Book Review: Raving Fans

Raving Fans

Retail.

It’s the worst.

It really is.

I’ve worked in retail for six years. And it’s not the mundane work, or the infrequent hours, or even the horrendous pay that makes retail the worst. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “This job wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the customers.”

Delivering customer service is difficult. And even though it might make your job more easy (and enjoyable), if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a job.

Creating great customer service is something that our company truly emphasizes. One of the reading materials that is given when you start working there is Raving Fans, written by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson.

The book follows a parable-style story, which follows a manager and his fairy godmother, Charlie. The manager just started a new job and he is worried about how to serve his customers. Charlie and the manager set off on an adventure to find what creates a raving fan, the ultimate in customer service.

Charlie takes the manager to his first stop, a department store called Varley’s. Leo, the manager at Varley’s, showed the manager and Charlie around the store to show them excellent customer service. While in Leo’s office, he presented the manager a shield with the first rule to creating a Raving Fan.

  • Decide what you want – Create a vision of perfection of what the customer wants.

Next stop on their adventure, Charlie takes the manager to Sally’s grocery store. Here, the manager sees a valet service, a personal shopper, and the freshest strawberries around. The manager was amazed to see Sally’s customers travel 40 miles out of town just to shop at her store. After seeing the great customer service she provided, he understood why. Sally then presented the manager with the second rule to creating a Raving Fan.

  • Discover what the customer wants – Understand your customers’ needs and aim to serve everyone.

The last stop, Charlie takes the manager to a manufacturing plant. Here, the manager was revealed the last rule to creating a Raving Fan.

  • Deliver plus one – Improve by one percent every day.

Any business no matter what industry you’re in has to have customers. Understanding what you want and what they want is important to understanding what you need to do to meet your client’s goals. And by improving everyday and not getting stuck in that rut, you can create a truly helpful and quality service that delivers Raving Fans.

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