Raving Fans

- A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

Raving FansReview by Paul Aas, Loyalty Group

Author: Ken Blanchard and Sheldon
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Release: 2011
Pages: 127
Language: Engelsk

Available from Amazon.com

Why you should read this book

This book's purpose is to highlight the positive effects of good customer service within any types of businesses. The book is written as a fictional story, using a 'fairytale' format to communicate a very realistic problem which many businesses face; how to deliver good customer service.

The story opens with the introduction of the main character, the Area Manager as he begins his new job and is aware that the previous area managers no longer work there due to their lack of customer service. This makes the Area Manager think about what he can do to be more successful when it comes to customer service, luckily for him at that moment his 'Fairy Godmother' arrives to help.

The rest of the book takes the Area Manager (and the reader) on a journey to various businesses which have already been helped by the 'Fairy Godmother' to achieve successful results through the great customer service they deliver.  You learn to know a supermarket, a garage, a taxi company, a department store and a production plant and the main point for all is that although it is good to have regular and loyal customers, it is even better to have 'Raving Fans' ("Ambassadors" as others would call them) who will recommend your business to anyone they see because they were so impressed.

The book give those who normally don't read any business literature an informal introduction to what excellent customer service can do for most businesses. You follow the Area Manager on his educational trip and get numerous hints and ideas about how to impress customers. These are all useful for him and for all readers, and will probably be an eye-opener for many.

Main conclusions from the book

There are three secrets to creating "Raving Fans";

  • Decide what you want: Create a vision of perfection around the customer. You have to decide what you want to be and to offer, and who to serve.
  • Discover what the customer wants: Ask, - and listen to what customers say and don't say.  If there is any gap between your vision and the customers vision; make corrections or if the gap is too wide, you may have to stop servicing that customer. You cannot be everything to everybody.
  • Deliver plus one: Be consistent; - consistently meet expectations. Once you are able to deliver consistent service, ongoing improvement is a must. The "plus one" refers to 1% improvement at a time; it is to keep you moving ahead and focused beyond your vision. And remember that one step at a time (1%) can take you a long way.

The "one percent"  makes sure that you don't bite more than you can chew, but anyhow provide an increased experience for your customers.
Flexibility is a keyword used by the "Fairy Godmother" to explain one of the best ways to achieve "Raving Fans": - "More customer service hopes have been wrecked on the rigid shores of immobile bureaucratic minds than anywhere else"

Another interesting thesis the "Fairy Godmother" presents, concludes the book:
"Visions do only two things; - they grow or they die! And when visions die, it's customer service that gets buried"

The book rating

"Raving Fans" is a fascinating introduction to customer service for someone unknown with the challenges a company faces in active customer relationship building.  It's short, to the point, in an easy language with several interesting and entertaining examples that can be copied to all kind of businesses.

Rating: 5 stars out of 7.



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