How to create a raving fan strategy

Step
1: Draft a list of possible touch points
that your business has with your target market,
starting with advertising and any other method that you might use to reach out
to your Suspects.

Step 2: Detail,
expectations for each touch point
in the process (i.e. how would the
customer like the process to work in an ideal world). What matters to your
customers most is how you make them feel. In this step it is critical that you
identify factors that you think are most important to the customer. You should
also include a few positive surprises, CNEs, (Critical NonEssentials). CNEs are
little touches that will result in your customer’s experience significantly
exceeding their expectations. Obtain input for this section from your own
experience as well as customer research and feedback information to which you
might have access. A well designed survey will also provide valuable insight.

 

Step 3: Describe your
recommendation for the ideal process
that can actually be executed by your
company. While this recommendation has to be realistic, it should address the
customer expectations in a way that will differentiate you from your
competitors.  It is possible that you
cannot meet every customer expectation down to the smallest detail, due to
organizational constraints or some other very good reason. But keep in mind
that if you cannot operate at a level that exceeds their expectations, there is
no competitive advantage to be gained. Your recommendation should be aimed at
the best that your company can accomplish, not average or good enough.  Provide as close to the customer ideal as
possible. However, the main focus must be on delivering, at a superior level,
those experiences that are most important to your current and future customers.

 

Step 4: Detail how the
new process will be implemented.
 
This section should include a description of the changes required, new
standards to be implemented, who will do the implementation, how they will be
paid (if there are financial implications for the change), and how the changes
and the reasons for the changes will be clearly communicated to all involved
employees.  You will also need to ensure
that the expectations of your customers are clearly communicated to each
employee.

 

Step 5: Provide the measures and goals associated with each new customer
experience initiative. For example: a new measure might be the percentage of
deliveries completed as promised to the customer, with a goal of a 95%
compliance – i.e. 95% of deliveries are completed as promised to the
customer.  This section will also
indicate who will be responsible for the development of the measurement process
and tools (e.g. development of an Excel template to be used by all stores or
departments), who will be responsible for the weekly tracking/data entry,
etc.  This section should also include a
sample template for the measurement process.

 

Step 6: Create an
implementation timeline
that illustrates when the process will be
developed, when it will be implemented on a test basis, when will it be
reviewed and fine tuned, etc. Be sure to include human and other resources that
will be required in your timeline planning.

 

Step 7: Describe how
you will measure customer reaction
to the new customer experience
enhancements. There are numerous ways to accomplish this, from surveys and
refer-a-friend rewards programs to simple POS (Point of Sale) questions.

 

Step 8: Create a plan
to ensure that the changes and new processes will be sustained. These new
enhancements should become an integral part of how each store or department
functions. Remember, what you don’t measure will eventually fade away.

 

In summary, never underestimate the effort
required to create effective organizational change. Not all employees will embrace
the change in the beginning. In fact, some will openly resist it. Clear communication
of what is being done, why it is being done, and your expectations for each
employee, along with a healthy dose of persistence will lead to success. In
most organizational change efforts, setting aggressive, but realistic
expectations of all employees is your greatest source of leverage. Employees
will rise to your expectations if they understand why the change is important
and what you want them to do. Involve employees in the development of the new
processes. Many times they will have a different perspective than the owner or
your coach. We can benefit from that additional perspective.

Now it’s time to enjoy the benefits of an
ever increasing Raving Fan base, as long as you are in a continuous improvement
mode regarding your customer’s experience. We all know that there is no
standing still in business. We are either getting better or going backwards.
It’s up to you!

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