Earning Your Customers’ Rave: Make These 5 Decisions, And Customers Will Grow Your Business For You


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When you make decisions that respect and honor customers, you will earn their admiration; eventually even love. Then customers will begin to grow your business for you. Two years of research (preparing for the book, “I Love You More than My Dog“) indicate that five decisions drive devoted customers and business growth.

When customers love you, they’ll not only turn to you when a particular product or service is needed, they’ll turn to you first, regardless of the competition. They will tell your story, forming an army of cheerleaders, urging friends, neighbors, colleagues, even strangers. At Yelp, Facebook, Epinions, Twitter, chat rooms, and hundreds of other websites that give customers a forum for their opinions on their experience with companies, people are not bashful to tell stories about how they feel when they are treated well. Customers who love you won’t be able to stop raving about you. But you need to earn the right to their story first.

Making these five decisions will help you to earn the right to have your story told. They will drive the behaviors customers love.

Discover the story of your company in the marketplace: Evaluate how you are making these five decisions.

Rather than giving a one-size-fits all solution (because there is not one), my goal is to encourage you to evaluate how you make decisions in these five categories. This evaluation will help you to understand what you are telling customers every day about who you are and what you value because of the actions that come from your decisions. And it will help you correct your course if your course needs changing.

Here are the five decisions that set beloved companies apart. These five decisions earn the right to their customers’ story and to business growth and prosperity:

Decision 1: Beloved Companies Decide to Believe.

“We trust our customers. We trust those who serve them.”

Inside the beloved companies, they decide to believe. By deciding to trust customers, they are freed from extra rules, policies and layers of bureaucracy that create a barrier between them and their customers. And by deciding to believe that employees can and will do the right thing. Second-guessing, reviewing every action, and the diminishing the ability of employees to think on their feet is replaced with shared energy and a desire to stick around.

In the book there are forty-five case studies that examine in depth how these decisions are made inside companies that are beloved. After each case study is a series of questions, to help you evaluate how you make the same type of decision inside your organization. Here are a few of the questions to evaluate how you decide to BELIEVE:

Decision 2: Beloved Companies Decide with Clarity of Purpose.

“Our iron-clad integrity and clarity guides the direction of our decisions.”

Beloved companies take the time to be clear about what their unique promise is for their customers’ lives. In decision making, they align to this purpose, to this promise. Clarity of purpose guides choices and unites the organization. It elevates people from executing tasks to delivering experiences customers will want to repeat and tell others about. Here are a few questions to help you evaluate how clarity of purpose guides your decisions.

Decision 3: Beloved Companies Decide to Be Real.

“We have a spirited soul, humanity in our touch, and personality that’s all ours.”

Beloved companies shed their fancy packaging and break down the barriers between “big company, little customer.” The relationship is between people who share the same values and revel in each others’ foibles, quirks and spirit. Only companies who really know who they are and what they stand for can be “real” They decide to create a safe place where the personality and creativity of people come through. They are beloved by customers who gravitate to their particular brand of personality. Here are a few questions to help you evaluate how “being real” and authentic guides your decisions:

Decision 4: Beloved Companies Decide to Be There.

“We must earn the right to our continued relationship with customers.”

It’s an everyday charge up the hill to be there for customers in the ways that are important to them. And it takes its toll, because deciding to be there requires more resources and more work. Beloved companies gladly do the hard work. They’re in the scrimmage everyday to constantly earn the right to their continued relationships with customers. They work every day to defend their decisions because they know that with each experience they must earn the right for the customer to return. That starts with deciding to be there when customers need them, on customers’ terms.

Decision 5: Beloved Companies Decide to Say Sorry.

“We act with humanity when things go wrong. We will make it right.”

How a company reacts to adversity reflects the humanity of an organization, and shows its true colors more than almost any situation it might encounter. Grace and wisdom guide decisions to accept accountability when things go wrong. Apologizing well and repairing the emotional connection with customers is a hallmark of companies we love. In fact, it makes us love them more. How a company makes decisions to explain, react, remove the pain and take accountability for actions loudly and clearly what they think about customers and gives an indication to the collective “heart” of the organization.

For beloved companies, making decisions is how they enable moments of “wow” in a world of customer experience “vanilla” What draws us to people in our lives are the commonalities that we have with each other. “Golden Rule behaviors” as Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus from Southwest Airlines calls them.

Are customers telling your story?

What story is emerging about who you are and what you value?

The companies beloved by their customers work hard every day to resist the pull of “normal” business practices to create a powerful human connection with their customers. Love is irrational. Customer love is a reward for what some consider irrational business behavior. Companies that grow because of their bonds with customers do so because they aren’t always looking over their shoulder at what each decision will get them. In a world where products and services are available in hundreds of variations, these companies get a disproportionate piece of pie because of how they decide to treat their customers and employees.

When you make decisions that honor your employees and customers they will tell your story for you. They will grow your business for you.

So make a choice. Decide. With each shipment you make, with each sales call and support contact, decide what you want to be described in the marketplace. Then decide to take the actions to earn that rave.

Earn your customers’ business, by deciding how you will run yours.


  1. Dear Jeanne,
    As you have spent 25 years working with CEOs on improving the customer experience, I have (for 20+ years) been working with mid-management and yes the reps to create great service experiences.

    Your post is spot on. Leadership must make these 5 decisions so that the implementers that I train on how to deliver are free to do just that with success!

    Bravo and thanks for this post.
    Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

  2. I got you points and can see a bigger view of how to deal with various situation. Great work.
    Best wishes


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