A friend of mine has been in the market for a new house. With the seller’s market in full swing, he sold his house faster than he thought and was forced to put his stuff in storage and move into temporary quarters. This week, he raved about a house he saw that practiced clairvoyance!

When he walked into the home, the music he liked was playing in the background. He faintly recalled the realtor asking that question when he was arranging to see the house. It was winter. The window looking over the backyard was filled with photos of what the backyard looked like in the Spring. He would have never guessed there were so many flowers. One photo had a large swimming pool marked “future plans!” On the bar in the kitchen was a clipboard, paper, and yardstick for his use, along with a plate of cookies.  Each room had a sheet with a list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) lying on a flat surface for easy access. 

Clairvoyance is all about anticipating customer needs and creating an experience that causes customers to notice the special superpower. My favorite is the Hampton coffee cups in guest rooms. If you travel with a partner or colleague and you happen to enjoy your coffee fixed the same way, you likely will end up with the “Is this your cup or mine?” dilemma. But Hampton has identified that quagmire and whimsically provided paper coffee cups that look different—one with a pencil thin mustache and bow tie, the other with lips as if the cup had been kissed. 

Clairvoyance means you know your customers well. It also means that you understand the customer’s experience journey so well you can spot the breakpoints where customers are likely to end up disappointed. Smart organizations find fun and inventive way to make turn a would-be hiccup into a smile, leaving your customer with the feeling they have been served by a magician.