I am working as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Episode 1 and as part of my research into new market opportunities I have been reading A LOT. So, we have heard a huge amount about the Mom Test and the Lean Start-Up (reviews which I thoroughly support) but what about when the business is up and running and you know that you’re onto a good thing – how do you establish your business as preferable to the competition?
I have the solution. You want what Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles call Raving Fans. Raving Fans are loyal. Raving Fans tell everyone and anyone about how great your company is. Raving Fans will make your company the best of the best.
The book was first published in 1998 with an updated edition in 2011 so it has been around a while but has not been utilised enough and, EVERYONE needs it. It holds the key to excellent customer service – to delighting customers – and it will make you think about your customers in an entirely new way.
Holding on to customers can be the hardest part of business development. You may have your marketing down, you may have your sales proposition and financial plan sorted, you may be the cleverest CEO in a particular field but if you cannot maintain your client base it doesn’t matter how good you are at the rest.
Why I am a Raving Fan about the Raving Fan book:
- Short and easy read – ideal. It’ll take up all of 60 minutes of your time.
- The main premise of the book is that no one wants satisfied customers – everyone should be seeking Raving Fans who will be devoted to the company and spread the word to everyone. Too often I see companies only doing the bare minimum. Not directly pissing customers off but not doing anywhere near enough to entice them to be overly impressed.
- Ken lays out three very easy steps to gain Raving Fans and gives examples about how you can accomplish the steps. It is so easy – everyone can do it.
- It reminds us that the customer is the most important part of your business.
- Finally, we are told that customers want this. Customers are craving a company to rave about. The public want to find a company that they can rely on, stay with and who will complete the service perfectly. Essentially, you’re saving them time.
To conclude; everyone needs the Raving Fan revolution in their business. If you can nail this then your company is going to become sought after. These fans will be your very own marketing network, your salary and all your colleague’s salaries and they will further your business for you.
The only downside: you will start hating the companies that you deal with as a customer. Since reading this book I have changed most of my providers because now I am intolerant to any company who doesn’t make me want to Rave about them!
So, go forth and make sure you’re Raved about before your competitors are!!