skip to Main Content
Who are your raving fans?

One of the greatest challenges the cannabis industry faces is entrepreneurs and managers who think they are reinventing the business wheel just because that wheel happens to smell like a skunk and make people smile, giggle and eat pizza. And so, this is for all you “green” business people out there, even if it isn’t ABOUT everyone’s favorite magnificent flower.

People say they care what their customers think, but do they strive to understand WHY their customers feel a certain way? Tabulating some “How Did We Do?” scorecards and addressing undeniable trends is kind of like cramming before a test, but not actually learning anything.

Everyone knows that a dissatisfied patron is more likely to express his or her crabby opinion than a happy one. Satisfaction creates pacifists, but anger breeds revolutionaries. Comment boxes are like the wombs malcontents wish they could crawl back into. Like death, taxes and Jerry Jones’ mummified face, you can count on the disgruntled traveler shouting from the rooftops about their terrible experience at the hotel in Florence. Never mind that they reserved the cheapest room and their biggest complaint was the slow, free, Wi-Fi. Years later they’ll still be blabbering about that “horrible hotel” in Italy even if the person they’ve cornered is researching a trip to Germany.

Satisfied customers frequently share their warm and fuzzies, but usually it’s after they are asked for an opinion. Ken Blanchard’s masterful Raving Fans examines how to take a customer who’s content and turn them into an energized brand ambassador. After all, shouldn’t their voice be heard just as loudly as the doom and gloomer? If your job is customer service, your greatest concern should be the beefiest part of the bell curve — those people who don’t comment unless asked, at which point they often say everything was “fine” or “good.” Only an ostrich covering his tail feathers would count such unenthusiastic, passive respondents in the positive column of his spreadsheet.

What those people are really expressing is that they’re relieved they didn’t have a bad experience. That they don’t feel ripped off. This is one of Blanchard’s central points. Now, more than ever, the bar is lower than an Olympic limbo contest. That was in Rio right? While the absence of a negative is a positive in many life situations — if I am plunking down a few hundred bucks for a meal it would be nice if I didn’t have to muster up a half-hearted smile when the maître d asks how everything was.

Once upon a time, you could skate by, not worrying about those people, but not anymore.  Today’s world is “more intimate than a bride and groom on their wedding night” (credit to Bono). If you allow dissatisfaction or apathy to walk out the door, it’s much more likely that social media will enable those customers to blast their feelings around the world. Trip Advisor is awesome if you are a GM running a resort that is well staffed and frequently remodeled. But if the owner’s idea of thread count is the actual threads hanging from the pillowcases and the patio furniture has mold on it dating back to Bill and Monica in the Oval, good luck addressing your critics online without sounding defensive. Speaking of which, why, in all walks of life, do people penalize you for ‘looking defensive’ when that is precisely what they’ve asked you to do, defend yourself?!

Raving Fans was published in 1993. Blanchard couldn’t have seen social media coming and yet his analysis and recommendations are quite literally a textbook for using today’s customer satisfaction channels effectively. Which is my point — there’s still a difference between service and marketing. Social media might be the stage, but it is not the script. The flag bearers of the future love to taunt old-schoolers as being dinosaurs who are crippled from understanding how to leverage the technology.  It is undeniable that a big piece of today’s consumer perception involves “starting the conversation” and ongoing “stakeholder engagement.” But here’s a newsflash — most service still happens BEFORE the tweeting. Yes, the messaging and reviews do influence the brand, it’s sales and marketing, but all the Facebooking in the world never makes up for a dirty counter or rude bud-tender.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Stories

French Senators Petition Macron’s Government For Urgent Cannabis Reform

OVER 30 senators from the Socialist, Ecologist and Republican group have called for the launch of a consultation process to introduce new laws to legalize cannabis in France. The co-signed letter from 31 senators, published in the Le Monde newspaper explores several options for the legalization of cannabis – and rejects the notion of decriminalization, saying…

New Jersey Marijuana Prices Expected To Drop As Market Expands

In its first 70 days of being a legal market in New Jersey, recreational marijuana collected close to $80 million in total sales, according to the latest figures. Folks involved with ramping up the industry expect that number to grow as time goes on, and for consumers to experience more options and more affordable prices…

Cilicon Partners with Vape-Jet to Offer an Intelligent & Integrated Vaporizer Solution

PRESS RELEASE Cilicon, a global provider of cannabis vape hardware, and Vape-Jet a U.S. -based infrastructure platform for cannabis oil-filling, announced today that they have formed an official partnership to provide an intelligent one-stop product solution for cannabis brands around the world. Based on a mutual understanding of the value of technology orientation for business growth…

NY’s medical marijuana patients frustrated as home-grow rules remain elusive

As the gears of the state’s rule-making process grind slowly forward, frustration and impatience best describe the feelings of New Yorkers who rely on cannabis as medicine. While the Office of Cannabis Management continues to assess the latest round of public comments on proposed rules governing personal cultivation by medical patients, a trio of such patients recently offered their experiences…

More Categories

Back To Top
×Close search
Search