Book Review: “Raving Fans” Inspires!
In A Nutshell…
“Raving Fans” is written by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, whose books have sold more than 12 million copies in twenty-five languages. “Raving Fans” is a parable-style story that teaches how to define a vision, learn what the customer really wants, and deliver effective systems that turn customers into raving (and spending) fans. The book is 137 pages long, has no chapters, but does have a captivating story. It was originally published in 1993 and sells for around $10-15.
Is This Book For You?
This book is written for every kind of business or organization, with the ultimate goal to deliver incredible customer service and achieve outstanding bottom-line results. While the book delivers great value to businesses of any size, there are real world applications of the “raving fan” model to all areas of life. I believe this book could easily be applied to churches, marriages, and even friendships with equal success. It really is one of those rare books that EVERYONE should take the time to read.
A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service
As the book states, “your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing it better.” The idea is that just having satisfied customers is no longer enough. If a business truly wants to achieve outstanding success you have to create raving fans, at least that’s the message Blanchard and Bowles want to stamp across our foreheads.
Decide, Discover, and Deliver…
The book weaves tips, techniques and strategies for turning customers into raving fans into a parable of a new manager on his first day. The main focus of the book is on three essential areas, “decide, discover, and deliver”. The first point of the book is “DECIDE What You Want” which the books states is to “create a vision of perfection centered on the customer”. The second point is “DISCOVER What The Customer Wants” or to discover what the customer wants in relation and with harmony to your vision. The third point is to “DELIVER The Vision Plus One Percent” which states you MUST deliver on your vision, and then you need to go just a little further.
A Modern Parable of Customer Service Success
In addition to the above strategies, there are a few other very helpful ideas like consistency in service, understanding your true customers, and basic ideas on how to implement raving fan customer service into your business. In my opinion, the simplicity of the message is the most compelling aspect of the book. Create a vision, verify it’s got “legs” in the marketplace, and implement with charisma, then rinse and repeat. It’s the simple but effective advice, but I believe it could radically change any businesses chances for long-term success.
Raving Fans Reaches For The Stars
Overall, while this book will forever set the standard for which I judge both mine and others customer service, I often wonder if I’ve EVER received customer service like this in real life. Some of the examples used are so “perfect world” in their scenarios I tend to think that they may not have a real life example to back them up. While I naively choose to believe it’s possible to deliver the kind of raving fan service customers desire it also seems like a recipe for disaster if you take it too far. For example, you easily lower your prices, increase your features, and give away free ancillary services to increase customer satisfaction, but at the obvious detriment of long-term financial sustainability. As with all paradigm-busting books, “Raving Fans” shoots for the stars and hits a bulls eye. It’s our job to grab this concept out of the sky and figure out a real world way to achieve results. While simple in thought, it proves to be much more complex in the day to day.
About the Authors (Ken Blanchart & Sheldon Bowles)
Ken Blanchard is the co-author of “The One Minute Manage” and twent-three other books. Not only have his books sold more than 12 million copies but he also runs a management training company that consults some of the top corporations in America. Sheldon Bowles is a customer service legend who has founded and managed a few large and successful companies (vague I know). They both seem to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk and they have my attention.
“Raving Fans” Inspires!
To sum it up. If you have a job, you need to read this book. But I won’t stop there. If you are a volunteer, minister, a husband/wife, friend you should probably take these same principles and apply to your life accordingly. Do yourself a favor and make a note to read this book in the next 30 days. Then, start with a vision, reconcile with what others potentially need/want from you, and faithfully deliver 100%. Also, if you buy the book don’t forget to drop a comment my way. I’d like to get your feedback!