The idea of surprising your customers is nothing new to entrepreneurs. Exceeding your customer’s expectations is what keeps them coming back for more. To surprise your customers all you need to do is think outside the box, and stay one step ahead of everyone else. With competition for business at an all time high, the bar of what customers expect is constantly changing. You need to make sure that you are fulfilling what is expected of your business and at the same time adding a little extra surprise that sets your business apart from the rest.
Start by focusing on your biggest customers. Send them an e-mail or a postcard letting them know they are a valued customer. You may even consider putting them into a separate category, and offer them special deals on multiple occasions. Make sure they know that not all your client base is receiving these deals. If you succeed in making them feel like they are indeed a valued customer you are appealing to them on a more profound level.
Make sure though, that you remember everyone else. Think of ways that you can add a little extra to your service at a base level, perhaps offering something to your customers that your competition doesn’t, like a guarantee.
Remember though, you can’t exceed expectations that you haven’t met. Customer service is important, but if your product is lacking it doesn’t matter how attentive you are to your client’s needs. The flip side of the coin is that an excellent product can be completely disregarded due to lousy customer service. Balance is key. Make sure that your products are quality, and that your customer service leaves nothing lacking. Surprises are an excellent tool, but are only worth it if the product and service that accompany them are consistent and good.
Take a note from nature: I remember being a kid growing up in Michigan. Come December I waited every day for the snow. I knew it was coming, but it didn’t change the excitement and surprise I experienced every time the first snow fell. Can you do the same thing for your customers?
Offer a yearly deal or special that they can look forward to throughout the year. You might also try having a yearly contest or a special giveaway. If you make it a once a year blow-out sale your customers will come to expect the surprise, and wait for it with eager anticipation.
Keeping your customers satisfied will keep you in business, keeping them surprised will keep your business growing.