Anticipate your customer's needs

In the Investor in Customers (IIC) customer experience assessments, one of the key themes is anticipating your customer's' needs. That is, assisting them or suggesting a relevant service before they even ask; pre-empting their future requirements.

Through my own personal experience, it's easy to see that it's something HSBC excel at.

I'm off on my annual leave in the next couple of weeks, so I popped into my local branch to let them know I'd be using my card abroad. So far, all as expected; the teller duly popped a note in my file.

Just two weeks later I received an email from HSBC, wishing me a happy holiday and offering currency and advice on using my card overseas.

It's not something all banks do - I have an account with a different bank, and again notified them I would be away, but heard nothing from them at all. And it's not something all consumer-facing businesses offer either; anticipating needs has consistently been the lowest scoring customer theme in our surveys for the past 10 years.

Realistically, though, it's probably one of the quickest fixes. So if you're overhauling your customer experience in the latter half of 2017, it's a good place to start.