The 23 Keys to Creating Raving Fans Part 2

This is the second part of “The 23 Keys to Creating Raving Fans” post by Alan Hale from CMG (Consight™ Marketing Group) in Chicago. Don’t forget that you can download the full white paper using the link at the bottom of this post.


In addition to using NPS, we also like to use other diagnostic questions to see how we can improve. In general, it is critical to get the importance level of each function as well as our performance score. If the customer is willing to discuss the competition, the insight will be valuable in how you compare to the competition as well as to the best in class vendor. They also will give you specific actions to improve.

 

The Customer Loyalty Wheel

The following is how we look at customer satisfaction, loyalty and creating and Raving Fans.

It all begins with the trust and alignment and ends in creating Raving Fans.

 

8. A few criteria are explained in further detail.

Trust. If the supplier continually breaks promises they have made, there is no trust. The relationship will not deepen, and in fact might eventually be terminated.

Quality. Quality is an ante to play the game. If your product does not perform according to your specifications or breaks down too often, the account will find another supplier. We had a client who moved their production overseas to reduce costs and increase margins. The quality was very poor and the product frequently broke. The client could not understand why they were losing business!

Risk. Pre-sale, it is important to reduce or minimize the risk factor so the customer is more likely to buy. When you buy the wrong toothpaste at home, your family might be disappointed. When you buy the wrong CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system at work, you could be fired. When you sell a product or service new to the market, find out how to minimize risk. This could be having someone on site, providing results from an independent lab, or showing a list of positive testimonials from well- known companies.

Be easy to do business with. Don’t be so difficult to deal with. Exchange the defective product, have customer service solve the problem, issue accurate invoices. Train customer service, give them the power to make decisions up to a certain level. Everything being equal, a customer would rather give business to someone who is easy to do business with. Conversely, if you are 10% of their purchases and 50% of their problems, expect to be terminated. Don’t be a PITA (a pain in the arse). Everyone has problems. Make it easy to resolve. There is research which states customers are more satisfied when a vendor heroically solves a problem versus having no problem at all. We recommend you do not try to game the system i.e. by making artificial problems you know you can heroically resolve.

Be responsive and proactive in communications. We will give you a few common examples from our research. Continue Reading

The 23 Keys to Creating Raving Fans Part 1

This week we have another guest post from Alan Hale of CMG (Consight™ Marketing Group) in Chicago. Exceptionally, I am publishing it as two separate posts because its length and value deserve the detail and effort he has put into it.


I have been fortunate to have managed over 250 voice of the customer projects in B2B over the last four decades, with over 50 engagements on customer satisfaction and loyalty. These projects were across a wide variety of industries.

During this time, I have seen some great successes and some tragic failures in trying to make customers Raving Fans. Based on this experience, I wanted to share some best-in-class insights on how to make your existing customers Raving Fans.

According to industry research, acquiring a new customer is 5 to 7 times more costly than keeping your existing customers, which is why you need to concentrate on keeping your customers and making them Raving Fans.  While customer acquisition is indeed important, so is holding on to your customers and making them Raving Fans.

There is a lot of information on the media and LinkedIn about customer acquisition such as website development, SEO, ad words, effective selling and phone calling etc. Very little has been written on keeping and serving existing customers. Other industry research states reasons why accounts churn. Very seldom is the reason for defection price, no matter what the sales reps tell you. It is a breakdown in account service, the account is not being serviced at a level of their expectations.

First, let’s define a Raving Fan. The term was coined by Ken Blanchard in a book called, Raving Fans published in 1993. A Raving Fan is a customer, who is excited about your product, service or solution. Think of Apple and Tesla. These companies have waiting lists for products and sometimes have long waiting lines for a new product. They are your brand advocates and are an extension of your brand. The characteristics of Raving Fans are as follows:

  1. They are less likely to churn to a competitor
  2. They are extremely loyal
  3. They will buy more i.e. you have a higher wallet share
  4. They are more likely to buy new products, services or solutions offered in the future
  5. They are usually (not always) less price-sensitive and therefore more profitable
  6. They may give insight on possible new products, services or solutions to introduce
  7. They may refer you to other friends and colleagues and/or provide testimonials

Most of this discussion is applicable to both B2C and B2B; with the exception of the 80/20 rule which is explained later. The following discusses the issues and hurdles in creating Raving Fans.

1. Senior Management Paradigms and Expectations. Senior management has two dangerous paradigms. The first paradigm is “we know what our customers want. After all we have been doing this for many years and are successful.” Yes, but the past does not equal the future. There may be new expectations from customers and prospects. Markets are not stagnant, there may be new technologies or new competitors. Continue Reading

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