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BOOK REVIEW December 5, 2006

Book Facts Title: Author: u!lisher: Copyright: *o& o+ ages: Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles "illiam #orrow and Company$ %nc& '(() '),

*o& o+ Chapters: *ot separated into chapters Rating (5 Rising S ns is a m st rea! " # Rising S n is $o% interest in rea!ing& Rea!abi$it'(

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Re-ie% Although this !oo- was pu!lished ') years ago$ the concepts that Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles communicate are timeless customer service +undamentals& This !oo- is a terri+ic resource +or those who want to improve the customer service in their organi.ations& Told as one continuous story line$ Raving Fans is a /uic- read$ as are all o+ Ken Blanchard0s !oo-s& The only draw!ac- to the style o+ this !oo- 1lac- o+ chapters2 is that when you want to loo- up the three di++erent secrets to developing Raving Fans$ you have to +lip through the !oo- to +ind the pictures that represent the -eys&

S mmar' o, )ain .oints The story is told +rom the perspective o+ a newly hired Area #anager who is never given a name& 3nder pressure to improve the customer service in his company or lose his 4o!$ he is at a loss as to how to !egin& This is when we +irst meet Charlie$ the Area #anager0s Fairy 5odmother$ who is actually a man who got to !e a Fairy 5odmother under a newly implemented /uota system& Charlie0s 4o! is to help the Area #anager understand Raving Fans customer service& 1As a reader$ it may ta-e a while to warm up to the idea o+ a Fairy 5odmother coming down to help in !usiness matters$ so !e patient 6 he grows on you&2 Charlie0s +irst point is that customer service is o+ten so !ad that people e7pect it& Things li-e dirty restrooms$ late deliveries$ la.y sta++ and cold +ood are +ound so o+ten$ that it0s considered normal& %+ a company is trying +or satis+ied customers$ they are shooting too low$ !ecause people are satis+ied as long as the poor service isn0t any worse than e7pected& 8ne /uote that says it all is the slogan that Charlie suggests +or companies that don0t have outstanding customer service: *o "orse Than the Competition& Charlie teaches the three secrets o+ Raving Fans customer service !y introducing the Area #anager to several !usiness leaders who learned and implemented the -eys success+ully& 9ach o+ the three !usiness leaders introduces one o+ the secrets& The +irst is :eo ;arley$ the manager o+ a department store& "ith a personal greeting and a carnation pinned to their lapels upon entrance$ a supervised play area +or children and an elegant !athroom$ the Area #anager is impressed& The secret that :eo teaches the Area #anager is Deci!e W/at 0o Want$ which is the process o+ envisioning the ideal customer service situation +or your organi.ation& The second !usiness leader is Sally$ a woman in charge o+ the most popular grocery store in the area& Customers are greeted with valet par-ing$ a wal- down a red carpet$ and have a computer system at their disposal that organi.es their shopping lists in the order items are +ound in the store 1with a map2& <udy presents the ne7t secret to creating Raving Fans$ which is Disco-er W/at t/e 1 stomer Wants& This is the process o+ +inding out +rom customers through surveys$ listening$ etc& what they want +rom the company& The last !usiness leader the Area #anager meets is Bill$ a gentleman who runs several service stations& "hen Charlie and the Area #anager drove up$ several attendants ran out to their car$ chec-ed the +luids$ cleaned the glass all around$ and called the Area #anager !y name and chatted with him while waiting +or the car to +ill up& Bill unveils the third secret$ which is to De$i-er t/e Vision .$ s One .ercent& This means to consistently deliver Raving Fan Service& Start small$ and when you !ecome e7cellent in one area o+ customer service$ then add other services incrementally& Always loo- to improve$ !ut not in leaps and !ounds& 8+ course$ the Area #anager implements these concepts at his !usiness and starts to turn the company around& =e is recogni.ed +or the results !y his own supervisor& Best o+ all$ he always has Charlie to call on i+ he has /uestions or runs into challenges&

1a$$ 2o *ction Raving Fans is a simple !oo- that suggests many strategies that !usiness leaders can learn and implement to dramatically improve customer service& "hat it doesn0t do is provide step>!y>step action plans& =owever$ you can derive the +ollowing ideas +rom the story: Be aware o+ what your current customers are saying and$ more importantly$ not saying a!out your customer service& %+ customers are not giving you positive +eed!ac-$ then they are dissatis+ied or simply satis+ied and will move along to the competition i+ they +ind something !etter& Deci!e W/at 0o Want( As the leader o+ your organi.ation$ ta-e a signi+icant amount o+ time to create the picture o+ what +antastic customer service would loo- li-e in your organi.ation& ?on0t hold !ac- 6 dream !ig@ %nclude leadership team mem!ers in a !rainstorming session$ as well& 5et !uy in +rom those who will have to implement it& Disco-er W/at t/e 1 stomer Wants( Create a system +or +inding out what your customers want +rom your company& They may have terri+ic ideas$ e7tremely modest ideas$ and they may even have ridiculous ideas& %t0s your 4o! to si+t through all these ideas and determine whether they mesh with your own vision& Be open to changing your vision !ased on the customers0 +eed!ac-& De$i-er t/e Vision( Ta-e one customer service idea that you !elieve can !e success+ully implemented$ and do it& 9nsure your sta++ are trained$ and ensure they can do it per+ectly and consistently& Aou will -ill customer loyalty i+ you claim you have some terri+ic service$ !ut then do it poorly$ or not all the time& .$ s One .ercent( Continually plan the ne7t step& 8nce one customer service strategy is !eing done well and consistently$ !egin implementing the ne7t one& Ta-ing small steps 1that one percent2 is how to !uild Raving Fans Customer Service@