Having merely satisfied customers is no longer good enough in today’s highly competitive business environment. If you really want to “own” a customer you have to go beyond satisfied customers and create Raving Fan Customers.
The Power Of Raving Fan Customers
Raving Fan Customers aren’t just satisfied — they’re “wowed” to the point that they feel compelled to rave about their experience with genuine enthusiasm and excitement to their neighbours, their family, their friends and anyone else they can find who are then primed to become your next customers. And because there are few marketing tools more powerful than sincere word-of-mouth recommendations, Raving Fan Customers are your most valuable asset.
Perhaps one of the best examples of a business that has successfully managed to create Raving Fan Customers is Apple. Apple’s cult-like advertising and clear customer segmentation has encouraged a legion of followers to identify with Apple products so much so that it gave popularity to the term “fanboy.” Almost every instance of the term “fanboy” today is connected with people who use Apple products.
“The difference is that raving fans, unlike satisfied customers, become part of your sales force. They tell friends, family and co-workers about your services and your products. And, of course, good things will happen!” — Mac Anderson
The Difference Between Satisfied Customers & Raving Fan Customers
- Feel satisfied about their experience.
- Tell no-one about their experience.
- Forget their experience with you.
Raving Fan Customers
- Feel euphoric about their experience.
- Tell everyone about their experience.
- Remember their experience with you forever.
How To Create Raving Fan Customers
The difference between satisfied customers and Raving Fan Customers isn’t just a difference in definitions, but it’s a difference in mindset and therefore strategy.
In their book Raving Fans!, Kevin Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles outline a three-step process for creating Raving Fan Customers: 1) Decide What You Want, 2) Discover What The Customer Wants and 3) Consistently Deliver The Vision. Below we’ll unpack each of the three steps in more detail.
1) Decide What You Want
The first step is to create a vision of perfection centred on the customer.
Failing businesses have no vision. Average businesses copy other business’ vision. Successful businesses that generate Raving Fan Customers create their own vision and then aggressively go after it.
Anything using the word “perfect” can seem intimidating. However, note that you don’t have to be perfect, but you have to see it — you have to visualise and have a crystal clear picture of what it looks like. Envision what the entire customer experience looks like from start to finish.
Your vision must be all-encompassing and actionable. In other words, it must be something that everyone in your organisation can get behind and work to make happen.
2) Discover What The Customer Wants
The second step is to discover your customer’s vision.
The best way to discover what your customers want is the easiest, most practical and most obvious way: to ask them. Once you have asked your customers what they want, listen to what they do say and what they don’t say. It is also crucial that you are aware of the changing wants, needs and expectations of your customers and that you adapt to those changes accordingly.
Gathering consistent feedback is a must in determining whether your vision is aligned with that of your customers. You can then use these insights to make smart and effective decisions in order to ensure your vision is consistently in-line with that of your customers.
Customers will often make requests that are outside of what you offer. Instead of turning them down, refer them to another business that can meet their needs. Not only will this simple step build trust, but it will also help you build a reputation as a business that always has a solution.
3) Consistently Deliver The Vision
The third step is to consistently make your vision a reality.
The key word here is consistently. Consistency and flexibility create credibility in the eyes of your customer. You must be innovative and creative in how you meet their wants, needs and expectations and you must continually seek out ways to enhance their experience. Going above and beyond will ensure long lasting business relationships.
How do you consistently deliver on your vision? One word: systems. Systems serve as guidelines for employees that define how to implement your vision and can be refined when necessary. Once your employees are familiar with your systems, they can personalize them in order to provide a unique experience for each customer.
With systems, the emphasis must be on achieving the desired end result ― Raving Fan Customers ― not on the system itself.
5 More Ways To Create Raving Fan Customers
Here are five additional strategies you can implement into your organisation in order to turn satisfied customers into Raving Fan Customers.
- Raving Fan Customer Culture ― Creating Ravin Fan Customers should be part of your company’s culture. Therefore, having a vision isn’t enough. Everyone within your organisation must believe in it and actively work together to pursue your vision and make it a reality.
- Know Your Ideal Customer ― You must know your customers better than everyone else. Uncover who they are, define their demographics, identify their habits, their wants and needs and then find ways for your products or services to meet their wants and needs.
- Be Authentic ― The way to be authentic is not to copy someone else’s business model. The temptation to be like one of your competitors leads to your business having no identity of its own. Instead, create one that works for you and own it.
- Be Transparent ― Running your business in an open, transparent way is a matter of basic, bottom-line business ethics. Incorporate transparency into every business decision and operation and make it clear to your customers that ethics are at the centre of your business model.
- Underpromise & Overdeliver ― Underpromising allows you to manage the customer’s expectations while overdelivering means exceeding their expectations which strengthens your brand, creates Raving Fan Customers and ultimately puts you on the path to greatness.
Creating satisfied customers is one way to run a business and it’s a fast track to failure. Creating Raving Fan Customers is another way and it’s a fast track to success.
In order to create Raving Fan Customers you must firstly decide what you want in terms of your vision for the customer, then you must discover what the customer wants and then you must consistently deliver the vision.
Raving Fan Customers are the key to building and maintaining a successful business.