I was 14 years old when I started my first waitress job at a local cafe. I was excited until the Sunday morning church rush started. The door began to open, and people kept piling in. I had no idea where to start or what would happen.
I made it through that first Sunday morning with many mistakes and plenty of red-cheek moments. But what I learned in that 4 hours of chaos would end up serving (no pun intended) me more than I could ever have imagined.
Building on what you already know
As the years passed, and the places I served at were of fancier fare, I became better and better at something I had not previously considered a valuable component as a server…anticipation.
Anticipation allowed my instinct to kick-in, a guide if you will- to know what I needed to consider with each order. If they ordered a burger, I knew to bring the ketchup and mustard. If they ordered a steak, I was sure to bring the steak knife and steak sauce (just in case they were to ask). The ‘anticipation’ of their needs was the essence of becoming a great server.
I tested my theory one night at an Irish Pub I was serving at. Surprisingly, the guests I was serving was none other than the head coach for the Minnesota Twins- Tom Kelly and his friend.
He and his friend ordered burgers, fries, onion rings, and our .23 cent cup of bean soup. When I brought their items to the table they began to ask for several different condiments. At each request I would pull the bottle from my apron pockets…this went on for five requests. Each time I never had to leave the table which really impressed Mr. Kelly. In fact he left me one of the best tips of my serving career because of it and requested me every time they came in after that.
Anticipate others’ Anticipation
I can tell by the look on the faces of my customer’s that they were impressed and rather dumbfounded that I put that level of thought into serving them. But the thing is- that is my job as a server. And unfortunately not many servers use this one simple but effective tool. So, imagine for a moment what would happen if this tool is used in your content marketing. Think of the thoughts and emotions your current and prospective audience would have realizing you have put their needs and wants at the forefront of your messages. You can bet that they will feel their satisfaction and value matter. And you can Anticipate great responses!