Paul Rouke
Founder & Director of Optimisation
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  • Customer Psychology

5th Oct 2013

6 min

Surprises, Peaks & Delights

When was the last time you genuinely delighted your visitors and new customers online?

In all my years of experience working with a wide range of businesses large and small, there are three often missing ingredients to the online experience brands deliver to visitors – the peak-end rule, surprise and delighters.

Surprise, Peak-end Rule and Delighters by PRWD

Below is a quick definition of each one of these as taken from the wonderful

Peak-end Rule
We judge our past experiences almost entirely by their peaks (pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended.

Our brains are aroused by new and unexpected discoveries (within our normal routines)

We remember and respond favourably to small, un-expected and playful pleasures

In a 2012 Ipsos Lori Loyalty Report they found that “in a business to business engagement, ‘delighted’ customers are FIVE TIMES more likely to plan on repurchasing than merely satisfied customers.”

In this article I thought I’d share 7 ways to introduce some delighters into your user experience.

Deliver quality, memorable videos

Here are a few tips for delivering videos which can enhance your user experience

  • Make it clear how long it is – 1-3 minutes tops
  • Introduce ‘not exactly perfect’ video content that shows that you are only human – see this blooper video from Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Basic I know, but make it clear that this is a video that you need to click to play
  • Deliver videos in overlays to maintain visitors current location, unless they are embedded within your page
  • At the right times really underline your quality to make visitors think “I want some of that” – see the Luxe video for an exceptional example of this
  • Make the last frame memorable – see what our client Manchester Central have done for their homepage video showcase

Manchester Central overview video

Pay close attention to your copy and inject personality

  • Use words like you, your and my in your copy and headlines
  • Personalise headlines and sub headings with the visitors name (once you have this)
  • Introduce personality in to the reading experience – see the about our executive team page about us page

Don’t be afraid to show visitors that you have a personality

OK so this is an extreme example, but Ling Valentine nails this – see how Lingscars persuades visitors to buy (pro tip – there are many things brands can copy without leaving visitors wondering WTF!)

Lings Cars

Show visitors who they will be speaking to and dealing with

The old adage of people buy people is very much in full affect when it comes to web users considering which business to deal with. This is one of the many areas we worked with Manchester Central on (view more of how we helped to redesign their online experience) and if you compare how personal they make their experience to a competing venue space The Bella Center.

The People at Manchester Central

Use intelligent, creative images which put people in the moment

Images are extremely important in helping to persuade visitors to do what we want them to online and two brands who understand this are Vancouver Convention Centre and Customink. See how Customink present an image of what you can expect to receive once you have placed your order with them – on their homepage. Also see how Vancouver change the image on their homepage dependant on what time of day you visit the website.

Customink packaging

See your confirmation page as a perfect place to surprise and delight visitors

The potential you have on this page is significant, not least because most businesses don’t pay any real attention to what visitors are presented with on this final page of the user journey. These pages are typically a box ticking exercise of presenting visitors or new customers with details of their enquiry or order, which typically delivers a very flat user experience and end point – remember the peak-end rule I mentioned earlier?

Here is what you can do today to start delighting visitors who choose to engage with you, whether subscribing, buying, enquiring or ordering:

  1. Print out your current confirmation page that customers see
  2. Drop boxes round all the information which is specifically a repeat of their enquiry/order details/personal information
  3. With a different colour pen, draw a box round all the content that is there to delight visitors i.e. a surprise offer, some friendly, personable text, images that reflect the experience/purchase that customers should now be looking forward to
  4. This is probably quite a small area, if you even have an area drawn at all
  5. Now get a blank piece of paper and start putting ideas down which answer the question “how can be provide a positive, un-expected surprise for customers who have just completed their transaction with us to make us become more memorable to them?”

This short exercise should start to exploit the opportunity that exists to deliver a combination of the 3 persuasive techniques I talked about at the start – surprising visitors with a delightful message, offer or brand communication to provide a positive peak to the end of their experience.

See your aftersales emails as a perfect way to develop and nurture customer relationships

I very rarely get aftersales emails which don’t just do a similar job as the earlier confirmation page I saw – deliver basic order details and communications without delighting customers.

ASOS are one of the few brands I have come across who pay particular close attention to their email communications with customers, and this article by David Moth at Econsultancy demonstrates lots of what they do well – whether its shopping basket or checkout ASOS are certainly delivering some exceptional best practice techniques to deliver an exceptional user experience and delight customers where possible.

ASOS order confirmation email

So, how do you delight your visitors and customers?

I’d really like to hear your comments on what techniques you use to delight your visitors and reward customers who get to your confirmation page. Perhaps you don’t want to share them for fear of your competition realising the tricks they are missing out on to deliver a more memorable, persuasive user experience. Don’t worry I won’t tell!

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