Sugar Magnolias: The Sweet Treat of Added Value

There are some experiences that break through the tedium of everyday life and bring a quick smile to the lucky few who experience it.

The New Jersey Transit, then, was the last place I expected to find such an experience. However, instead of the usual “click clack, here’s your ticket, now get off” routine, the conductor snipped the face of a Jerry Bear—of the Grateful Dead variety—into my receipt and handed it back without even waiting to see my reaction.

Now THAT was an example of added value in the most unlikely of places, and it got me thinking: How can I do something similar that is so simple yet undoubtedly effective. It’s the tidbits you don’t expect that can lead to a lingering smile and a recurring client. What process of your business can you spice up with a little nugget of fun? How can you surprise your clients by adding some snap to the usual routine?

I still have my ticket because it’s a useful reminder of providing the unexpected while going above and beyond to deliver a subtle yet lasting impression. Telling your clients that they’re special is old hat. A small surprise is ten times as effective and you don’t even have to utter a word.