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Good Strategy Bad Strategy Book Summary and Key Lessons

3-Line Summaries:

“Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service” is a business book co-authored by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles was first published in 1993 and has since become a classic in the realm of customer service and management literature.

The central premise of the book is that businesses should strive not just to satisfy their customers, but to create “raving fans” out of them.

A “raving fan” is a customer who is not only satisfied with the product or service but is so enthusiastic about it that they become advocates for the business, spreading positive word-of-mouth and helping to attract new customers.

Quote of the Book:

“A Raving Fan is a customer who is so thrilled with your product or service that they can't wait to tell others about it”.

Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

About the Author:

Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles are both respected authors and experts in business and management. Ken Blanchard, born in 1939, is best known for his work on leadership and co-authored the bestselling book “The One Minute Manager.” He is also the co-founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a leadership development firm.

Sheldon Bowles is a Canadian author and entrepreneur who has co-authored several books on business management. He is known for his straightforward and practical approach to business advice.

Broad Summary:

“Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service” is a business book written by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. It presents a groundbreaking perspective on customer service, aiming to transform ordinary customers into enthusiastic advocates who spread positive word-of-mouth about a business.

The central premise of “Raving Fans” is that businesses should aim not just to satisfy customers but to create “raving fans” – customers who are so delighted with the product or service that they become loyal advocates. These raving fans not only come back for repeat business but also actively recommend the business to others, essentially becoming free salespeople for the company.

Blanchard and Bowles emphasize the importance of understanding what customers truly want and then exceeding those expectations. They argue that delivering exceptional service is not enough; businesses need to go above and beyond to create memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression.

To illustrate their point, the authors provide numerous examples of companies that have successfully created raving fans. One such example is the story of Jan Carlzon, the former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), who transformed the struggling airline by focusing on customer service and empowering employees to make decisions that prioritize customer satisfaction.

Blanchard and Bowles introduce the concept of the “Moments of Magic” – those unexpected, delightful experiences that leave customers feeling special and valued. They encourage businesses to identify these moments and consistently deliver them to create raving fans.

One of the key strategies outlined in the book is the “Plus One” principle. This principle involves delivering what customers expect, plus a little bit more – that extra one percent effort that distinguishes a business from its competitors. By consistently exceeding expectations, businesses can turn satisfied customers into raving fans.

Blanchard and Bowles also stress the importance of creating a customer-focused culture within the organization. They argue that every employee, regardless of their role, should be committed to delivering exceptional service and making customers feel valued.

Throughout the book, the authors emphasize the role of leadership in creating raving fans. They encourage leaders to lead by example, prioritize customer service in decision-making, and empower employees to take ownership of the customer experience.

In addition to providing practical strategies for creating raving fans, Blanchard and Bowles also address common pitfalls that businesses may encounter. They warn against complacency and emphasize the need for continuous improvement and innovation in customer service.

Overall, “Raving Fans” offers a compelling framework for businesses to transform their approach to customer service and create passionate advocates who drive business growth through their enthusiastic support. By focusing on understanding customer needs, exceeding expectations, and fostering a customer-centric culture, businesses can cultivate long-term loyalty and success.

In conclusion, “Raving Fans” is a must-read for anyone in business who wants to elevate their customer service to the next level. With its practical advice, real-world examples, and inspiring stories, this book provides a roadmap for creating raving fans and achieving sustainable business success.

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Best Lessons from the Book:

Lesson 1: Understanding Customer Needs

“Raving Fans” is all about understanding what customers really want. In simple terms, it means knowing what makes them happy and what they need from your business. The book says it’s not just about making them satisfied – it’s about figuring out their deepest desires and making sure your business meets those desires in the best possible way.

To do this, the book suggests listening carefully to your customers. Pay attention to what they say, how they behave, and what they’re asking for. Sometimes, customers might not directly tell you what they want, so it’s important to look for clues and try to understand their needs even when they’re not saying it outright.

Once you have a good grasp of what your customers want, the next step is to tailor your products or services to exceed their expectations. This means going above and beyond to make sure they’re not just satisfied, but genuinely delighted with what you offer. By understanding and fulfilling your customers’ needs in this way, you can turn them into raving fans who will stick with your business and recommend it to others.

Lesson 2: Exceeding Expectations

” Exceeding Expectations ” is like adding a cherry on top of an already delicious cake. Imagine you’re baking a cake for someone special. You know they love chocolate, so you bake them a rich, chocolatey cake. But to make it even more amazing, you decide to add a scoop of creamy ice cream on top – that’s the “Plus One” principle!

In simpler terms, the book teaches us that just meeting expectations isn’t enough to wow customers. We need to do a little extra – that extra scoop of ice cream – to make them truly happy. It’s about surprising them with something they didn’t expect but absolutely love.

