Join master business coach Michelle Landis, as she strives to create success and abundance for every business owner with the ActionCOACH method of focus, accountability, and results. Visit our weekly Q & A session as Coach Michelle tackles real questions on a variety of issues - and provides you with answers that will BRING RESULTS for your company!
Question of the Week: “I see you use the term ‘raving fan’ often in your weekly coaching articles. What is a raving fan?”
Coach Michelle: If you haven’t heard the term “raving fan” before, pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable. The ability to create customers who love your product or service, and are willing to spread the word about you to everyone they know, is the quintessential ace in the hole for any small business’s success. It applies to any product or service, whether you are point and click or brick and mortar. Raving fans are what you need, but there are certain steps to cultivating your premium crop.
Step 1. Attitude.
As a business owner or manager, the entire process begins with your own outlook. If you are a positive person, who is responsible for his or her actions, your employees will be too. Remember that everything you do and say has a trickle-down effect. You are the main force in your company’s culture.
Step 2. Perfect Client.
The ability to identify your sweet spot customer, or perfect client, is essential for building solid raving fans. You must be able to search clearly within your target market and recognize the clients who are most suited to your business. Do you know exactly what their wants and needs are?
Step 3. Unique Selling Proposition.
What makes you unique must be made crystal clear, and then shouted from the rooftops for all to hear. What is it that your competitors cannot offer? What specific problems are you going to solve for your clients in a manner that is fabulous, in a way that no one else can? Having a USP is the only way to carve out that special, money-generating niche for your business.
Step 4. Manage Expectations.
Do you know exactly what your clients expect from you? What is it that they truly need? You can arrive at this knowledge through customer surveys, interviews, and focus groups to really understand what your customers want, and where they place the most value.
Step 5. Love Your Customers.
Do you know how to make your customers feel loved? It may sound “corny,” but building relationships with your clients is the number one way to earn their trust and loyalty. How do you make them feel personally wanted and respected? Extra touches are so important.
Step 6. VIP Membership.
Every customer wants to feel like they are special, and like they belong. Utilizing VIP clubs or exclusive memberships is an excellent way to foster a sense of inclusion and preferential treatment. Build in “upgrades” to purchases, or add extra little services. It will get fans truly raving about you.
Step 7. Superior Service.
The quality and consistency of your service cannot be undervalued. Even a bad experience can be turned around with superior service. The power of fluidly consistent and courteous service is key.
Step 8. Touch Points.
Once you have made a sale, or converted a fan, your work is still not done! Touch points are a process of building a relationship by instituting continuing ways of personal contact once that first sale is made. This can be in the form of sending emails, newsletters, thank you notes, or VIP invitations.
If you make a conscious effort to institute these 8 critical steps into your business processes and philosophy, you are surely going to build a raving fan base that will spread the news about your products and services. It’s a simple, but often overlooked concept. Love your customers, and they will love you back.
About the Author, Michelle Landis
Michelle is a certified Master Business Coach and owner of ActionCOACH of Greater Lehigh Valley/Berks. She is an educator and a business professional with over 25 years experience in the business world running both small and medium sized businesses. She has an extensive background in education, executive management, sales & marketing, operations and entrepreneurial pursuits that include international consulting in China, extensive teaching and educational endeavors as well as executive leadership roles with General Electric, Dun & Bradstreet and Armstrong World Industries. Her leadership skills have delivered over $58 million to the bottom line. Get a BUSINESS HEALTH CHECK with Michelle or connect with Michelle onFACEBOOK, join her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.