I just received a totally unexpected, perfect gift out of the blue from a friend for absolutely no reason. It’s probably the most surprising gift I ever received. It showed the person was paying attention and thinking of me; it was just what I wanted; and there was no good reason to give it to me, so the surprise factor was off the charts.
Lately my wife has been less and less interested in the big meal and big gift on the big day (anniversary, Valentine’s day, birthdays) in favor of the perfect meal at a surprising time on an otherwise inconsequential evening; the “I just saw this today and I thought you would love it” gift.
Delight is about the gap between what you expect and what you receive, so you have to pick the right thing at exactly the right moment — which is exactly when someone least expects it.
We all might want to rethink when is the right time to try to delight our customers, friends, loved ones.