By: Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles
Reviewed by: Ian Pratt
The book Raving Fans is, in my opinion, an essential read for anyone working in the field of customer service, however if you are, or aspire to be, a senior manager in a customer service environment then it is more than an essential read, it is also a book that you should refer to regularly.
In an easy to read fictional style, rich with real life examples, the authors have painted a picture that will engage your creative thought processes and shift your customer service paradigm; by the end you will believe customers can become raving fans of your business.
A traditional customer service paradigm
Customer service is about the moment of truth that point in time where your business is in direct contact with your customer, you can by reengineering or improving those moments of truth differentiate your business and achieve customer service excellence.
If you share this paradigm or have a different view this book, Raving Fans, is bound to shift your thinking beyond the traditional “moments of truth” thinking into a world of differentiation possibilities – providing you with a framework to redesign your customer service vision beyond anything you have currently considered possible.
We all know how important word of mouth marketing is, could you imagine providing a level of customer service, not to one or two customer but to all customers all the time, that is so unique that your customers become Raving Fans of your business, talking about their fantastic experience with your business at every opportunity.
In this book Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles describe three secrets that, if embraced, will allow the reader to create a truly unique customer service experience for their business, rather than being wrapped in theory the book, Raving Fans, illustrates its message with real life examples.
The Three Secrets of Raving Fans Customer Service
A brief summary of the three secrets
Step 1: Decide what you want
First you will need a detailed vision, creating a vision of your future customer service model centered on your customers will take time and effort but without it you will not be able to progress.
The examples in the book will assist you to think outside the square.
Step 2: Discover what the customer wants
Your customer service is part of your product and you should market test your product before any major launch, it therefore follows that you should market test your customer service vision with customers and be prepared to alter your vision in response to your customer’s feedback.
In this step you will also decide which customer needs you will service and which customer needs you will not service, you cannot be all things to all people.
Don’t forget to build a vision of the type of service you will provide to your internal customers as well as external customers.
Step 3: Deliver your vision plus one percent
To create a raving fan you need to exceed on delivery of your customer service promise each and every time the customer deals with you, the customer needs to believe that they can count on you again and again. Consistency creates credibility.
Start by making small changes to your current customer service model and gradually build on these changes, this way you will be able to achieve consistency of service.
To achieve this level of consistency you will need systems, training, alignment between your vision and pay/promotion, these systems are required to build your vision in to the sole of the company.
Customer expectations don’t remain static so be prepared to continually enhance your vision.
To build further on your customer service knowledge, (and once you have read Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard), it would be beneficial to read I was your customer.