OD Bites: Surprising Services to Delight Customers

Adapted from Real Service: The Essentials to Building Authentic Relationships With Customers by Dr. Peter Cheng

Given the intense competition in most industries, industry players tend to emulate each other as they compete for market share. A company that extends the warranty of a product as a value-adding service may find its competitors also quickly following suit.

When such services are offered on a larger scale across the marketplace, they no longer become surprising for customers, but are now expected.

So how should companies continue to find ways to delight customers? Here is the concept of what I call inner circle and outer circle services.


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Outer circle services are also known as surprising services because they take the lead over the competition, being the first offerings in the marketplace to delight customers. We need to expand the boundary with innovative products and service offerings, as represented by the outer circle services.

If you were to step into the same retail shop and were not only greeted with a “Good morning, Sir/Madam, how may I help you?”, but were also given a special drink of your choice — bubble tea or a hot beverage free of charge with no obligations for purchase — would you be surprised? Certainly your answer will be yes! That is because most retail shops do not offer drinks.

Thus, surprising services will achieve their purpose in delighting customers and in doing so, will differentiate themselves from expected services.

Companies that provide surprising services will continue to lead the pack in how they serve customers by keeping them happy beyond contentment — delighting and surprising them by providing such positive experiences that customers will have much to share with friends, colleagues, and people in their social networks.

Explore how PACE can help you lead the pack by expanding your outer circle of surprising services for your customers. Drop us a note today at connect@pace-od.com.