Do your consumers ‘rave’ about your services? That was the question posed by my colleague, OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Paul Duck, in his session, Raving Fans: Transforming Organization’s Culture & Client Experience
First, what is a “raving fan”? The concept comes from the Ken Blanchard book, Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service— a customer or consumer who likes your customer service so much they can’t stop talking about it. Blanchard’s philosophy in a nutshell—”Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans” (see Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service).
In a market where consumerism is driving more transparency about consumer experience and payers are more concerned than ever about that experience, building a structured approach for a great consumer experience is now a key element of competitive advantage. So how do you build a “raving fan” strategy of superior consumer experience? Mr. Duck discussed three elements in the customer experience framework—decide what you want, discover what your customer wants, and deliver what you promise, plus one
Decide what you want—Consider the message that you are trying to create when consumers think of your program. Your organization has likely invested a lot in your “brand” and your “identity”—and the living proof is the consumer experience. So, what is that “brand promise” that your organization is trying to fulfill? And how do you provide the leadership to make that brand promise a reality (see Do You Have A Vision?)?
Discover what your customer wants—The easiest way to gain an understanding of what your consumers actually want is to simply ask them. Mr. Duck noted that while surveys are helpful, that isn’t the only path to customer understanding. There is a lot of information that can be gained at the point of service. In the face-to-face interactions between your direct service staff and your consumers, enable your team to ask the questions about their experience and what needs to be improved. In all this discovery, it is important to remember that it is likely that not all consumers will be a fit for your organization. Mr. Duck said, “It is important to realize that we often can’t’ afford to be all things to all people.”
Deliver what you promise, plus one—Before you can exceed your consumer’s expectations, you have to first start by consistently meeting their expectations (see Great Leadership Is A Habit). Mr. Duck discussed the importance of committing to the “one percent rule.” By improving one percent per week, over a year, you gain a 52% improvement. When meeting very small incremental goals over time, this amounts to significant organizational change.
Consumer experience will continue to grow in importance as a competitive advantage. Don’t forget the adage from Peter Drucker, “The result of a business is a satisfied customer.”
For more on optimizing your consumer experience, check out these articles in the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- How Do You Measure Access?
- Yesterday’s ‘Mystery Shopper’ Is Today’s Customer Interaction Monitoring System
- 5 Reasons Why ‘Consumerism’ Must Be Part Of Your Strategy
- Navigating The Performance Loop – Customer Service, Consumer Experience & Consumer Engagement
- How To Create A Culture Of Customer Service
- What’s In A Name? Self-Determination, Self-Direction, Self-Advocacy
- Using Consumer Data To Influence Your Organization’s Marketing Strategy
- Watch Out For Your Left Flank
- To Improve Consumer Care In Medicaid & Beyond: Define Value & Make It Public
- What Gets Measured Is What Gets Done: Keys To Selecting Measures For Performance Management
And for more on enhancing the consumer experience, join me on October 29 at The 2019 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute where Alison Nelson, Senior Vice President for Optum Technology, Optum will give the keynote, “Leveraging Technology To Expand Access, Enhance Consumer Experience & Improve Outcomes In A Behavioral Health Care Marketplace Dominated By Value-Based Models.”