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Anticipation as a Market Advantage

apple logoSo much has been written about Apple's rapid ascent than any of us could read in a lifetime. For example, more iPhones are sold everyday than babies are born. In the spirit of an over saturated topic, I'd like to add my own tale to the mix. I'd also like to hear what you can apply to your own business from the lesson. Here's my story:

Over the weekend, my MacBook suddenly stopped working. I went to the Apple website (on an iPhone) and scheduled an appointment at the local Genius Bar. I arrived and clambered through the crowds (eagerly spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in a "down" economy). I was quickly helped. The Genius -- there's a job title for you -- broke the bad news to me: My computer was dead and they'd have to order some parts. He told me it might be a week. Fast forward two days to Monday...here's where the magic happened. I received a call from Lisa at the Apple Store with an update. Nothing had changed. Lisa just wanted me to know that they expected the parts anytime and would keep me posted on their progress. She promised, no matter what, that I would get a call on (or before) Thursday with another update.

Why is that so great? Because Apple anticipated my expectation. By anticipating the question, "What's happening with my computer?" They avoided an angry call and an upset customer. They reduced my frustration with one, simple, 90-second phone call. That's a true marketplace advantage. If you find yourself anticipating your customers', prospects', or boss's expectations and are able to deliver on them before you're asked, you have an advantage.

  • How can you anticipate your prospects' expectations?
  • What common frustrations do your customers express that you could somehow help them avoid?

Let me know. -@JebBrooks