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Why Surprise and Delight is an Ineffective Word of Mouth Strategy | Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting
There’s a trend in marketing, fueled by social media, of businesses trying to garner publicity by doing something special for a customer. Known as “surprise and delight” in the social media community, these initiatives typically involve finding a customer via Twitter or Facebook and then aligning operations to create a “magic moment” for that one customer in that single instance.
For example, the author and entrepreneur Peter Shankman tweeted that he wished he had a steak, and Morton’s Steak House brought him one, at the airport.
These heartwarming tales can create momentary spikes in brand chatter, especially on social media, where the sharing of poignancy (even if you are personally unconnected to the story) is seemingly a condition of use. They are also near-mandatory inclusions in every book, speech, one-act play, poem, and puppet show that is even tangentially related to customer experience, as models of how to treat your customers. Except this one. Why? For a simple reason: Any differentiator that happens circumstantially is a publicity stunt, not a word‑of‑mouth strategy.
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