Create Raving Fan Customers
The core strategy behind any supreme organization, any company who truly dwarfs their competition and creates massive customer loyalty, is to anticipate and meet your customers’ needs in a way that no one else is.
Others are making a product or providing a service. They are the commodities. You are unique; you have differentiated your business by helping your customers solve a specific problem in a bold way. This is the key to making sure no one else in your industry even comes close.
This is the bedrock principle behind Force #7, Constantly Create Raving Fan Customers and Culture. It’s not just about being different, it’s about providing so much value that your customers can’t help but tell others about it—with genuine enthusiasm and excitement. Here are four keys to enlisting your customers in telling your story—and ensuring that your pipeline is always full of qualified prospects.
1. Deliver More Than You Promise
You will always need to promote your product or service, but as you convert your prospects into customers, give more value than they expect. Surprise and delight them with added value, and they will reciprocate in kind, sharing stories of your terrific service with their friends and contacts—who are then primed to become your next customers.
2. Move Your Customers to a Better Place
Meeting minimum requirements is one way to run a business, and it’s a sure route to failure. You and everyone on your team must be committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure you have raving fan customers. You’ve heard the legendary stories about how companies like Zappos take care of its customers. You must empower your staff to take the initiative and make the on-the-spot decisions that inspire lifetime loyalty. You have to create a structure and a system that allows everyone in your organization to consistently meet your customers’ needs.
3. Reward Your Best Customers
Remember, the most expensive thing you can do as a business is to acquire a new customer. For most businesses, this takes up most of your time, energy and money, and is one of the hardest things you do. Therefore, the easiest way to make additional money is to continually and better serve the customers you have. Use your customer data to identify those who come back more often, spend more and refer others, and let them know how special they are. Exceptional discounts, special offers and first-priority status are ways to ensure that you don’t lose them to an upstart competitor. Also, your best clients deserve your best offers and personalized communication.
4. Continually Ask Them What They Want
Innovation is essential today. Your business must continue to evolve to effectively meet your customers’ needs in unique and powerful ways, or you face the certainty that someone else will rise to that challenge. So how will you evolve? Ask your customers. What is the biggest challenge they are facing? Why is it important that they find a solution? And then figure out how to help them, in ways that theycan’t help but rave about to others.