≡ Menu

Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

The full title of this book by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles is

Raving Fans : A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it a rating of Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A vital message wrapped in an irritating story but the ideas are good

The critical message of this book is that satisfied customers are not good enough…you need Raving Fans.

This carries on the One Minute Manager traditional of books of educating you through a story. The gist is that the Area Manager (never named) is in a new job and he is told to forget his plans for Total Quality and instead to embrace customer service if he wants to last longer than the eight months average time in the role from his last three predecessors. Charlie arrives, his golf addicted fairy Godmother to teach him.

I found the story irritating and it took several attempts to find the persistence to read it through to the end. Basically you are taken around with Charlie and the Area Manager and you read the descriptions of great customer service in action as they visit different types of business.

One of the things I liked best about the One Minute Manager books was the brief summary pages that were interspersed throughout to hammer home the key messages. This time they are missing. It makes it much more difficult to find the section you want to re-read to refresh your memory.

The book was heading for a mauling but my 4 star rating means there is a redeeming quality and it’s here in the messages.

  • Rule 1 – Decide What You Want
  • Rule 2 – Discover What The Customer Wants. If your customer’s vision matches your own, you know you are on the right track. If they have expectations which go beyond yours, then you know that you need to raise your game and if they want something completely different, it will give you plenty of reason to stop, think and find out why.
  • Rule 3 – Deliver The Vision Plus 1%. If you try to make a big improvement in one go, it is likely that you will fail, but if you improve by 1% each week, then you are on your way to 50% improvement in the year.

I would have liked the story to have included the issues of the Area Manager taking the ideas back to his business, involving his staff and showing the main implementation issues, problems and solutions.

The book also doesn’t address the need for the business to make money. Somewhere there is a balancing act between customer service (and especially when it involve little extras and freebies), costs and selling prices. The book does not address this issue at all. I would have been happier to see an economic case built on higher retention rates and higher transaction values, higher referral rates, lower advertising and sales promotion.

I believe that the book could (and should) have been better. I’m surprised at the high number of 5 star reviews. However if you are working to improve customer service in your business, the book is worth reading and passing around to influential team members. It provides a useful framework to talk about customer service issues based around the three rules above and has some useful examples.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


Get To Know Me




Similar Posts:

 Name: Email: We respect your email privacy 
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment