Raving Fan Value

One of the greatest management gurus of our time, Ken Blanchard wrote a book several years ago with Sheldon Bowles entitled, Raving Fans. It was along the same lines and style of many of Blanchard’s books over the years, almost painfully simple, but yet so applicable.

I had the opportunity to experience a Raving Fan situation this week and I want to pose the question to you as a leader of your business, “How do you create Raving Fans when it comes to your products, services, and overall delivery process?” We all hear the same things, provide good customer service, take good care of the customer, give them what they want, etc. These are all true and necessary, but how are you standing out in the sea of sameness?

The lovely Christy and I are in Denver for a few weeks and the Broadway show The Book of Mormon has made a limited date return to The Denver Performing Arts Center. Tickets sold out to ALL the shows in a matter of minutes. Therefore, coming by tickets now is not an easy proposition. I’ve tried ticket brokers, Craigslist, and such to no avail. Then we found out they have a lottery two hours before every show and draw names for the chance to buy a certain number of tickets they have set aside.

I’d like to see the show, so Tuesday night we went over to “the lottery”. I don’t even buy regular lottery tickets, but in an attempt to get tickets to this show I figured it was worth a shot. As people began gathering and lining up I couldn’t believe what was happening. Hundreds of people showed up for this lottery just for a chance to buy a ticket! Let that resonate for a moment. Nothing was free, there were no cash winnings in this lottery, it was simply a chance to spend money with this company!! Wow!

What if you could create so much value in your business that customers were willing to wait outside in cold weather just for a hope to do business with you? We all have customers that are willing to wait for our services or a certain technician, so let’s create more of those fans!

There are three simple but critical key points from Blanchard’s book that the creators of this show have mastered. They are actually the same guys that created South Park, and they know how to create fans. If we can master these simple steps, we’ll increase customer service, repeat business, and oh yes, profits.

#1 - Decide what you want.

This may sound simple, and it is, but it needs to be critically clear. I talk about this all the time. You need to know who you are as a business, what outcome you want to have, and what type of customers you want to attract and maintain.

#2 - Discover what the customer wants.

Many times we’re too scared to ask a customer what they want because they might tell us the truth. It’s important to ask customers about their service experience and be open to suggestions for improvement if we want to create raving fans.

#3 - Deliver the Vision plus one percent.

Once we know who we are as a company and what our customers see as a tipping point to the value scale, then we must deliver what we said we were going to do. That is enough to call it good customer service. That is probably enough to get a lot of repeat customers. However, if we can deliver one percent more than they ask for or expect, a raving fan is created.
Apply these three things to your own system and business becomes a lot more fun, customers have a better experience, you attract better team members, and you end up with more money in the bank.

Kenny

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