How to build great customer service

As a big fan of Gung Ho!, it has taken me a year to get around to reading Raving Fans! by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. How many books have these guys written, I thought. Surely this is just stretching the franchise. But I was wrong.

There are three rules to great customer service and the book provides a diverting story to help get the messages across. At £3.72 on Amazon and taking a couple of hours to read, is it worthwhile? Yes, if you are thinking about how your customer service could be improved.

For local retailers, one of the strengths is that the authors give examples from the retail world. A department store where the staff pin carnations to your jacket and the boss sits in a desk in the middle of the sales floor, a supermarket with valet parking where people drive 40 miles to get groceries, and a service station where the attendants clean your windows and still sell petrol at less than the self-service across the way.

The examples give you plenty of opportunities to challenge the ideas. Ken and Sheldon have never worked in a shop, you may say. You are correct. But at the same time, what is stopping you dreaming a little. And the rules that underpin the examples will work in your shop too!

Visions either grow or die, the authors say. You must meet your shoppers expectations first, before you can exceed them. You need to have good systems.

The brief section on listening to your customers is on its own worth the investment of your time. I won’t tell you what it says at this book works better as a conversation that you have with yourself as you read. It is a simple book with a simple message and they do this format well.


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