On July 24, Uber partnered up with Capital One and celebrated the relaunch of Uber ice cream by giving away free ice cream to all their combined customers. I'm a Capital One cardholder and I have Uber on my iPad, so I figured, hey, why not.

I love ice cream, after all.

It's one of my favorite things that bring happiness into my life. Plus, bringing it to my office? That's just great.

When I put in my order with UberEATS, I got to see an ice cream cone come near me. That was cool, but that really wasn't what was exciting about the offer.

When my order arrived, I received not just one ice cream, which was all I really wanted, but three ice creams. One came from Three Twins Ice Cream, a sea salted caramel flavor. The other came from Sprinkles, an ice cream with red velvet cupcakes. The last was from Coolhaus, a gourmet ice cream bar. I got more ice cream than I could ever imagine having at one time.

So as a happy and excited consumer, what did I do?

1. I talked about it at work and shared them with my friends.

I love ice cream, but I had three pieces. I couldn’t eat them all myself. So what did I do? I told my friends at work about how I got so much ice cream from Uber and Capital One and I shared it with them. We all enjoyed the happiness of ice cream together.

2. I shared my happiness on social media.

On Facebook, I have only like 300 friends. I keep it very private. On Twitter though, I have well over 30,000 followers. I shared my happiness and tweeted out how appreciative I was of receiving free ice cream from both the brands. I also personally messaged a handful of my friends and told them about how amazing this experience was.

3. I was excited enough to write an article about it.

Companies do things because they want exposure. They want exposure because it leads to more clients. Companies usually try to get exposure by running ads or doing weird promotions. I usually don’t care when I see a promotion. Most of the times, other people don't care either. But Uber and Capital One went above and beyond with their offering, so I got excited enough to spread how happy I am with both companies.

Personally, over the course of the last five years, I have used a mixture of both driving and taking public transit to get around. With gas prices increasing, sometimes it gets a bit harder to justify the convenience of filling up premium in my car that gets 14.5 mpg. I've used Uber once or twice to pick up my car when it was in the shop for repairs or maintenance, but other than that, I didn't really use it. I never had a bad experience, but I never had an experience that stuck out to me as phenomenal prior to this either. That said, since I was so happy with their ice cream promotion, I will be using Uber a lot more and every single chance I can justify it. Plus, UberEATS seems like a great way to get delivery when I want to save time by avoiding the necessity of going out to a local restaurant.

What did Uber do to ensure the success of its campaign?

  • They launched the campaign globally, in each market they operate in. This generated international exposure about both Uber and UberEATS.
  • They gave more than the average person could consume, so people were more inclined to share.
  • They launched during business hours on a weekday, to increase the probabilities that people would be around others who may be unfamiliar with Uber.
  • They responded to social media posts and engaged with the end user. This showed that they appreciated each person who decided to share their joy.

All of these things increased awareness, along with the probability of creating loyal customers to their brand.

How does this relate to your business?

It doesn't matter what type of business you're in or the size of your budget--your job is to give your customers more than they expect by going the extra mile.

If you own a dry cleaner, then go the extra mile and surprise someone by giving a random customer a free service.

If you have a restaurant, give a customer a complimentary dessert.

If you are a graphic designer and are hired to make a logo, give them templates for their letterhead and all other collateral material as well.

If you have an online store, send out a free gift with purchase to one out of every 50 or so customers.

If you have a software business, bring a key decision maker from a client company in on updates and product improvements.

If you have an angry client, refund them their money and send them a personalized note of apology.

When you go above and beyond for your customers, you stick out compared with everyone else. Then these three things happen.

  1. They will become a loyal client for as long as your business exists.
  2. They will share their experience of why they are happy with your company.
  3. They will advocate on your behalf and spread the word.

Now just take a moment and imagine what your business would look like if you had hundreds, if not thousands of people doing the same. Who knows--your business could potentially end up looking a lot like a customer-centric company like Zappos.

Published on: Jul 27, 2015