I read a great book this week that was recommended by my Mastermind friends called Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. It is a great quick read with a great story about having customers that will go out of their way to do business with great customer service companies and continue to refer them to all of their friends. It seems in a time when most companies have gotten away from good customer service, the great companies go the extra mile for their customers and build a word of mouth business we all wish to have. They spend their dollars on making Raving Fans out of their customers instead of marketing and advertising dollars hoping to find a customer. There are 3 secrets to having Raving Fans.
Secret #1—Decide What You Want–Have a clear vision of what you want your business to look like. Take the time to have such a clear vision of your business that you can walk through it in your mind as if it already exists. Build the kind of business you wish to spend your personal dollars at if you are the customer.
Secret #2—Discover What the Customer Wants—Now that you have a clear vision of what you want, you need to alter it to what your customer wants. You do this by asking the customer what they want and then listen, really listen. You must learn to listen to not only what your customer says but also, what they don’t say, is equally as important. Train your team members to do the same.
Secret #3—Deliver Plus One—Once you know what you want for your business and what your customer wants in your business, you must deliver every time. You must have your team on board to be as focused on delivering as you are. Most importantly, you must deliver plus one. This means always deliver the unexpected and always be evolving as your customer’s needs begin to change. Failure is not an option.
There are many great business models that take customers from the nationally known brands with this philosophy. We live in a time that bad customer service is almost expected from utilities, government agencies, internet/cable providers and even some retail and restaurants. We have lowered our expectations so low that finding a caring customer based business easily turns us into a Raving Fan.
If you are a business owner or have responsibility for a customer based business, then I recommend reading Raving Fans today. You won’t be disappointed.
“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better”—Ken Balnchard
Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 29 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.