Loyalty Psychology: Surprise & Delight Your Members For Just 10 Cents
5 August 2016
Philip Shelper

Surprise & Delight

It’s surprisingly easy to make loyalty program members feel better about their day, and by association feel more positive about your program’s brand.

In 1987 psychologist Norbert Schwarz (Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan) ran a study to test the power of something positive happening on overall life satisfaction.

He placed a small coin on a photocopier for the next user to find.

He then interviewed the users about their lives.

“Those who found the coin were more happy and more satisfied and wanted to change their lives less than those who didn’t find a coin,” says Schwarz.

It’s not the value of what the subjects found. It’s that something positive happened to them and surprised them.

A similar study by Schwarz, Stracj, Kommer & Wagner found football fans who followed a winning team reported higher levels of life satisfaction than those whose team was consistently losing.

The important learning for loyalty strategy is the power of surprise & delight. While many companies focus large amounts of effort and cost on points or discount programs, they often neglect to take the opportunity to seed the member’s experience with small, low-cost delights. Interestingly, if executed well, these can be significantly more powerful than large points balances.

Why? Because if you meet a member’s expectations, they will be satisfied, and if you exceed their expectations they’ll be slightly more satisfied. But if you delight your members, their satisfaction will be off the charts.

And as demonstrated by Norbert Schwarz’s study, it doesn’t need to be expensive to be highly effective.

Philip Shelper is a specialist loyalty consultant based in Sydney, Australia who obsesses about everything to do with loyalty and rewards. His company Loyalty & Reward Co are a leading loyalty consulting firm.

Let’s connect! https://au.linkedin.com/in/philipshelper 

<a href="https://loyaltyrewardco.com/author/philip/" target="_self">Philip Shelper</a>

Philip Shelper

Phil is the CEO & Founder of Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Phil had previously worked in loyalty roles at Qantas Frequent Flyer and Vodafone. Phil is a member of several hundred loyalty programs, and a researcher of loyalty psychology and loyalty history, all of which he uses to understand the essential dynamics of what makes a successful loyalty program. Phil is the author of ‘Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide’, the most comprehensive book on loyalty programs on the planet.

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