Daniele Catalanotto
Author - Daniele Catalanotto

Business as unusual could mean that we bring a touch of surprise to the customer experience.

Do you like your bank? Certainly not. Do you like your insurance company. Absolutely not. René Frijters of Knab has a little secret to make you love those boring services. They should just give you some tiny surprises and you’ll start to like them.
What if your bank sent you something more than just your new credit card when your dog has eaten your old one? This is what the support team of Knab did. With the brand new credit card they sent a bone for the dog. So both the customer and dog are happy. These kinds of simple and stupid surprises give you an emotional bond with the boring service that you use. Of course if everything is shiny and surprising, your bank starts to be cheeky. And then you lose the power of the one time surprise.
Keep it tiny
In my opinion such surprises can work really well if the customer can’t think: “Shit they invested more time in making a stupid surprise than in solving my real problem”. You can use surprises to delight customers only if you already keep the basic promises that you made. If you can’t keep your promises, the surprises you will make will be seen as stupid jokes.
It needs emotional intelligence
Adding surprises in customer service is in a way also a celebration of the human factor. You can’t automate these kinds of context aware, emotionally smart answers. If every time you mention your dog in a support message you get a bone for the dog, it would look awkward. This means that you have to select the support team with care. It also means that, as a company, you should leave them some freedom and the time to create those happiness moments.
Daniele Catalanotto
Daniele Catalanotto - Design Strategist

Daniele is a Service Designer working at delighting people in their everyday life. He does that for NGO's and businesses at the Enigma Agency in Bern, Switzerland.

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