Merely providing service is no longer sufficient. In today’s competitive environment, retaining clients require client leaders to start providing anticipatory services and showing they take a vested interest in their clients’ success.
Being proactive raises the perceived value of what you offer. Your clients feel you pay attention and focus on them and their needs. I once had a client tell me “If a client has to ask us for something – we have failed.”
There is a slight difference between being proactive and anticipatory. While there is a gray area between the two, anticipatory service is a step above proactive service. Being proactive is noticing something and responding to it-like refilling a glass of water that’s half full in a restaurant. Anticipatory service is about being one step ahead – the waiter notices you are drinking your water quickly and brings a pitcher to your table. It is intuitive. It is not just noticing something. It is anticipating something. For example, you call a client, and he responds by saying, “I was just getting ready to call you.” In other words, you were one step ahead.
Anticipating your client’s needs is like a game of chess. The best chess players don’t just think of the very next move they have to make. They visualize what the next four or five moves are going to be and anticipate how their opponent will react to each move. Similarly, you should always try to be at least one or two moves ahead of your clients, anticipating what they might want or need.
The cost of keeping your clients is significantly less than acquiring new accounts. Providing anticipatory service is a very effective and inexpensive way showing you are client-focused and strive to deliver an incredible client experience.
Great creative execution helps win the business. Exceptional Client Leadership keeps it.
What are ways that you have or could provide your clients with anticipatory services?