How often are you surprising your clients, family or loved ones on the upside. Doing so can bring lots of happiness both to yourself and to those you surprise. Speaking from my own life experiences, I believe that one of the best ways to create happiness is to make others happy. And we all know that there are thousands of ways that we can choose to help others and make them happy, even if it’s just for a moment.
One of the easiest ways to bring happiness into someone's life and yourself simultaneously is to always try to surprise them on the upside. A simple example in business might be for an auto repair shop owner to quote $350 for a repair job, but when the customer picks up the car, the cost ends up being only $295.
The customer’s expectations were exceeded and the surprise brought happiness into his or her life for the moment. The customer may tell everyone what a great shop this owner runs and the shop ends up with new customers and thousands of dollars worth of goodwill. What a positive experience for everyone, all because of a surprise on the upside.
The opposite effect happens MOST of the time in MOST businesses. Typically someone quotes a low price to make a sale and then disappoints the client when it comes time to deliver. The price is higher than expected and the product or service is delivered later than promised. The customer in this situation leaves surprised but upset and only has nasty things to say about it. This brings stress and frustration into everyone’s life instead of happiness.
Surprising on the UPSIDE should be a practice used in all aspects of your life. Give your customers, spouse, children or parents a surprise gift when they least expect it. Show your appreciation to suppliers with words or notes of thanks and you will probably shock them. You'll find they may work twice as hard to satisfy you. Make a surprise phone call to an old friend, just to find out if they are doing well, rather than waiting until you want something from them before calling. The list of surprises that you can engage in is endless.
Surprises to the UPSIDE do several things. First of all, because we are habitual, much of our lives can tend to become repetitive. Every Friday, you may buy a pizza from the same pizza shop in your town. Nothing out of the ordinary occurs: you call up, they deliver, and you pay.
But what if one day the delivery person showed up with a FREE two-liter bottle of Pepsi? Because you’re a regular customer, the pizza shop decided to surprise you with a free soda. Right there the normal repetitive routine is broken. The customer is happily surprised and even though he or she knows not to expect a free soda every time; it creates a positive experience out of eating pizza.
The second thing that the surprise to the UPSIDE did was it created a positive memory. Even though the customer gets pizza from the same pizza place all of the time, it will be this positive memory that will stick out. Giving your customers lots of positive memories will keep them coming back.
When you surprise to the downside, you give your customers negative memories. This will cause them to immediately look to do business with someone else. It’s much easier to keep existing customers than it is to lose them and try to get them back.
Surprises don’t always have to be monetary and they don’t always have to be free gifts. You can surprise your customer by getting a job done earlier than quoted. Or you can send a simple “Thank You” card in the mail. How many “Thank You” cards do you get in the mail? Probably not too many. Yet, it’s a cheap way to gain valuable business.
If you want to be a happy individual, NEVER surprise on the downside by disappointing others. Excuses cause stress for everyone. Be the type of person that others respect and like because you always exceed their expectations. Under-promise and over-deliver and enjoy the practice of SURPRISING ON THE UPSIDE!