Surprise & Delight
Author: Michael Arief Gunawan
Created: Saturday, 10 Feb 2024
Updated: Saturday, 10 Feb 2024
First of all Happy Chinese New Year to those of you who are celebrating!
Wishing you joy, health, meaningful relationships & personal growth =)
Yesterday I was catching up with a friend over coffee, we talked a while from the complexity of human relationships in a big family, business & startups, and some interesting personal experiences.
One that strikes me most is his experience boarding a business class flight.
He was just relaxing watching a movie when a stewardess approach her squatting by his side.
Now I have never been inn a business class before, but what I know, usually stewardess will only approach us either if we call them, they want to ask us something, or to ensure all is okay.
But this stewardess just stayed quiet and finally asked…
“What movie are you watching?”
It was as if we were watching a movie on our mobile phone in a café by ourselves, suddenly the waitresses ask us. Well that would be my fantasy! =D
Well digressing a bit, he answered with the movie name.
Then she asked again “What is the story all about?”
Slowly it turned into a small conversation.
Now you might wonder, is this one of those romcom movie scene where the stewardess and the passenger bump into each other serendipitously and fall in love?!
Haha unfortunately not.
She then quizzed him: “Do you know what would be great when watching a movie?”
She then took out a small box of hot popcorn and passed it to him.
How would you feel in that situation?
Precisely, he was surprised and happy about it.
Did it cost a lot (money, time & effort) to prepare it? Most likely not.
But how much does it help in nurturing personal relationships with the customer that even 10+ years later he still remembers this memorable moment vividly?!
In experience design we call this Surprise & Delight.
How can we design this in your event to nurture relationship that leaves long lasting memory in your customers, partners, sponsors, employees, or even friends & loved ones?
Had she given the popcorn at the start of the flight together with the headset, the experience would have been totally different. What if she just passed the popcorn while he was watching?
Would be better, but still not as personal and memorable.
Thus we need to design Surprise & Delight (S&D) in terms of:
- Context: What would complement/boost the current experience? Popcorn comes as a tango to watching movies, though not the main experience, it definitely adds delight
- Timing: When would be the best time to give our surprise? eg in the middle of the movie
- Proximity: How physically close should the surprise giving be? eg being by their side
- Approach: What makes the interaction more personal? eg engaging in small talk first
- Anticipation: How can we reverse the normal expectation so they are surprised?
Next time you are with a customer, partner, sponsor, friends, or even loved ones, try this Surprise & Delight, and see how their facial expression & body language totally change =)
Would love to hear how it goes or your past experience of applying this S&D.
And if you need help in designing this in your event, just drop me a message.
PS: We will run a virtual event: Designing Interaction & Emotional Engagement end Feb, drop a comment if you want to join =)