Anticipating Your Customer’s Needs Creates Delight

nameHere’s my typical routine for my morning commute.  As I approach the freeway, I survey the scene to see how long the line is to get on the freeway.  If it’s backed up, I take the escape route which just happens to have a Starbucks where I can work and wait for the traffic to die down.

Today was one of those days where I got to “escape.”  As I walked in the store, I could see my favorite barista, Lupé was behind the counter.  In his hand he had two tall cups stacked together just waiting to see what kind of tea I was going to order today.  I’ve been loving the new Teavana selection they’ve been offering and opted for the Emporers Clouds and Mist Green Tea.

Any choice is the right choice when Lupé is your barista.  After a friendly conversation about the weather, I was on my way and fast.  Thanks to Lupé I have the perfect thing to write about too.

Raise your hand if you have a favorite barista at your coffee shop of choice?  The great ones learn your name, know a little bit about your life, and have a good understanding of your preferences.  Here are just a couple benefits to this practice in customer service:

1. Caring for and knowing your customers builds a connection to your company.  I keep coming back to this quote from Dale Carnegie because it rings so true for me:

“Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

2. Anticipation of a customer’s needs leads to a frictionless customer experience.  Removing the friction in the customer experience makes it easier and more efficient for a customer to do business with you.  In fact, Shep Hyken said it really well in a recent video.

What are you doing to get to know your customers?  Take a moment to learn and remember their name, preferences and maybe even one other factoid about their life that you can come back to.  In a call center environment such as mine, this makes taking good notes about customers all the more important.  Teams can work together to get to know the “regulars” and help them feel like regulars.

Studies have shown that customers who like to do business with you will continue to do business with you.  Actually, I just made that up–but it’s true.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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