Book Review : Raving FANS

Title: Raving fans! A revolutionary approach to customer service
Authors: Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles

Summary:

How many times have you been to a restaurant and got mediocre / poor service and a sub standard meal, but when the server asks you how everything is, you say fine!

Fine is the code word that says, not great, I won’t be back and I’ll probably leave you a negative review on trip advisor / trusted reviews / google, but I frankly don’t want to offend you or have a discussion about it. Fine is not a Raving FAN!

What any business wants is to serve people so

well that the customers can’t help but “Rave” about the product or service. We love to do it, it makes us feel special and part of the club, we just don’t experience enough epic service. If you struggle with repeat business, or your in the service industry, just read it.

I was introduced to this book at university where I spent evenings and weekends working at TGI Fridays (There was a time when the company provided some of the best service in the country). This book helped me pay my way through uni and forged my understanding of the benefits of providing winning service. I’m certain that by following the simple lessons in these pages, you can transform the way you serve your customers forever.

Raving fans! explores why satisfied customers just aren’t good enough anymore. To really succeed in businesses, we must focus on 3 things, Decide what you want, Discover what the customer wants and Deliver plus one. The book centres around an Area Manager, of a struggling factory who meets his meets his Fairy Godmother, Charlie, who shows him the three magic secrets of creating Raving fans!

The secrets are:.

1/ Decide what you want. Start by creating “a vision of perfection centered on the customer”, particularly on the moment the customer uses the product. Close your eyes and imagine how your perfect product would be, in full detail… Every detail should be clear. “in my mind that I felt as if I could reach out and touch it. It was what I wanted. I was the source.” (…) “I know exactly what perfection looks like so I know what my goal is.”

Therefore first you need a vision of perfection, and then bring that vision down to the level of what is actually happening in your company. What does perfect service look like to you?

2/ Discover what the customer wants. “You need to discover the customer’s vision of what they really want, and then alter your vision if needs be”. “Your own vision has to fill in the gaps.” but beware, aiming to be everything to everybody doesn’t work. There will be times when there’s too much of a gap, and it might mean telling the customers that you aren’t the best place to serve them. Be ok with that.

Discovering what the customer wants, is simple. First need to be clear on who your ideal customer is, then you just need to ASK.

“you have to listen to the music as well as the lyrics. Often what people really want doesn’t show up directly in what they say. They may even say one thing and mean quite another.” If the message from the customer is silence or when they smile and say ‘fine’, they are the ones that you really need to interrogate, you need to do something special for them.

3/ Deliver what the customer wants plus one percent. To start with, limit the number of areas where you want to make a difference – this allows you to deliver consistently and concentrate on one customer service goal at a time. In terms of expectations, this reasoning can be summed up as “Meet first. Exceed second.”(…) “The worst thing you can do is meet expectations one time, fall short another, and exceed every now and then.”

Systems are what allows you to guarantee consistent delivery. Systems are not rules that aim to train your employees as robots, they provide guidance on predetermined ways to achieve a result.

Finally, the vision should evolve, as it is not a frozen picture of the future. “The biggest problem I have in delivering my vision is knowing what to do next. Either I try to do too much at once and get frustrated or I sit immobilized because of the size of the job ahead. The rule of one percent reminds me that all I have to do is to improve by one percent. That I can do. If I improve one percent next week and again the week after that, by the end of the year I’m ahead by more than fifty percent.” The rule of one percent allows you to be flexible and develop your vision over time, meeting customers’ needs.

Review:

Easy to read in a few hours. The storytelling style makes it fun and helps to illustrate the different lessons with useful examples.

See on Amazon.

About the author

My clients build brilliant businesses and spend more time with their families.

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