Urban Valet Blog

Urban Valet – Raving Fans Principles

Posted: March 10, 2023

Photo of Urban Valet "Raving Fan Principles" sign

Here at Urban Valet Cleaners, for more than 25 years, we have been guided by our company’s 8 core values; honesty, diversity, integrity, community, compassion, accountability, customer-centered, learning & self-improvement. A base requirement in our organization is that all decisions have to align with our core values. While we, of course, err and make mistakes from time to time, it’s understood that at no time is it acceptable to act in a way that is contrary to any of our core values. Our company-wide commitment to this way of thinking goes a long way in making sure that our clients are well cared for, in a consistent and caring way.

Next to our adherence to our company’s core values, we are also committed to what we call our “Raving Fan” philosophy. This doctrine has been practiced here since the owner read the book some 20 years ago, agreed with its core tenets, and decided to implement it along with the leadership team.  

What is a ‘Raving Fan’?

Raving fans are customers that not only speak positively about the services of your business but are so excited about the manner in which a business operates, that they enthusiastically endorse the business at every opportunity. In a way, customers become unpaid ambassadors for the company. In 1993, Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles wrote Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, which detailed this approach and explained how business owners can make this a constant feature in their companies.

Now, you would think that for a company to create “Ravings Fans” they would have to do back-flips and handstands, in addition to delivering the product or service. In reality, though, meeting the customer’s core expectations CONSISTENTLY, plus 1%, is what it takes to get the job done. What are core expectations? It depends on what your product or service is. This is how we view it at Urban Valet and how we have defined the core expectations.      

The Raving Fans Principles:

  1. Honor our customer promise!
  2. (Then) go 1% above the promise!
  3. Raving fans are Urban Valet ambassadors

Our Customer Promise:

  1. Provide quality
  2. Return exactly what was dropped off
  3. Have items ready when promised
  4. Communicate very well

The Customer Promise?

When you drop your clothes off or have them picked up at your house to be dry cleaned or altered, you have a certain level of expectation. For instance, you expect to receive your clothes back, cleaned, expertly pressed, nicely packaged, and overall, in far better condition than you dropped them off in. We’ve implemented and are continually refining our internal systems to ensure that we are delivering this level of quality, consistently. Next, our customers want the exact items returned that they dropped off. If you have used competing dry cleaning services for a period of time, you know that this one’s a wild card. Third, you want your items ready when they are supposed to be ready. And last, you want there to be good communication at all times. For example, our service includes texts or emails reminding you that you have items to pick up, that a delivery was just made to your house, or asking if you have anything for us to pick up on your scheduled day.

What’s the 1% all about?

Assuming a company is delivering consistently on the core promises, then add 1% to that? That could be a candy jar on the store counter, assisting a customer walking their order out to the car, donating to a customer’s fundraiser, or, for home delivery customers, wheeling up the empty garbage can as you walk up the driveway to deliver clean clothes to the house. 

Our commitment to the ‘Raving Fans Model’ is ongoing and will continue to be a work in progress. The consistency with which the customer promises are delivered, is really what differentiates companies. For us, understanding the model and having clarity across the company as to what our collective mission is, brings us together as an organization and is to the benefit of all of our valued clients. Until something better comes along, we’ll continue working hard to serve our customers and generate Raving Fans!

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