June 25th 2009
Ken Blanchard wrote in his best-selling book Raving Fans, “If you really want to ‘own’ the customer, if you want a booming business, you have to go beyond satisfied customers and create raving fans.”
In our current economic state, raving fans might just determine whether a business succeeds or fails. Creating a raving fan might be as simple as paying attention to someone at your doorstep, even when you are closed.
Case in point: my recent visit to Lola’s CupCakery on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Let me just start by saying I love cupcakes. Don’t know why or where this passion stems from, but I do love them. So on a recent trip to New York City, I waited in line at one of the well known cup-cakeries that are all the rage. Unfortunately I came away disappointed. The service was unimpressive – they didn’t care if I was there or not – and worse, the cupcakes were terribly disappointing.
But that didn’t curb my enthusiasm for the opening of Lola’s. So last Saturday morning, on our way back from the beach, we ventured over to Lola’s. It was before noon and the store was closed. Understandable as it remains open until midnight on the weekends. But as my husband and I were peeking in the window, a woman from behind the counter waved to us and came to the door.
We chatted and she invited me in to order some, even though she was obviously very busy readying the store for a hopefully brisk weekend business and baking the 27 different types of cupcakes she offers. After I picked the few I wanted, she packed them up for me and said it was on the house. I told her I would definitely be back – and I hadn’t even tasted the cupcakes yet.
From a customer service perspective, she did everything right. She acknowledged us and then came to the door to talk to us. Instead of saying, “sorry we open at noon,” she invited us in. Then she gifted us the cupcakes.
Talk about making a great first impression and creating a raving fan.
Oh and by the way, the cupcakes were fantastic. I’ll be back.