numbers across all tactics (e.g., email marketing, blogging, website visits, social media, etc.) to discover what is working, what isn’t, and where there are untapped opportunities for making your messaging more effective.
7. Determine what channels might be most helpful in reaching your audience.
One final tip in communicating more effectively is to consider your audience’s content consumption preferences. For example, 68% of baby boomers prefer traditional content formats such as news articles, research reports, and blogs. Effectively explaining a complex product or service also requires you to communicate with customers in the format they prefer.
If you’ve struggled to gain traction with your messaging, start with these seven strategies. By taking the time to understand your audience and meet them where they are, you’ll make tremendous strides in simplifying your complex product or service in a way that inspires them to take action.
Ready to develop your marketing strategy but need some guidance along the way? Contact us to learn how Green Apple Strategy can help.
The 7 Essential Elements of an Effective Blog Post
- 77% of Internet users regularly read blog posts. (Source)
- 61% of Americans spend 3x more time consuming blog content than they do email content. (Source)
- Having a blog on your website increases your chances of ranking higher in search by a massive 434%. (Source)
7 Essential Elements of an Effective Blog PostAfter writing hundreds of blog posts for our clients over the years, here are a few of the elements we’ve found are most effective for achieving success: 1. Valuable Insights that Your Audience Cares About If you want your blog post to cut through the clutter of thousands of other online articles, it’s essential that you create content your audience actually wants to read. You can have the best image and the most interesting layout, but none of that matters if your audience doesn’t find value in the content you share. It’s important to get inside the mind of your customers and craft content that they’ll find valuable. 2. Strategic SEO Keywords Blogs are an easy way to boost SEO rankings and gain local importance. When you use blogging specifically for local SEO, you’ll begin creating hyperlocal content—content that’s specific to your exact area. Start by identifying the right keywords for your blog. Then be sure to strategically incorporate them throughout your blog post. 3. Compelling Images There are several benefits to using images in your blog posts. The first is that they serve to break up long sections of text that can make it easier for your audience to read. Second, images provide context and help connect with your readers. An image is a great way to connect with the audience in a way words can’t. Images also help with search engine rankings. The alt text added to each image is indexed by search engines, and it can direct interested searchers to your site. 4. Engaging Headlines and Subheads Headlines should play a large role in blog strategy. Why? Because most people will scan a blog post before they actually read it. They want to see if the content in the post is relevant and helpful. Adding headlines and subheadings throughout the post will guide readers through the content in a way that makes it easy for them to follow. 5. Links to Other Forms of Content People have different preferences for consuming content. This is why it’s becoming increasingly important to provide various forms of content in your post. If you want to get the most out of your content marketing efforts, consider reformatting blog posts into audio or visual content. Supplementing blog posts with audio or visual content is a great way to capture your audience’s attention. 6. Real-World Examples and Case Studies If you understand the importance of publishing unique, useful content, you should realize that case studies can be incredibly valuable. Readers want to know how the tips and tricks you share can make an impact on people like them. Incorporating case studies or specific examples in your posts can support the overall content of your post and help readers engage on a deeper level. 7. A Call to Action Blog posts can be used to support multiple areas of the marketing funnel. You can use them to introduce your brand to new readers or upsell current customers on additional products or services. That’s why it’s important to consider the call to action you craft in each blog post. Think about the most logical next step that you want the potential customer to take, and include a way to take that step throughout your blog post by including a link or button to click or a form to fill out.
Ready to Take Your Blog Posts to the Next Level?At Green Apple, we’re constantly evaluating the success of our clients’ content marketing strategies. We’re also regularly sharing what we learn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed on the latest trends and tactics to take your blog (and overall marketing efforts) to the next level.
Why Corporate Social Responsibility Should Be on Your Radar in 2022
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?Essentially, corporate social responsibility is a concept in which businesses value activities that benefit society on a local, national, or global scale. It’s an approach in which businesses are equally concerned about bettering society as much as they are profitability and other business functions. Approaching business with a socially responsible mindset has become an important priority for many of today’s consumers, investors, and employees. According to this Aflac survey, 70% of Americans believe it’s either “somewhat” or “very important” for companies to make the world a better place, while just 37% believe it’s most important for a company to make money for shareholders. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why every business owner and marketing manager could make the case for integrating corporate social responsibility.
Why is Social Responsibility Relevant for Marketing Your Business?Here are a few specific ways a corporate social responsibility platform can impact your marketing efforts:
- CSR can help you recruit and retain top talent.
- CSR can help attract investors.
- CSR shows consumers you care.
How to Create a Social Responsibility Platform that Works for Your BusinessBeing socially responsible can mean a lot of different things for various businesses. If you’re interested, here are a few ways you can adopt a social responsibility platform:
- Ethical Responsibility — This approach is committed to the ethical treatment of all stakeholders, including leadership, employees, investors, and suppliers. ABLE is a local business here in Nashville that is one of our favorite examples.
- Economic Responsibility — This approach isn’t about maximizing profits. Instead, it’s about positively impacting whoever is most important to your business.
- Philanthropic Responsibility — This is a corporate responsibility platform that is built on using profits or business functions to make the world a better place. TOMS shoes has been a long-time example of this type of social responsibility.
- Environmental Responsibility — This is a commitment to positively impacting the world by adopting an environmentally-friendly and sustainable approach to business. Blueland is one of our favorite eco-friendly brands making a difference in the world.
