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The best customer service is given freely by people who care enough to anticipate on behalf of their customers
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I wanted to write about anticipating customer needs. That’s a pretty simple topic at least on the surface. But as I thought about it I came to realize that anticipation is not such a simple matter. We anticipate customer needs. But at the same time the customer or patient or family member is anticipating how things are going to turn out for them.
Then there’s the anticipation of your first kiss. Definitely a good kind of anticipation. Two old Folks who have been friends and lovers for 50 years of marriage must feel a different kind of anticipation thinking about that sad moment when they will share their last kiss and say good-by. For me Christmas was the sweetest anticipation: weeks of my gran giving hints…yes, it’s made mostly of metal yes you can use it outdoors I swear I could hear reindeer on the rooftop as I lay their wide awake in anticipation of our tree loaded with goodies.
Sometimes anticipation can get in the way. The philosopher Ram Das cautions us to be here now. He’s telling us to anticipate nothing and just be in the moment. That kind of advice doesn’t always come from bearded philosophers. Jay leno advised his guests to “Just be glad you are here.” Cool!
There are all kinds of anticipation they are all about something that is going to happen or least might happen. The best customer service is given freely by people who care enough to anticipate on behalf of their customers. Last night I brought my wife her robe because I thought she might be chilly. At lunch our favorite waitress Maria brought my mom a to-go cup for her iced tea. Got any idea why Maria is our favorite waitress?
A few years ago I had the misfortune to be a guest in the intensive care unit. Just about the time I felt I couldn’t live another minute laying on my left side an angel would appear and help me move to a new, less uncomfortable position on my right.
If you are waiting for an industrial strength definition of anticipation, it is the art of recognizing customer needs and meeting them without being asked. That was it. Hope you didn’t miss it.
Now just for fun another definition of anticipation. Anticipation is wanting to be hopeful about the future. Anticipating is how we love someone, even perfect strangers by letting them know through our actions that we are here for them and that everything is going to be all right.
Anticipate your customers’ needs and deliver them Positively Outrageous Service!
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