The Power of Customer Surprise!

The Christmas I turned ten years old there was a mega-surprise for me under the tree. I was expecting the ham radio starter kit or fishing rod that I had requested.  But, there it was!  I could not believe my eyes! A shiny blue Schwinn bicycle…with a headlight AND a siren.  I was destined to be coolest kid around since all my friends got Lincoln logs, clothes or dump trucks.

Later that same holiday morning my grandmother—known for her warm hugs and hot biscuits not her creativity–gave me a new pair of wool socks.  Her heart was clearly in the right place; and, it was the thought that counts.  But, it was the third year in a row I received wool socks from her.  In fact, I knew exactly what was going to be inside the thin rectangular box, even before I tore open the wrapping paper.  I politely expressed my gratitude…and raced outside to board my new bike.

Today’s overstimulated, mega-entertained customers expect sparkly and glittery with a cherry on top of everything.   They want all their senses stimulated.  Features have become far more titillating than function; extras more valued than the core offering. However, the challenge today is that those extras have become very pricey as margins have become razor thin. So, what is the best approach to exceeding the expectations of today’s customer in today’s times? Value-unique—an unexpected, simple but innovative surprise!

Today—August 20th—is the launch of Chip’s newest book…The 9 ½ Principles of Innovative Service.  This book can be your instruction manual and inspirational guide to making service an experience that causes your customers to swoon, smile, and sing your praises.  It can be your sparkplug for bringing energy and igniting your customers’ experiences.  Built around 9 1/2 principles to guide your practice—think of them as lenses crafted to reveal special strategies you can use to become the subject of glowing remarks! 

The book is dedicated to the quest for being remarkable.  “Remarkable takes originality, passion, guts and daring,” wrote Seth Godin in his best-selling book Purple Cow.  “Not just because going through life with passion and guts beats the alternative (which it does), but because it is the only way to be successful.  Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring.  Your one chance for success is to be remarkable.”  Please log onto and order a copy for you and a copy for your best customer! 

About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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