In one of Seth Godin’s recent blogs titled “Not Fade Away,” he wrote:
“Most partnerships don’t end up in court.
Most friendships don’t end in a fight.
Most customers don’t leave in a huff.”
This got me to thinking about the “raving fan” mentality, and how that differs greatly from a customer that simply buys from you and fades away with a feeling of merely being “satisfied.” On the manufacturer and supplier side, it is fine that our customers do business with us, but is it enough? We know we have a relationship with them because they keep ordering, which is great, but my question is, do they want you to win? If your customer likes you to the degree that they become a raving fan of your business and actually like you and enjoy adding to your success, then I say you’ve made it.
Retailers: You run an ad, a consumer sees it and later comes in to buy. The test here is whether they go home and tell their friends and family about it. Do they tweet or send out a Facebook message because you guys kicked butt with the experience? Do they feel almost obligated to tell someone about it?
Are you creating an experience with your company that is so compelling that people really WANT to do business with you? Do you have anyone you trade with that you really like because of how they handle their customers, which therefore makes you a fan? Think about those companies and identify the aspect that makes you feel good about them, so you can do the same thing within your business. As for me, I am a fan of companies that…
- Don’t just do what they have to do to get the sale. They are willing to do something to wow me with the experience.
- Take great care of their people.
- Under-promise and over-deliver with their products.
- Make it right when they don’t.
- Give back as much as they can to their communities.
- Try to make their industry better.
I don’t know about you, but given the current economic conditions, it makes sense to aspire to getting your customers on your side. You are not going to win them all, but if you are doing it right, you can give yourself a serious competitive advantage by giving this one some thought.
What am I missing here? What are you thinking?
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is good at telling me what not to say.