The minute December comes around the corner, schedules undoubtedly fill up with holiday parties. At U.S. Dataworks, it’s no exception. We planned our small holiday party for a Friday afternoon in mid-December. We would have snacks and adult beverages—but most importantly, a white elephant gift exchange. For those unfamiliar with the concept, in a white elephant gift exchange, each person in the group gets a turn in selecting a gift, without an indication of what is inside or who it’s from. It is often the highlight of most holiday parties and as thus, I felt I needed to step up my game in purchasing a gift.
However, finding a good gift was the least of my worries. My problem was getting it wrapped.
Back in Georgia, I could rely on my wife Samantha and her nearly professional wrapping station, complete with paper, ribbon, bow and all the necessary tools to make a beautifully wrapped gift. But I was not in Georgia. I was in Sugar Land, TX, with none of those tools at my disposal. Wrapping a gift in a brown H-E-B grocery paper was out of the question, as it would be a dead giveaway that the gift was from me. At the same time, buying a whole roll of wrapping paper for a gift only 6-inches square seemed an unnecessary waste.
As I was pondering my gift-wrapping options, I received an e-mail from the apartment complex that seemed like a sign from the gods. It read:
Foundations at River Crest and Lions Head
Christmas Gift Wrapping Station!
Please help yourself to the gift wrapping station at the Lions Head gym. The staff will restock the wrapping supplies daily.
We have everything you need!! To help with your Holiday To Do List.
Sure enough, I took my gift over to the gym and found this:
The e-mail was no joke. The apartment staff had indeed setup a gift-wrapping station, stocked with paper, bows, ribbon, tape, scissors, and everything I could possibly need to wrap my present. Filled with glee, I wrapped my gift and brought it with me into the office. Not only did I succeed in wrapping my gift without shelling out money for wrapping paper, but I also succeeded in doing it well enough to warrant a couple of compliments.
The gift-wrapping station was completely unexpected, but highly welcomed. As there were probably a lot of people in the apartment complex who are like me – working out of town and without any gift-wrapping supplies – the apartment management imagined having such a station would be a useful service. They weren’t wrong.
The station is a type of thing I like to call “thrill and delight”. Unexpected, yet useful. It engenders the type of appreciation that leads to true loyalty. To whoever developed that idea at Foundations – Rivercrest, kudos! Hope you got an extra fat bonus this year.
Every company, every employer, should strive to provide a “thrill and delight” experience for their customers and prospects. What have you done this year to give exactly that? If you can’t immediately think of one, perhaps you haven’t made it a priority on your to-do list.
Thankfully, the New Year is upon us. Make a goal for 2019 to provide at least one “thrill and delight” event or service to your customers. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just has to be useful. Brainstorm ideas with your staff and make it a company-wide initiative. The return in loyalty, referrals, and increased sales will definitely make it all worthwhile!
Also published on Medium.