Book Review by Karen Cohen
Quick Review: Easy reading with vital information, turning the pages of “Turning Rants into Raves” is “a vital exercise on the journey to become a more customer-centric organization.”
Reading this book, brings the reader back to so many bad experiences that we have all had in the shopping arena. There is not a reader among us who will not recognize the characters Randi Busse and Carol Heady describe in Turning Rants Into Raves: Turn Your Customers On Before They Turn On You! (The Rant and Rave Company, Inc.). More often than not, readers will have experienced the frustration of a poor customer service representative. The book’s main purpose is to explain the importance of excellent customer service in the lives of business men and women.
Rants are the terrible customer service people who seem to abound in today’s business world. Raves are what Rants can become when turned around. A Rant can metamorphose into a Rave by reading this book and using its handy messages. A Rant can turn into a patient, helpful, creative, customer service personnel member.
Busse and Heady begin their journey of turning Rants into Raves with the Four R’s: Revenue, Retention, Referrals, and Reputation.
- Revenue is the customers giving their money from their bottom line to the owner’s bottom line.
- Retention is customers continuing to give the owners their business.
- Referrals are customers giving family and friends the name of a business due to good customer relations.
- Reputation is customers speaking highly of an owner and his/her company to other people.
Busse and Heady outline five customer service principles that will keep a successful business running smoothly:
Principle #1 – Thinking Like An Owner – according to the writers, if an owner treats his employees like owners, the employees are then likely to treat the customers as “raves” – they will treat the customers well. Good treatment is something that goes down the line. Bad treatment of customers by employees -“rants” – will likely demean the customers and the important 4 Rs (such as referrals) will be ignored. If the owner empowers his employees, the employees will feel empowered, hence the customers will refer the business to friends and family.
Principle #2 – Building a Relationship – the writers believe that employees and customers must establish a rapport, demonstrate that they care, show genuine interest and empathy. In other words, the employees must earn customer loyalty by showing the customers that they care at first glance and through continuing interaction. If the customer encounters a “Rant”, the customer will not return and the owner loses out on the 4 Rs again. If the “Rant” in a relationship displays negative body language, and does not greet customers, pushes products instead of asking customer needs, acts disinterested, etc. the 4 Rs will be affected in a negative fashion instead of a positive one.
Principle #3 – Remove the Roadblocks – Busse and Heady believe that as the owner, one must make it easy for the customer to do business and have a good experience doing so. The customer will then likely refer others to the owner’s business. Removing roadblocks includes resolving complaints and having customer-friendly policies. The policy of “The Customer is Always Right,” removes most roadblocks. After all, losing a customer and all of his revenue is much more expensive than losing money from one transaction.
The authors expand this thinking, telling customers what you CAN do for them, and taking steps to resolve potential problems before they affect customers. Unfortunately, most customers feel that their employers tie their hands with corporate policies focusing on the bottom line rather than customer needs. An owner must remember that removing roadblocks could positively affect the 4 Rs.
Principle #4 – Walk In Your Customer’s Shoes – think of how the customer feels and wants to be treated. Rules such as The Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated and, the Platinum Rule – treat others as you think they want to be treated, are highlighted for a successful business. The Owners must teach their employees empathy, implement service standards, and hold them accountable.
Principle #5 – Capture Your Customer’s Heart – finally, Busse and Heady write that when the customers are first priority, the customer will return. Create an emotional connection with the customer that makes him feel special and appreciated with little acts of kindness, and customers will react in kind. When the customer feels his heart has been chased and captured by an intelligent owner the customer will happily return, spend and refer.
Busse and Heady’s Rant and Rave is a must-read for both every up and coming entrepreneur and every currently successful business person. It can and will only improve upon the skills that a business owner has and aspires to for a successful business future. With interesting stories and cartoons to show the plight of the three parties involved: the customer, the employee and the owner, Busse and Heady illustrate the how-tos of business success as opposed to business failure.
As the writers’ clear distinction is drawn using the 4 Rs and the 5 Principles, drawn as well is the very concise design depicting the difference of the failure to the successful business, the bad employee to the good employee, the Rant to the Rave.
Turning Rants into Raves can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Turning-Rants-Into-Raves-Customers/dp/0988239507
Randi Busse – http://www.workdevgroup.com/index.html and her speakers bureau bio can be found at – http://longislandspeakersbureau.com/randi-busse