Why a little paying attention can lead to major delight

How well do you pay attention?

Over the weekend I had breakfast with some friends.  As I was perusing the menu, I heard two of my friends talking in the background about the water the waiter had brought for the table.  And then I heard one tell the other that I could have his water because he wasn’t going to drink it, and I go through a lot of water while I’m eating.

This made me smile.  My friend paid attention enough to my habits over the meals we’ve had over time to know that I’m going to go through my glass of water rather quickly.   And although I know I drink a lot of water, it wasn’t until I heard him say it that I realized that I almost always ask for more water during the course of a meal.  

This meal was no different.  I went through my water and my friend’s glass rather easily.  

Sometimes the things that seem so small and insignificant, are actually the things that make the biggest impact on others.  For me, it was a simple act of giving me water that he wasn’t going to drink, because he knew that I would need it.  And it was in doing it without me having to ask. 

Paying attention = good

OK, I know what you’re thinking.  It’s a glass of water.  Big deal.  Yes, I know I’m easy to please, but this is about so much more than a glass of water.  

It’s a very clear example about paying attention, anticipating a need, and then acting to satisfy that need even before the customer ever realizes there is an issue. 

These are the actions of entrepreneurs who are in tune to their customers.  And when you are so tuned in that you are able to solve a problem customers didn’t even know they were going to have, you become super valuable and poised to be in a position to delight them over time.  

As a result, you’ll most likely be rewarded with your customers’ loyalty.  You’ll be the one the customers will seek out the next time they have an issue.  And you’ll be the one the customers flock to because they’ll want to be your customer.  And all that would be pretty awesome.

And it will all be because you paid attention first.

How does this apply to your business?

Your business exists to serve your customers.  And as you work to build a strategy that puts you in the best position to meet and exceed their needs, a key component of that will be in getting to know your customers.  

That means paying enough attention to them to get to know their habits, likes, dislikes, preferences, and needs well enough to be able to deliver solutions that are valuable to them.  Often customers don’t even know what it is that they need, so it can be difficult for them to even tell you what you can do for them.  As such, the more you pay attention, the better you’ll know your customers, and the easier it will be to anticipate and deliver what they need most in a way that delights. 

Check out chapter two of Delight Inside for more information on getting to know your customers.  Included in the chapter you’ll find details on:

  • The importance of creating loyal customers
  • Consumer Behavior:  The way customers work
  • Market Research:  Getting the necessary customer insights

About the Author

Sonia Thompson is the founder and Chief Change Agent at TRY Business. Stay in touch with Sonia on Twitter and Google+.
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