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What Does Your Guest Need Next?

We’d all like to be super heroes – set apart with amazing abilities that can surprise and delight mere mortals.

What if I told you that you could develop a skill that might make you look as though you had a super power?


When you develop a practiced eye for anticipating Guest needs, it can look a little bit like magic.

Anticipating Guest needs is key to making their lives easier – and businesses who do that will find themselves with loyal Customers.

The good news about anticipating Guest needs is that is doesn’t have to be overly complex.  It is mostly about staying engaged and paying attention, and here are a few key moves to keep you dialed in to your Guest’s needs.

Keep an eye out for Guests who look lost

We’ve all been there.  You’re at the grocery store looking for organic peaches or the home improvement store for the right sized screw – and you just can’t find it.  That’s a frustrating place to be since every moment you look your frustration deepens, you begin to wonder who set up this store anyway, and where are the Associates who can help you.

That’s where an eyes wide open approach can save the day.  When your team members are moving through their daily tasks with one eye on the lookout for confused Customers, that is where you can find the most success.  These are important moments in the life of a brand.  Will you team members see Guests with that “lost look” and walk right by or will they stop and engage with them?  Will they know where to find items when asked? Will they walk them to the location or just grunt and point?

Think about what your Guests need at all turns

When you consider the flow of your business, chances are many Guests have the same pattern through your organization.  They may need napkins after you give them their food order or they may need to get that heavy item to their car after checking out.  When you take a moment and analyze that flow, you will begin to see the patterns that can make some magic.

If you let your Customer know where they can pull up to more easily load that monstrous television or that the cream and sugar for their coffee is right behind them, you’ll find that your Guests feel like you just read their mind.  They were worried about getting their purchase to the car or didn’t want to ask about where the condiments might be, and you just made their lives a little bit easier.

Deep down, many folks hate asking for help.  They feel like it makes them look silly or they would rather find it on their own.  However, once you loosen the ketchup bottle and ask them if they need a hand or offer what you think they need next, Guests will be happy that someone cared enough to look out for them.

Ask of all things “is this great for my Guests?”

We have all become very proud of doing more with less – its the unofficial American business mantra.

However, sometimes that comes at a cost.  Now, without savvy business sense you won’t have a business to serve your Customers, but everything can’t be a 100% business decision.

Remember to think about every decision you make through a couple of different lenses.  Certainly you have to consider the dollars and cents of it all, but along with that be sure you are looking at the impact on your team and your Customers – because they are one and the same.  When decisions you make negatively impact Guests directly, that can impact their loyalty.  You have to ask if the savings or increased revenue are worth it compared to the potential loss of Customer lifetime value.

In the same vein are changes that have impact on your team.  Remember that your teams are reflective in nature and how you treat them is ultimately how they will treat your Customers.  So if you don’t keep them in mind (and include them in the change process), you risk starting a chain reaction that leads to unhappy Guests.

It will truly take a team to bring this kind of anticipatory service to life.  It takes a culture that prioritizes people and empowers them to make decisions that are best for their Customers.

This also takes an engaged team that keeps their eyes and ears open for Guest hassles and inconveniences – and then takes quick action to minimize the impact on their experience.

But most of all, it takes an organization that treats their Guests like cherished friends.


Tony Johnson -Guest Experience Leader-

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