So, if you’re running a business, it’s not just about giving customers what they ask for. It’s about giving them a little bit more – maybe it’s a personalized note with their order, a small freebie, or going out of your way to solve a problem they’re facing. These little extras show that you care about them and their experience, turning them from happy customers into raving fans who can’t wait to tell everyone about you!

Lesson 3: Creating Memorable Experiences

The third lesson from “Raving Fans” is all about creating “Moments of Magic” for your customers. Let’s imagine you’re planning a surprise birthday party for your best friend. You want it to be unforgettable, so you come up with some special surprises – like inviting their favorite singer to perform or decorating the venue with all their favorite things. These surprises make the party extra special and memorable – those are the “Moments of Magic”!

The book teaches us that small, unexpected gestures can make a big difference in how customers feel about your business. It’s about creating moments that leave them feeling delighted and appreciated.

One example from the book is about a hotel that goes above and beyond to create “Moments of Magic” for its guests. Instead of just providing the usual amenities, like clean rooms and friendly service, the hotel staff goes out of their way to anticipate guests’ needs and surprise them with thoughtful gestures. For instance, they might leave a handwritten note welcoming guests or offer complimentary snacks and drinks upon arrival. These small touches make guests feel special and valued, turning them into loyal fans of the hotel.

So, if you’re running a business, think about how you can create “Moments of Magic” for your customers. It could be as simple as remembering their name, offering them a complimentary upgrade, or sending them a thank-you note after their purchase. These small gestures may seem insignificant, but they can have a big impact on how customers perceive your business and how likely they are to become raving fans.

Lesson 4: Empowering Employees

“Empowering Employees” is about empowering employees to make a difference. When customers have a problem or need assistance, they don’t have to wait for a manager to swoop in and save the day. Instead, every team member can step up and use their superpowers to help out.

In simpler terms, the book teaches us that when employees feel empowered, they’re more motivated and enthusiastic about providing excellent service. They feel like they’re making a difference and contributing to the success of the business.

One example from the book is about a coffee shop where employees are encouraged to go above and beyond to create amazing experiences for customers. If a customer spills their drink, instead of waiting for a manager to clean it up, the barista jumps into action with a smile and a mop. This proactive attitude not only solves the problem quickly but also leaves customers impressed by the level of service they receive.

So, if you’re a business owner or manager, it’s important to empower your employees and give them the tools and authority they need to make decisions and solve problems on their own. Encourage them to use their creativity and initiative to provide exceptional service, and recognize and reward them for their efforts. When employees feel valued and empowered, they’ll go above and beyond to create raving fans who keep coming back for more!

Lesson 5: Consistency is Key

The fifth lesson from “Raving Fans” is all about consistency – like making your favorite sandwich the same delicious way every time you order it. Customers like knowing what to expect when they interact with a business, whether it’s in person, online, or over the phone. Consistency means delivering the same level of quality, service, and experience every single time.

In simpler terms, the book teaches us that consistency builds trust and reliability with customers. When they know they can count on your business to deliver consistently excellent service, they’re more likely to become loyal fans who keep coming back for more.

For example, think about your favorite restaurant. You love going there because you know the food will always be delicious, the service will always be friendly, and the atmosphere will always be welcoming. Even if you try other restaurants, you keep coming back to your favorite because you know you can rely on it to consistently meet your expectations.

So, if you’re running a business, it’s important to focus on consistency in every aspect of your operations – from the quality of your products or services to the way you communicate with customers. Make sure everyone on your team understands the importance of delivering consistent experiences and upholds the same high standards day in and day out. This will help you build trust and loyalty with your customers and turn them into raving fans who can’t wait to spread the word about your business!

Lesson 6: Continuous Improvement

The sixth lesson from “Raving Fans” is all about continuous improvement – like fine-tuning your favorite recipe to make it even better each time you cook it. In business, it’s important to always be looking for ways to improve and innovate, even if things are going well. This means listening to customer feedback, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and being open to new ideas and opportunities.

In simpler terms, the book teaches us that success isn’t about resting on your laurels and sticking with the status quo. It’s about constantly striving to do better and be better, to stay ahead of the competition and keep customers coming back for more.

For example, think about your favorite smartphone. Every year, the manufacturer releases a new model with upgraded features and improvements based on customer feedback and technological advancements. Even though the previous model was already great, they’re always looking for ways to make it even better and more appealing to customers.

So, if you’re running a business, it’s important to foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Encourage your team to always be looking for ways to enhance the customer experience, streamline processes, and stay ahead of the curve. By staying agile and adaptable, you can keep your business relevant and thriving in a constantly changing marketplace, and continue to create raving fans who love what you do!

Best Key Ideas of the Book:

1.   Make customers super happy to turn them into big fans.

2.   Give customers a little extra to surprise and impress them.

3.   Create special moments that customers will always remember.

4.   Let employees help customers and solve problems by themselves.

5.   Always do things the same way so customers know what to expect.

6.   Keep finding ways to make things better and keep customers interested.

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