Time-tested Ways To Surprise Your Clients

  This week I received a nice note in the mail.  It touched me and made my day.  One of the reasons it WOWed me, was because it was unexpected.  It was sent by a colleague that I know and interact with, but it was not sent for any special reason.  I hadn’t done anything for her.  We hadn’t had a deep conversation or interaction.  When I received her card, I was surprised!


One element that adds to WOW is the sense of surprise. Increasing the level of surprise with your clients makes things more memorable.  As a business owner, you want to be memorable to your clients.  Here are a few ways to add more surprise to your customer gifts:

  1. Unexpected timing
  2. Unexpected item
  3. Unexpected act of service
  4. Unexpected emotion


You can surprise your clients by timing a gift or card when they are not expecting anything.  Sending something when it is NOT a major holiday increases the element of surprise.  This might mean you celebrate a lesser holiday.  (You know – anything that doesn’t happen in December!)  You could choose a holiday that aligns with your brand.  You might send something for their birthday because they don’t expect YOU to remember their birthday.  You might send something “just because” like my colleague did.


Another way to increase the element of surprise is to give something unexpected.  You may be gifting at a time that the recipient expects to receive a gift, but you can give them something they never expected to receive. When a gift is a surprise it stands out from other gifts received at the same time.  It is more memorable. It packs a bigger punch.  You can do this by paying attention to the details about your clients.  If you know significant things (likes, dislikes, interesting facts from their past) you can use those to choose a gift they would never expect, but will totally love.


For some people, acts of service are more meaningful than gifts.  Go out of your way to serve your clients by doing a little extra for them or introducing them to someone who can help them.  These unexpected acts of service can surprise and delight them.


A gift that evokes a strong emotion will surprise the recipient and keep them talking about it.  It might be touching and inspiring or quirky and funny.  When your clients open a gift that brings up emotions, it will take them by surprise. 


The opposite of the feeling of surprise and delight is when a gift is given out of obligation.  It may be the timing. (Businesses often feel the need to gift in December out of obligation.)  It may be a lackluster gift.  (Oh look!  Everyone got the same gift card!)  You can feel the sense of obligation come through in a gift.  I know it is the thought that counts, but when a gift is done out of obligation and there is no sense of surprise, it has a much smaller impact on the recipient. 


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