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  • Kuba Płonka

Elevating Customer Experiences with Surprise and Delight

woman in beige coat smiling and pointing at 5 stars rating

We do our best to build the trust and loyalty of our customers. We analyse customer journeys and find every pain point and every touch point that is not good enough. To make that happen, we change our processes, implement new tools and invest in training. Recently, we even harnessed the power of AI to boost us in knowing how we can go above and beyond for our customers.

But sometimes conventional methods, no matter how sophisticated, are not good enough, and today, I will show you a couple of examples of companies that step to another level and spark a little magic to create outstanding experiences for their customers.

VanMoof and the Shipping of Troubles

Highly engaged customers will make a purchase 90% more often.

VanMoof is a Dutch company founded in 2009 by two brothers. They specialised in building stylish e-bikes.

Their situation happened after they decided to expand their shipping to the United States. Smart move, right? It’s a big, rich market where more and more people, especially in the cities, will switch to more sustainable ride options. On paper, the strategy being more than solid and exceptional design combined with new technology would most definitely lead to success.

And…they succeeded! Once they opened shipping on the US market, there were a massive number of orders, but of course, they didn’t expect that US handlers didn’t seem to take as much care as they hoped during shipping. They tried different things, like more rigid boxes or other shipping partners, but nothing worked.

Then, they came up with a brilliant, unusual solution. They figured out that the boxes in which they ship their bikes are the same size as the expensive flat TVs, which hold much bigger esteem by US delivery service than bikes.

Because of that spark, VanMoof started putting TV images on every box with their bike and the results? Overnight, their shipping damages dropped whooping by 70-80%! They not only made a profit by reducing the cost of handling repairs, but they also increased the satisfaction of their users and decreased overall time from order to enjoy your purchase. This tactic has been so successful that other bike companies are now using precisely the same while shipping their products.

If you are interested, read a full story on their page.

Lego and the Lost Figure

Over $62 billion is lost annually by American companies due to poor customer service.

A slightly different story happened in the UK. A boy named Luka, seven years old, by his dad’s advice, wrote to Lego saying that using all his money, he bought a Ninjago Lego kit and by unfortunate misfortune, he lost a figure, Jay ZX, at the shop.

Well, it happens, right? You could make a valid point that (as his dad suggested before they left the home, by the way) Luka should left his figure at home. There’s nothing too much you can do here.

Well, obviously, that is not what Lego customer support thinks! They not only replied to Luka’s letter funnily and thematically but promised to send him the exact figure and asked him to keep Jay ZX safe this time.

The best thing is that it is not alone incident; other people have been reporting precisely the same stuff that Lego supports, always taking extra steps to delight their customers.

The Ritz-Carlton and the Giraffe’s Grand Adventure

81% of customers trust recommendations from family and friends over those from companies.

This story is even more exceptional, and someone somewhere will make a movie based on it.

After a fantastic vacation in Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida, young guest Chris noted that he lost his son’s best friend - a giraffe named Joshie. Losing glasses or headphones is painful, but losing a best friend? I cannot imagine how distressed Chris’s son could be, so, as you can imagine, as any reasonable parent would, Chris said that Joshie was having a little extra holiday and that he was fine. That, of course, helped for a moment, but Chriss needed to start working to reunite friends as soon as possible.

Fortunately, after a call to the hotel and some searching, Ritz-Carlton’s staff happily reported that they found Joshie in the laundry and that he had been handed over to the hotel’s Loss Prevention Team. During the conversation, Chris mentioned his “decoy” and asked if Ritz-Carlton’s team would be so kind as to take some pictures of Joshie on a chair by the pool to ‘prove’ it. They agreed, and both Chirs, together with his son, could relax.

After a couple of days, the package from the hotel came, and what was the surprise of recent travellers when, in addition to some Ritz-Carlton-branded “goodies” was a binder that documented Joshie’s extended adventure at the hotel! Among many things, Joshie sunbathed by the pool had a massage or worked on security cameras!

That is a fantastic example of how using small resources and tons of creativity, you can build a “wow” moment in your customers. I’m sure next time Chris thinks about where to go on holiday, Florida’s Ritz-Carlton will be on top of the list.


"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

Warren Buffett

Of course, those are three from many examples, such as Zappos or Amazon. But in a world filled with endless options, businesses and individuals add a touch of magic to their interactions that genuinely stand out. Surprise and delight aren't just buzzwords; they're spells that can turn customers into loyal fans and transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary memories. Use them wisely, and you will create wow moments, turning your regular customers into brand promoters.


If you want to learn about building lasting customer relationships, read the article below.


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