Book Review: Raving Fans

I live in a community where Chick-Fil-A and Publix set the standard for excellent customer service.  I would go so far as you to say that CFA has actually created a huge community of Raving Fans.  Just last week, I was in Italy on a trip for school and my students were looking all over for a CFA (that doesn’t exist yet in Italy).  The team that I serve with at North Cobb Christian School desires to serve others in a way that creates Raving Fans…not for us, but for the gospel.  We wave the banner of Christian education and there is a lot more at stake than an outstanding lunch experience.

Our school has made some major progress in this area in the past few years, but our desire is to grow everyday in the area of serving others.  I was reading a Ken Blanchard book the other day that referenced another of his books, Raving FansRaving Fans is a fable about a new Area Manager and his new Fairy Godmother Charlie.  As Charlie introduces the Area Manager to a variety of leaders, the Area Manager is able to learn the three principles of creating Raving Fans.  This was a really short read and Blanchard’s writing style keeps the reader engaged.

I highlighted several things while reading…

  • A satisfied customer doesn’t count these days.  Now, back when I was starting out in the service department a satisfied customer meant something.  Not today.  Today you need Raving Fans.  You have to create Raving Fans to be successful.
  • Decide what you want.
  • When you decide what you want you must–create a vision of perfection centered on the customer.
  • Discover what the customer wants.
  • No one would dream of trying to design and market a sports car that was also a great off-road vehicle and at the same time served as a commercial delivery van.  Yet when it comes to customer service, those who decide to really try to give good service often aim to be everything to everybody.  That doesn’t work.
  • I’ve got to listen hardest when the customer isn’t talking.
  • People who create Raving Fans as customers have minds of their own.  No one can accuse them of being timid followers.
  • Deliver Plus One.
  • To create Raving Fans, don’t drive promises down.  Drive delivery up.
  • The purpose of systems is to ensure consistency, not create robots.  Rules do that.  Our team members have to create the Raving Fan experience for our customers every time.  Systems give you a floor, not a ceiling.
  • More customer service hopes have been wrecked on the rigid shores of immobile bureaucratic minds that anywhere else.
  • The Rule of One Percent tells you how to move ahead and then go beyond the vision.
  • Consistency alongside ongoing improvement plus the ability to alter course quickly were keys to creating Raving Fans.  Promise more only up to the point you can deliver consistently and then deliver more using The Rule of One Percent.

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