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Ideas for surprising and delighting your customers to increase sales

Welcome to Natalie’s Blog…

(This blog follows Part 2: ‘How businesses are surprising and delighting their customers’)

In my first and second blogs on the theme of ‘Surprising & Delighting’ customers we explored how ‘Surprise & Delight’ marketing and sales campaigns are becoming hugely popular with brands, businesses and their customers because everybody wins… and some examples of successful campaigns.

This leaves me to ask you… can you remember the last time a business surprised and delighted you?!

I can… it was only a couple of weeks ago when I requested some fabric samples for a new sofa I wanted to buy.

The fabric swatches arrived in the post in a box and inside the box were not only swatches but chocolates too, for me to enjoy with a cup of coffee while deciding which fabric to choose. It was a ‘sweet’ and thoughtful gift and I haven’t stopped telling my friends about it since!

It reminded me of the times I received a handful of miniature samples when I purchased my favourite beauty products and when I received a complimentary dessert when celebrating my birthday at my favourite restaurant.

These thoughtful gestures may not have cost much but they had a real value to me, enhanced by the element of surprise. They made me feel affinity with the different businesses and a willing advocate to colleagues, friends and family.

‘Surprise & Delight’ campaigns don’t have to be expensive. Small thoughtful gestures or inexpensive gifts can have a big impact if given (apparently) spontaneously… for example:

  • giving a freebie to a customer;
  • waiving an extra charge (such as a packing or delivery charge);
  • spending extra time getting to know a customer;
  • giving a free upgrade;
  • giving a surprise coupon code, discount or deal;
  • treating a customer to a free drink or complimentary food;
  • including a hand-written ‘Thank You’ note with an order;
  • calling a customer to offer help or advice;
  • anticipating a customer’s needs and being proactive;
  • going beyond the call of duty to help a customer in their time of need;
  • giving VIP treatment at an exclusive event;
  • personalising the customer’s experience as much as possible.

Introducing personalisation can result in even more powerful ‘Surprise & Delight’ experiences.

Brands and businesses that invest in personalisation (rather than providing a generic experience for all) have a much greater impact and return, as the emotional connection is much stronger for the customer.

We have customers who have found many novel ways of using our personalised chocolate and confectionery to ‘Surprise & Delight’ their customers, for example:

  • Retailers putting a few ‘Thank You’ chocolates in the bottom of their customers’ shopping bags.
  • Car dealerships putting mints and sweets (branded with their logo) in the car’s drinks holder after a service.
  • Event and party organisers putting chocolates and sweets with special messaging into ‘goody’ bags.
  • Businesses including a chocolate, mint, sweet, coffee bean or fudge with an invoice or statement to ‘sweeten the bill’.
  • Service and maintenance contractors leaving a sweet treat with their job sheets.
  • Cloakroom attendants putting mints personalised with “Safe journey home” messages and discounts for future events into coat pockets, for the owner to find later.
  • Venue owners giving people hiring their facilities for special occasions free chocolates or confectionery with special messaging wishing someone happy birthday, anniversary or retirement by name.
  • Gyms and fitness studios offering a mint before exercising to help with performance.

There are so many ways to use personalised chocolates and confectionery to ‘Surprise & Delight’ customers and they are even more memorable when they are branded with the brand or company name and logo, with messaging appropriate to a particular event, theme, topic, special offer or promotion. (Email me now to tell me what ideas you have tried and/or what would work for you as a business owner, or to make suggestions on how other business could ‘Surprise & Delight’ you when you buy from them!)

And of course in planning a ‘Surprise & Delight’ campaign it is important to consider how you can encourage the maximum impact and extend the reach of your campaign by using different channels, platforms, devices, data points, touch points and approaches.

There is no single route to success but key is understanding your customers and surprising and delighting them in a way that is relevant, clear and positive.

Good luck!

(Natalie’s Blog, 14 July 2017)

DID YOU READ PART 1 AND PART 2 OF THIS BLOG?: Part 1: ‘Surprising and delighting your customers is rewarding’ and Part 2: ‘How businesses are surprising and delighting their customers’)

Meet… Natalie Atkinson (Managing Director, Delvaux Ltd)

Natalie is the Managing Director of Delvaux Ltd, a family-owned business originally founded in 1985 by her mother Monique as a division of Rombouts Coffee. Natalie leads the ‘delicious marketing ideas’ team at Delvaux, experts in helping Delvaux’s clients to use personalisation and gifting as ‘edible advertising’.

Since Delvaux’s early days supplying petit fours to Restaurants and Hotels and supplying retailers such as the House of Fraser, Conran and Harvey Nichols with luxury chocolates, glace fruits, nougats and nuts, Delvaux has developed into a thriving independent business supplying personalised chocolates (Neapolitans and Petit Chocs) and confectionery in individual wrappers printed with messaging, logo, special offers and promotions etc.

Delvaux has been in business for over 32 years supplying 1000s of businesses, associations, charities, institutions and individuals with millions of personalised Neapolitan and Petit chocolates over that time. More recently Delvaux has expanded under Natalie’s direction with the addition of Mints, Sweets and Chocolate Orangettes and Chocolate Coffee Beans to the product range.

[If you have any questions please call us on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or International telephone +44 (0) 1932 571180, alternatively please email us at]
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