How To Turn Customers Into Raving Fans

Taking the offensive in hard times

Of course there are always business cycles. The so called Great Recession that began in 2008 and continues through today is most certainly one. Very many businesses contract dramatically or fail during these down cycles. But, they are time of great opportunities. The natural reaction of many during a down business climate is retraction.

Many businesses in many different industries have, and continue to, cut expenses, cut staff, stop expansion, cease investing, halt developing their people and so forth.

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Now is a great time to take advantage of others’ trepidation, fear and weakness.

I believe that Warren Buffett is known to insist the time to be greedy is when others are afraid.

However, no one can time an opportunity perfectly. So, it is imperative we get ourselves into the correct position and begin making strategic moves to improve your chances of taking advantage.

There are a variety of things that can be done, but let’s discuss one of them now.

Step one is to go on Defense.

Ask all your customers one question right away.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being great and 1 being grim, how likely are you to recommend us to others?”

Anyone rating you a 9 or a 10 are your avid supporters, raving fans and advocates. Build a massive plan to include them in your strategy. Here is a short list of some things you must execute with this group:

  • Collect referrals
  • Get testimonials
  • Ask for more business
  • Develop alliances
  • Share revenue
  • Co-market
  • Create exclusive arrangements

Those who indicate a 7 or an 8 are passive. They are only your customers because they don’t know about a better offer right now.

They are all set to jump ship if someone else gives them a little better deal. Something like a lower price or nicer terms will do it. It does not matter how long they have been customers. You are “at risk” with this group.

  • Create a ranking from highest to lowest revenue.
  • Contact them in revenue order right now and determine what you can do to make them love you!
  • Once they tell you, give it to them!
  • Repeat doing this frequently

The objective is to do what it takes to get your score to a 9 or a 10.

Anyone at a 6 or lower is a detractor or worse. They can be a cancer on your business. Get rid of them now. Fire them before they fire you!

Step two is to go on Offense

Now here’s the Opportunity.

All your competitors are in exactly the same position. Except, they are not playing defense. You must go and get your competitors passive clients. Remember, those are the ones rating your competitor about a 7 or an 8. Find out who they are. Your sales reps should already know them.

  • Create a ranking from highest to lowest revenue.
  • Contact them in high to low revenue order.
  • Ask them, “What one thing is my competitor not giving you that I could provide?”
  • Once they tell you, give it to them!
  • Repeat doing this with all your competitors.

Once you have landed them, convert them to an avid fan of your own. Remember, now is the time for the brave not the timid.