Last week i was one of the millions of victims of the dreaded New Delhi fog. When my early morning flight to Jabalpur got cancelled (not surprised), i hurriedly booked myself on the afternoon train. As luck would have it, the train too got cancelled (surprised and shocked!). Refusing to get cowed down by Mother Nature, i decided to make the 900+ kilometer journey in a cab (everybody except me was surprised and shocked!!!).
Considering the fact that i had to be on the road for 15-18 hours, the first thing i asked the cabbie was if he had a mobile charger in his car. As expected, he didn't. Actually, i've asked this question to dozens of cabbies in India and am yet to get an answer in the affirmative from any of them. Fortunately, i was carrying my mobile charger via USB port so i could plug it to my laptop and charge my phone along the journey, which by the way, took 29 hours!!!
As a customer, i believe that a mobile charger in a cab would add tremendous value to me irrespective of the fact whether i travel in it for 29 minutes or 29 hours. Moreover, the investment the cabbie would have to make in a universal charger would be quite insignificant in comparison to the satisfaction it would offer me, the customer. So how is it that the cabbie is missing out on such an obvious opportunity of delighting a customer?
Well, let me assure you, the cabbie is not alone in this situation. Most of us are sailing in the same boat (or should i say, driving in the same car). Recognising what our customers want NOW is important, but anticipating what they will need NEXT and offering that to them in advance is what will ultimately keep us ahead of the pack!