The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to Appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.

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Surprise and Delight

I recently worked at national retailer and one of the marketing goals we’d had, was to find ways to surprise and delight our customers.  We were always looking for ways to make the shopping experience better and to go that extra mile to show our appreciation of our customers.  This can be especially impactful when it’s unexpected. (Think of a surprise free gift if you buy something or a discount that you only found out about while shopping.  The customer is surprised by this great opportunity and delighted by opportunity or chance to participate.)


This goal came rushing back to me, when I experienced a “Surprise and Delight moment” of my own this week at #TraderJoes.

For those of you who don’t know Trader Joe’s, it’s a national (although not in all states), grocery store.  I think of it as a little bit of a specialty store in that you can buy hard to find items at a good price, e.g., organic coconut oil for $5.99 where it’s usually $7 or more in other stores, and most of your mainstay groceries.  You may not be able to get everything on your list there, but everything you can buy is of great quality.  I’m especially fond of their frozen foods, a Pulled BBQ Brisket, and their outstanding cheese and floral selections. 

I digress… but really I do love this store.

I’d gone to the customer service counter to ask about a cookie product that I wasn’t familiar with and see if any of the managers had tried it.  While asking, I’d mentioned that I wasn’t feeling all that great, and wanted to make some comfort food, especially something sweet.  They raved about the product so I put it in my cart and finished up my shopping.


Here’s the good part:
As I’m checking out, the Assistant Manager came over with the bouquet of flowers pictured below.  She said, “We wanted to do something nice to brighten your day.”100_3096

WOW!! I was floored.  My day, aside from the head cold wasn’t terrible, but the store managers wanted to do something nice, just because, they saw me not my chipper self. It was definitely what I’d call a “Surprise and Delight moment.”  It reinforced how much I like shopping at Trader Joe’s and how well I find they appreciate and treat their customers.


While I know that not every retailer can or would give out free product to show their customer appreciation, stores could benefit in creating “Surprise and Delight moments” by offering unadvertised promotions, customer appreciation events, or even simply providing above and beyond customer service. (A few of Trader Joe’s customer service perks: Try it before you buy it.  There have been a few times where I’ve been able to try a product before I bought it. (I get a fresh package afterwards.) If you cannot try before you buy, they have a “no questions asked” return policy. If you don’t like it, simply return it. And one more I like… the entry into a $25 gift card raffle for anyone that uses their own bags for their groceries.)

All too often, businesses think solely about the bottom line.  While YES revenue and meeting margin and sales goals are needed to remain in business, it’s nice to see a retailer who understands that on-going patronage and potentially even greater sales can be gained by simply showing their appreciation of their customers .  I know that I tend to shop more often and refer others to stores that outwardly show their appreciation of my patronage, and it is not solely based on whether the store gives me free products or not.

Just something to consider.


I was not asked to nor or paid by Trader Joe’s to share this post. Opinions above are my own.