How to Leverage Employee Advocacy to Boost Your Marketing Strategy
How to Leverage Employee Advocacy to Boost Your Marketing StrategyWhether you’re trying to create a full-blown program or your looking for simple ways to encourage employees to promote your brand, here are a few tactics you can use to boost your marketing strategy with employee advocacy:
- Extend your brand’s organic reach and visibility. More than likely, there are individual employees in your company who naturally understand how to effectively use social media. Harnessing their influence is a great way to expand the organic reach and visibility of your brand. This might include creating a social media task force or allowing employee influencers to coach others in your company on how to use social media for business.
- Equip your employees to be an extension of your business development team. In today’s world, every employee is a representative of your brand, so essentially, everyone in your company has a marketing role. Making sure everyone in your company knows how to answer questions typically directed to marketing is a simple and easy way to integrate the mentality that everyone has a role in marketing across your organization.
- Empower your employees by creating content they want to share. There are a lot of things marketing can do to enhance company culture. One simple way is to focus on creating assets, resources, and newsworthy content that your employees want to share. Rather than forcing employees to promote your content on social media, what would it look like to create content they can’t wait to share with their networks?
- Mobilize your influencers. In today’s digital world, your brand’s social media isn’t a job for one person. The key is to create a system that leverages the collective effort of various people, even though social media might not be in their job descriptions. While you might have one person who owns the responsibility of improving your brand’s social media presence, making sure he or she isn’t doing it alone is critical to success.
Frustrated by the Fact that Marketing Is Constantly Evolving?
When it comes to marketing, the only constant is that it’s an industry that’s always changing. Think about it. Less than a decade ago, businesses were thriving because they were posting on Twitter, getting tons of comments on every blog post, and sending a monthly e-newsletter. Today, those tactics aren’t producing nearly as much engagement.
As the owner of a marketing agency, I understand why it’s easy to get frustrated by the constantly-evolving nature of marketing. I’ve had dozens of discussions with small business owners over the past seven years who tell me their marketing isn’t working. They express that finding a marketing tactic that works and provides the reach or scalability needed to drive results seems impossible. For small businesses with limited resources and budgets, this can be maddening. For everyone else, it makes business development hard to sustain for an extended amount of time.
4 Principles to Remember as Marketing Continually Evolves
Here are some encouraging reminders I share with business leaders or marketing managers who are frustrated by the fact that nothing seems to be working like it once did:
- Embrace the fact that marketing always changes. The reason marketing seems to be evolving so quickly is because customer behaviors are rapidly changing. Today’s customers have an incredibly finite amount of time and attention to give to something. Rather than getting frustrated by this fact, embrace it. Recognizing we only have a few seconds to capture our audience’s attention opens up creativity to solve this new challenge.
- Stop looking for the silver bullet. There isn’t a single marketing tactic that is guaranteed to work without fail for the next five years. Just because your competition is trying something doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Instead, focus on what your customers want. Your customers need solutions to their problems, not more information about your brand.
- Focus on strategy, not tactics. Wondering why your marketing efforts aren’t working like they used to? When most businesses say their marketing strategy isn’t working, what they typically mean is that the tactics aren’t effective. Rather than focusing on tactics, it’s important to recognize the underlying strategies the tactics are built upon—and hold onto those rather than the tactics themselves.
- When all else fails…be human. Certain marketing principles are timeless. Remembering to be human is one of them. What works today—something that has always worked—is grassroots, person-to-person, authentic, transparent actions. Creating personal and meaningful connections with potential customers will always work when it comes to growing your business.
The world of marketing is undergoing a profound evolution. Things that worked yesterday won’t work as well today. But, that’s a good thing because we know there will always be new tactics and strategies we can deploy to appeal to basic human emotions of potential customers.
How Marketing Can Create Company-Wide Collaboration
- 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.” (Source)
- 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failure. (Source)
- Collaborative teams are 5x higher-performing because they feel motivated towards a common goal. (Source)
- Constantly remind employees of your mission and vision.
- Encourage creative problem solving and brainstorming.
- Share knowledge, insights, and resources across your organization.
- Celebrate the impact your company is making.
3 Ways to Improve Sales & Marketing Alignment
Getting sales and marketing on the same page isn’t easy. It takes buy-in from both teams and a lot of work to get marketing and development leaders on the same page. It requires investment and direction from senior leadership.
But, what happens after you’ve laid the initial groundwork to create that alignment? How do ensure that all the hard work you’ve done until this point isn’t completely abandoned a year from now?
How to Continually Improve Sales & Marketing Alignment
When it comes to maintaining sales and marketing alignment, the biggest factor is communication. Both teams must make sure they are communicating with and enabling the other to do their jobs.
What does this look like in real time? Here are a few tips:
- Understand the communication preferences of the other person. This sounds really simple, but it’s one of the most important keys for effective communication. If marketing is going to equip sales with real-time updates of who is on your website, make sure the information is presented in ways that are easy to understand and act upon. If you’re going to share time-sensitive information with your sales team, make sure it’s through a channel they check frequently.
- Have a one-stop shop for all marketing information and sales tools. Creating a single document or microsite that your sales team can use to access sales tools and stay informed about marketing campaigns is another key. You want to make sure you showcase the information in places where sales can easily access it in their cars before a meeting.
- Determine the right cadence for regular updates. How often should your sales teams be informed with marketing insights? How often should sales teams download what they’re learning to marketing teams? Finding the right cadence to address these questions is important. It could be a weekly stand-up meeting or bi-weekly email that prioritizes what campaigns sales should focus on.
Alignment between sales and marketing is like a road trip caravan. Both teams should stay in their individual cars but constantly stay connected about the directions they’re heading. The two-way communication between marketing and sales teams ensures you’re doing everything that you can to make sure both teams reach the intended destination.