Creating Raving Fans Instead of Satisfied Customers

May 12, 2010

Do you have clients that come back time and time again to do business with you? While they are probably already big fans of yours, don't ever let the opportunity to make them a raving fan pass you by. Remember, legendary customer service is what creates raving fans. Sure, you're taking care of your customers now and they are happy, but is there more you could be doing? Have you become complacent in the knowledge that they are happy with your service and give you repeated business?

Sit down right now and make a list of your biggest "fans". Who are your best customers? Who can you count on? What work have you done for them lately? Then ask yourself, what have you done for them lately that would make them a raving fan of yours? If they are merely "satisfied" with your work, you need to take action now to make them raving fans.

What is a Raving Fan? As Ken Blanchard wrote in his book, Raving Fans, a raving fan is "a customer who is so devoted to your products and services that they wouldn't dream of taking their business elsewhere and will sing from the rooftops about just how good you are."

If you are in a position where you feel you may not deal with customers, think again! Every person in an organization deals with customers. A human resources manager may never speak to anyone outside the organization, and yet they have customers - can you guess who? If you said the personnel, you are very correct. You may not feel like you have impact, but you do. Look at the definition of a raving fan again, and imagine how that could affect the personnel. How would it enhance the organization to have a group of people devoted to its products and services, who wouldn't dream of leaving, and will tell everyone just how good you are?

Okay, so now we know everyone has to be working on raving fans, but how do you do it? The first step is actually one we have discussed here before - decide what your vision is. What's the organization's vision? What is your team or department vision? Does everyone involved live and breathe this vision? Is it part of them? If not, start there.

The next step is to ask the customers what they want. Sure, you may not want to hear all that they say, and perhaps you won't implement ALL of their suggestions, but giving them a voice and listening to what they say is of the essence. Schedule meetings with them, create an online survey, pick up the phone and give them a call, whatever it takes to connect with them and spend time listening to what they have to stay.

The final secret, according to Ken Blanchard, is to decide what you can do for the customers, and deliver it, plus 1%. Ask yourself what little extra you could do to give yourself the plus 1%. You don't need to be 50% better, just 1 little percent makes the difference between a satisfied customer, and a raving fan. Find where your 1% is hidden, and go out and deliver it. The raving fans you create will be singing your praises, and you will find word will spread like wildfire.

Give the customers what they are asking for, and then give them 1% more. What a simple formula! What are you waiting for?

For more information on leadership, please contact Gary Gzik at