I don’t know about you, but I think one of the most over-used and under-delivered terms in our business is “surprise and delight”. Of course who wouldn’t want a kick-butt concept where consumers are blown away beyond their expectations, and in a completely unexpected way? But who really does this?
It’s happened to me a few times. When I was on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise as a member of their *Latitudes* frequent cruiser program, there would be a surprise gift delivered to the room almost every day, constantly thanking us for being a loyal customer. Some other companies have even handed out things to unsuspecting consumers, and even asked them to pass on the “Cheer”.
But I just had a service-based “surprise and delight” experience that really blew me away!
I came back from a trip to California the other day, and returned my Hertz rental car at LAX as I’ve done hundreds of times in the past. You know the routine – drive to the designated area, take out your belongings, leave the key in the car, get your receipt from the *car guy with the scanner*, then take your own bags to the bus, wait 15 minutes until it fills up, and finally be whisked away to the terminal.
Not so fast this time! Lincoln, the man with the scanner, asked if I’d like him to drive me to the terminal. What? Really? Sure! He put my bags back in the trunk, and away we went, no wait or fuss with the idling bus.
Holy convenience! In fact, this is a quiet program that Hertz has tested in other areas. It’s nowhere to be seen on their website. Too bad logistics don’t allow them to offer this service to everyone, but when they’re not too busy, they offer it to anyone, or at least to those who need it most (late arrivers, disabled, elderly, families with kids).
Wow! Now that’s the way to treat, and attract, customers, with a real benefit that was completely unexpected. And, feeling the spirit, I “surprised and delighted” their customer service people when I called them to praise this service earlier today. Way to go Hertz!