When was the last time you were at a restaurant or café, and the waiter or waitress surprised you at the end of your meal with a “Complimentary Cappuccino?” (or whatever your choice of coffee was).
When was the last time your Lawn Mower Guy decided to clean the windows outside your house after he had completed mowing your lawns?
Or when was the last time you stayed at a hotel and upon 5 minutes after entering the room, there was a knock at the door from a hotel staff member who surprised you with a Complimentary Strawberry Platter and Chocolate Fondue?
I bet your answer to each of these questions is “never!”
It’s a sad fact that 95% of businesses around the world never deliver the unexpected.
Most businesses simply go through the motions and provide what is expected.
Nothing more and perhaps nothing less – they just deliver what they believe was expected by the client.
This is why there’s such a massive opportunity for you as a business owner.
If 95% of all businesses never deliver the unexpected, there’s a high probability that none of your competitors will ever blow the minds of the target audience you are both chasing.
Let’s face it, when it comes to running a business, most business owners are conservative and “me-too” in terms of their thinking.
They follow the “norm” and don’t really step outside the box to consider innovative marketing or business innovations.
Many are just plain boring.
So if you step up to the mark and start employing “Wow Factor Marketing Tactics,” it’s virtually inevitable that you will steal market share from your lame competitors.
And it’s not that hard to do, so it always amazes me why so few business owners think outside the square.
I remember as a child growing up in the Southern Suburbs in Sydney, my mother regularly used to take me to a local fruit shop, owned by a wonderful Lebanese gentlemen called George Fahd.
George was a hard working immigrant in Australia who had a terrific fruit shop business that lived off “massive loyalty” from his customers.
And guess how he achieved this.
He “delivered the unexpected” just about every time you went into his shop.
He understood the psychology of “pester-power” and on many occasions, would make sure that my brothers or myself receive a free banana, apple or maybe packet of potato chips (we would’ve been perhaps 8, 10 and 12 years old at the time).
On other occasions, he might “gift” my mother with a complimentary take-away bowl of delicious fruit salad.
And on other occasions, he might slip two complimentary bottles of softdrink in mum’s shopping baskets.
Each and every time mum shopped at that fruit store, she was pleasantly surprised with something that one normally wouldn’t expect!
George was a master at “delivering the unexpected!”
And what did this create? Massive loyalty from all of his customers, because he cleverly marketed his business this way to everyone who came into his store.
The irony is that this humble Lebanese fruit shop was doing this over 40 years ago and yet today, the so–called “expert” retail franchisors and big retail chains are not doing it.
It amazes me that such businesses don’t recognise the incredible power or delivering such “Wow” on a regular basis.
Take a leaf out of Disney’s book.
If you’ve ever been to a Disney theme park, you no doubt remember experiencing “the unexpected” over and over again.
The Disney organisation provides “Wow Factors” like no one else.
I can recall many years back, sitting in Tomorrowland with my wife and small children and enjoying some refreshments and all of a sudden, the fountain next to us started to rise from the ground with catchy music emanating.
An entertainment group was singing a hit the song and guess who it was? The Pointer Sisters no less!
Not a tribute group, but the real thing.
Now that’s what I call “delivering the unexpected.”
Later that same day, we went to Pleasure Island, an entertainment precinct that celebrated New Year’s Eve every night of the year with a count-down at midnight with fireworks and confetti covering the cobblestone street.
(Yes, they worked out that NYE was the best party night of the year, so they decided to hold it every single night! How’s that for an idea!)
About 10 minutes before midnight, a band took to the stage to hype the audience up and create the countdown to midnight, with the group playing “Let’s go Surfing”…. And guess who it was – yes, the real Beach Boys!
Not a tribute group, but the real thing.
Again, that’s what “delivering the unexpected” is all about.
By no means am I suggesting that you keep all of your “Wow Factors” secretive so that you can “surprise” your customers with unexpected bonuses.
My whole marketing mantra is all about attracting new clients and building loyalty through “communicating” your value-adds or points of differences.
However, what I’m talking about is going “one step further” and adding that dollop of cream to your Wow Factors.
For example, the rent-a-car company might have a special “Wow Factor Offer” of a complimentary upgrade to a better car this month – but additional to this, when you hopped into the drivers seat, you’d be surprised with a complimentary box of chocolates.
Or if you were a Car Mechanic Workshop and your Wow Factor offer was a free vacuum and carwash with every service, imagine the look on your clients face when they sat in the driver seat and found two complimentary Cinema Tickets on the passenger seat with a thank you note from yourself!
Let say a cinema ticket is $12, it means your total investment in delivering the unexpected is $24 – probably just a tenth of the $300 or $400 they spent!
A pretty inexpensive way of “blowing their minds” and scoring a customer for life!
Let me repeat what I said earlier – 95% of businesses are not doing this.
If they’re an offline business, they simply open the door at 9 and close at 5 and if they’re an online business, more than likely they have a very conventional, boring website that delivers “just enough” information, but no “Wow” either at the introductory level or after you’ve bought a product.
In other words, most businesses simply go through the motions without ever pushing the envelope to that all-important “Wow Level.”
The reason I have used the term “Wow” around all of my marketing advice is because it is a term which we all use when something surprises us or knocks your socks off.
In other words, it is a perfect parameter for telling us if something has pleasantly surprised us or given us pleasure.
Having said this, when you’re devising “Client Bonus Ideas,” simply ask yourself, if you were in your customer’s shoes, would that bonus make you say “Wow?”
It’s as simple as that. If your idea doesn’t pass the “Wow Test,” drop it and move on to another idea!
So I challenge you now to sit down with a pen and paper or iPad and start knocking out ways that you can create customer loyalty by “delivering the unexpected.”