Service is Free

by Kimberly Taylor

Times are tough, the economy is frail and credit is tight. How do you keep the focus on your customers when resources to do so are shrinking? Create Raving Fans.

A week ago, I attended an industry workshop where one of the keynotes mentioned Ken Blanchard’s 15-year-old book, Raving Fans. The speaker’s topic wasn’t customer service, but he’d read the book years ago and obviously Blanchard created a raving fan in him.

It’s a quick read at 130 pages, but here’s an even quicker summation.

Raving Fans

No matter your service, product or industry, here’s how Blanchard creates raving fans:

1. Decide what you want.
Create a vision of perfection centered on the customer.
This is easy; just visualize what would make your company ‘ideal’ for the end-user of your service/product.

2. Discover what the Customer wants. Read between the lines.
What people want and say aren’t always the same.
Sometimes silence is more important than screaming. Most customers have a focus.
Find it and mine it for info.

3. Deliver Plus One. Deliver the vision you’ve created, plus one percent. Consistency is critical. Consistency creates credibility.
Think about it, when was the last time you went to the same restaurant twice, each time receiving different service? Did you go back a third time?

Other Blanchard nuggets:

  • Creating a raving fan is a fragile process.  They’ve been burned before and expect you to fail.
  • Offering more than you can handle sets you up for failure.  Don’t drive promises down, drive delivery up.  Meet first, exceed second.
  • Create systems, not rules.  Rules create robots.  Systems are predetermined ways to achieve a result.  Systems give you a floor, not a ceiling.
  • Having an up-to-the-minute vision creates Raving Fans. 
  • Customers’ needs and wants change all the time, be flexible!

There are few functions in business that create such lasting results. 

Are your customers Raving Fans?

One Response to Service is Free

  1. […] Service is Free – October 30, 2008 […]

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