A few months ago I read Ken Blanchard’s (of “One Minute Manager” fame) book “Raving Fans” (Amazon).  While I thought the style of the book was a bit cutesy and kitschy, it makes the (seemingly obvious) point that good customer service isn’t good enough, that you must go way beyond even great customer service, to the point of creating not just satisfied customers, but raving fans.  I put the book on the company’s reading list, and it’s been floating around the office ever since.

The point of having raving fans is not just to keep customers coming back.  The point is that raving fan customers evangelize for us.  A perfect example of this happened to us this week.  The company of one of our raving fans has invested heavily in our human capital management products–heavily as in they’ve bought pretty much every product we’ve produced–onboarding, requisitioning, personnel action/change management–and they suggest and ask for more.  She recently was giving a presentation to her Professional Development Network group and demonstrated our software as a case study of what they’ve done in human capital.  She not only evangelized about our products and services, she raved about them and wound up passing out our contact information to much of the group.

Wow, what a powerful testimonial.  She sent us a warning by email that our phones might be ringing off the hook, and the email went through the company like wildfire.  Now, we all like to help our customers, and it makes us feel great to know we’ve had a positive impact; but I have to tell you this event–this Raving Fan’s story–was worth more than any “attaboy” I could ever have given my team.

Read the book if you want–it’s cute and kitschy, and a quick read–but the title pretty much says it all: don’t just have customers, have Raving Fans.

Update: Chuck sold Emerald Software Group in 2011. You can learn about his new company by clicking here.

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