Raving Fans (Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon M. Bowles)

Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

 Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service

  1. Successful organizations have one common central focus: customers
    1. Goods are not sold by companies
    2. Products are bought by customers
    3. As IBM used to advise its salespeople, “stop selling what you have and start selling what the customer wants.”
  2. Customers are often only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing any better. Perhaps, the customer service slogan should be:
    1. “No Worse than the Competition”
  3. First, decide what you want
    1. Create a vision of perfection centered on the customer
    2. Focus on when the customer is using your product
  4. Second, discover what the customer wants
    1. Discover the customer’s vision of what they really want and then alter your vision if need be
    2. However, your vision is the starting point
      1. Unless you have your own vision, how can you understand the customer’s vision?
      2. When you find out what the customer really wants, it will likely focus on just one or two things. Your own vision has to fill in the gaps
      3. You have to know when to ignore what the customer wants, and, if necessary, tell the customer to take his vision elsewhere to be fulfilled
      4. “Customers may pay our bills. But, they will never pick our people or set our vision and strategies.” Jeff Immelt (GE)
    3. Good customer service is looking after the whim of the customer, but only those whims that are defined in your particular customer service product
    4. Listen to customers
      1. Especially when they say one thing, but mean another
      2. Some complainers should be told that what they want is not part of the company’s customer service package
      3. Don’t forget internal customers; the next person in the chain to get their work
  5. Third, Deliver Plus One
    1. Deliver the vision plus one percent
    2. Consistency is critical as it creates credibility and shows integrity
      1. Creating a customer relationship is fragile
        1. Customers have been burned before and don’t trust easily
        2. They are watching to see you slip up
      2. Consistency will overcome their resistance
    3. To start, don’t offer too much service
      1. Limit the number of areas where you can make a difference
        1. It allows you to be consistent
      2. You will be further ahead doing very well on one thing rather than introducing a whole string of customer service goals all at once that cannot be executed upon
      3. In short, do not put the hurdle too high to start with and don’t raise the hurdle until you can consistently deliver on what you have already done
      4. The end goal is to promise more and deliver more; just don’t promise too much at once
    4. To help deliver, create systems
      1. Systems give you a floor, not a ceiling
      2. Systems create a minimum standard of performance consistently. If you fall short, you have cheated the customer
    5. The rule of One Percent
      1. Improve one percent each week; by year end you are ahead by 50%
      2. Continuous improvement
      3. Also, a continuous one percent improvement gives you flexibility to change gears, alter your course, and re-adjust if needed on what is delivered. But, it all must be delivered consistently
  6. In the end, good customer service is about giving the customer a symbolic hug

About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Growth and Strategy, Sales and Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.

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