Celebrations help dramatize the benefit and create emotive experiences for our customers. They drive a sense of accomplishment and encourage folks as they work toward their goals.
When we celebrate
Celebrations are an opportunity to connect with our customers and amplify their accomplishments. To retain their impact, they should be used sparingly. If we celebrate too often, and for minor accomplishments, celebrations could become annoying, or worse, condescending (“Hurray! You made a credit card payment!”).
A useful rule of thumb is to celebrate when it’s something the customer accomplished, not something we did or that benefits us.
Examples of customer accomplishments that may be worth celebrating:
- The customer reached a goal they set (such as paying off a credit card or reaching a savings goal)
- The customer achieved a major milestone (anniversary of starting their business, completed their taxes, reached a sales milestone, secured a loan)
- The customer achieved an outcome that’s important to them (finished their taxes, their refund was deposited, they have a high credit score)
- The customer sees value from changing a key habit (more savings, less debt, books closed on time)
- The customer receives a promised payoff from our product (first completed payroll run, first payment received and deposited in their account, an expert signed off on their taxes)
Other points to consider:
- How often does the moment you want to celebrate occur? Is it daily, weekly, annually? If it’s too often, celebration might not be the best approach.
- What other celebrations might be happening nearby in the customer experience?
- Would a celebration undermine customer confidence in our products? For example, does celebrating a successful data import imply that it’s usually unsuccessful?
- Is there any way your well-intended celebration could backfire? For example, a tax break might seem awesome, but not if it’s due to medical expenses for a terminally ill loved one. Double-check your blind spots and biases to make sure our content doesn’t cause harm.
Think about celebrations as being on the far end of the spectrum of how we acknowledge customer accomplishments. Question whether you need a celebration when a simple success message might be more appropriate.
Still not sure? You can test your celebration messages with customers to see if they’re just right or too much. Learn more about content testing.
Celebration vs. success message
We want to celebrate our customers’ achievements. But there’s a difference between a significant milestone and a completed task. Some events deserve hearty congratulations. Most of the time, though, customers just need to know that they’re doing things right.
We can acknowledge routine successes with friendly, neutral messaging. Here’s how to think about different customer experience scenarios:
- Potential tax deduction (show actual amount)
- Payment received (show actual amount)
- Loan approved through QuickBooks Capital
- Paid off a loan or credit card
- Reached savings goal for vacation
- Ran first (or 100th) payroll
- Turned on mileage tracking
- Sent an invoice
- Submitted loan request
- Categorized a trip that’s not a deduction
- Made progress toward a goal
- Turned on a preference
- Completed a basic workflow or recurring task
- Created a budget
- Set a spending target
Here are a few ways you can say congrats—plus a few things to avoid.
- Monique, you paid off your loan! Fantastic work!
- This is a big milestone for you and your business. Give yourself a pat on the back!
- You did it! You just e-filed your taxes.
- Your refund is all set. Just sit back and wait for the money.
- Breathe in, breathe out, and relax. You paid all your bills and subscriptions this month!
- You crushed it! Congrats on paying down your $6,420 credit card debt.
- Time to celebrate! You accomplished your savings goal!
- Right on! You’ve signed in successfully.
- Your password has been updated—well done, Amit!
- Woo hoo! You sent your 57th invoice.
- Live it up! You submitted your loan application.
- Nice job. You made it through Step 2!
- You started your taxes—time for a happy dance!
- Get ready to celebrate. You might have a refund!
One customer put it perfectly during a testing session: “[The design feels] happy … but [it’s] a little naive, because only one thing was done. … Why are you celebrating? There’s still so much to do.”
How to celebrate
How you celebrate is up to you, but here are some party ideas. Just remember that how you say it is equally as important as when.
Celebrate to scale
Celebrations come in many sizes—from a “Well done, Kim” to a “Holy cannoli, Ken!” You might want to create a framework for your celebration strategy that maps your customer experiences to different levels of “Let’s party!”
Here’s an example from QuickBooks:
These celebrations are small moments that recognize the work the customer did or what QuickBooks did for them. They can occur more often. The celebration motivates customers to keep making progress toward bigger goals and encourages them to turn a good behavior into a habit.
- You made your quarterly tax payment. Nice!
These are medium moments, when a customer finds value in a key habit or when they hit certain milestones. The celebration encourages good behavior that’s on the right track.
- You hit $100 in potential deductions.
Level 3 celebrations are large and occur when a customer has achieved a major goal using the product. They can occur at an earlier point in the journey (for example, a QuickBooks Live match) or toward the end of a journey (such as an export for tax time). We dial up the visuals and motion to communicate these rare and unique moments.
- Manuela, your federal tax return was accepted!
Leave them speechless
You can incorporate moments of delight without using a lot of words. Sometimes you don’t need words at all. The right visuals can convey a congrats message without actually saying congratulations: think delightful icons and motion, but go easy on the confetti. And don’t forget to include the celebratory vibe when making your visuals accessible with alt text.
Partner with your visual designer to choose colors, shapes, illustrations, and motion that enhance your celebration moments. When they’re thoughtfully orchestrated, each of these pieces creates a delightful experience celebrating our customers.