Apr 7, 2023
Book notes: Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
I don’t read book summaries. Neither should you.
The following are mostly notes to myself, and my interpretations. Raving Fans was recommended to us by one of our board members and given it’s a quick read, I picked it up to read on one of my usual Delhi/ Bengaluru 2.5 hours flight. That’s one thing I liked about Ken Blanchard’s way of writing — business knowledge with super easy to follow storytelling. For someone like me who operates in the junction of actual, at-home services and tech & design, this book was super useful; gives some basic frameworks to take a step back and put structure to how you think about improving your customers’ experiences and create not just good users, but raving fans.
There are 3 primary tenets in the book:
Discover what you want
Discover what the customer wants
Deliver the above plus one notch
Create a vision of perfection around the customer. Your service or product delivery ideal state, app flow ideal state. Then, from customer insights create a vision of what the customer really wants. Impose these two visions on top of your company goals, and see where the overlaps and gaps are. That’s what you work on. Earlier in 2015, at Housing.com, we used to create journey maps illustrating a user’s journey to get a job done, the app’s journey and see where the overlaps and gaps were. Immensely helpful exercise.
Some takeaway notes:
Delivering consistently builds credibility. So important for us to consistently deliver great quality services. This is applicable everywhere. Strong SOPs, strong incentives and intent will drive this. After reading this point, I picked up The checklist manifesto to read again.
How a company treat their employees or partners automatically cascades to the end customer. It’s the hardest to realise on a day-to-day basis. Treat everyone good, the end customer will get a rockstar service.
Customers assume that no one really wants to know what they think about the service. Be it star rating on a Uber ride or on UC. They don’t complain because they believe it doesn’t do any good. This perception is natural. Complain about bad airplane food, does it change? No. That’s the reason folks don’t typically fill the text box below ratings to share their true opinion and experience. Customers don’t think anyone will do anything about it. Changing this perception is a big opportunity for product and design teams. Take note.
While taking interviews, users or customers usually mean different than what they say. If they say, “fine” or just silent, there’s something wrong. Observe more.
Don’t spoil the experience of many to punish one. One customer out of a thousand steals something in a dressing room. Next day the store puts up a sign offending the other 999 customers and making one crook laugh as she finds a new way to steal.
I recommend this book. Quick read and great examples.
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