Satisfied Clients Vanish, But RAVING FANS Stay
Wait, what? Satisfied clients leave? This may sound counter-intuitive, but yes, you need to create raving fans, not satisfied customers.
Consider a pro-sports fan: a diehard with overwhelming enthusiasm for a team, through thick and thin. Those gals and guys will stand by their team for a long, long time. On the other hand, someone who is merely satisfied may eventually devote their enthusiasm to another team.
The same analogy applies to growing businesses: you must turn satisfied customers into raving fans. Otherwise, your competitor—who is focused on going the extra distance—will snap them up when you aren’t looking.
How do you create raving fans?
1. “Good” customer service isn’t enough. This is now expected. This doesn’t mean devote attention elsewhere, it simply means that you can’t rely on good customer service. You must go above and beyond those expectations so that your goodwill creates raving fans. One way to provide that extra customer service is to fully and actively pursue a vision that lines up with consumer expectations and needs, then give that extra 10%. Don’t follow a rabbit trail to nowhere.
2. Enroll, don’t simply sell. Offer something customers realize they want. Here are some analogous lessons from Harvard Business Review on ways to enroll colleagues: be committed, authentic and transparent, and take action. The same lessons apply when building clients. Show enthusiasm for your product and your client. Be authentic about your offering and the problem it solves for your client—which may include honesty about what it doesn’t do. Walk your talk, whether in customer service or sales: create action steps toward building those relationships, no matter how small.
3. Engage customers. Allow for communication and interaction both online and offline, whether live chats, special events, or unique offerings. Provide opportunity for feedback, before, during, and after sales. Don’t forget your internal culture, either: your employees are your point of engagement with customers. If employees feel part of an internal community that values input and accountability, that culture will foster an environment that extends to client relationships. In other words, give employees motivation to engage.
4. Keep customers well-informed. This is not merely a subset of consumer engagement. Customer service is important, and a consumer should be well-informed about the plan of action to resolve any issues that arise. But well-informed customers are also savvy shoppers. Educate consumers about the problem and your solution. Blog. Speak. Write for business and trade journals. But don’t forget: customers can and will fact-check you. Never fabricate or you’ll drive customers raving mad.
5. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Perhaps you’ve tried a few of these ideas, and your customers still seem lackluster about sticking with you. Take a look at this article from American Express for a few more unusual ways companies create raving fans, from including clients in product construction (Build-a-Bear) to promoting tattoos (Harley-Davidson). Although several of these are company-specific, it opens up ideas to find something unique for you.
Need help? Tattoos of your company logo may not match your company’s culture or personality. Remember: you do NOT have to do this alone. Consider hiring an expert in branding, marketing, or advertising: someone with a track record for helping a business create raving fans.
If you need help with finding the right solution for you, Fast Inc. Network is here for you.