Raving Fans, we all want them, but how do we maintain them?


Raving fans.  Its something that all of us want to build in our customer base.  This is a phrase that is used regularly in our industry.  Many organizations are great at initially building their fan base, but continuing to build and maintain it is another story.  For example, how do you feel when you’re favorite sports team continually loses season after season and they don’t make the proper changes to become a winning team? Like most sports franchises they build a fan base, but you have to win to maintain it.  I’m a Jets fan, so I get it.

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After a brief interaction on twitter last night, I was reminded that while we want to create raving fans, we don’t want them to speak highly of us just because we’re Nutanix and we are the leaders in the HCI space.  More on what I mean later.

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Howard Marks reminds us that customers can be wrong, but there are reasons behind it.  When I look back on my career and the technologies from the biggest companies, I admit at some level I was caught up in the “promotion” of solutions/products from these companies only to realize that a lot of that promotion was based on loyalty, comfort, investment and the fact that I certainly bet my career on these companies and i’m not going to fool myself, they have provided me a nice life, however, when is it you wake up and realize that there are technologies that are out there that will and are making things better for our customers even if it’s in direct competition with the solutions and companies to whom you have dedicated so much? It took me a while but I got there, that’s why I now work for Nutanix.

The question is when we become dependent on a certain technology and we are truly vested, does that cloud our judgement and does that have an impact on our perception of reality?  Absolutely.  Howard states that customers still wanted legacy tech that outlived its usefulness from customers because it’s what they knew, it’s what they invested their careers on.  Look, I get it, it’s scary to think that something that you completely invested in and believed in would have to be replaced at some point, seems to be the natural cycle of IT, companies release XYZ product to solve a problem, customers invest in said product, product gets incrementally better over time until the solution or architecture itself has been surpassed by something better.

On a large scale, this can be seen from the Mainframe transition to Client/Server, to now Hybrid Cloud, and in smaller scales with other technologies like HCI, Containerization, etc.

You can see Justin Hurst’s response telling us that we should focus on keeping the customers ecstatic over our products, meaning it’s not just about building “raving fans” it’s continually innovating to maintain the “delight” he speaks of, and i’m not talking about just technology.  You need to innovate and adapt to how you provide support, how you deliver your product through the Procurement process, the transparency of your vision and direction, and finally, you have to be a customer service oriented organization.  This is what builds “raving fans.”  I’ll be honest, three years from now I don’t want our fans to love us because we are the leaders in HCI, I want our customers to rave about us because we are not only continuing to the do the things i mentioned previously, but we are doing them better.

Our .NEXT conference is a prime example of that.  This was a customer focused conference period. From Keynotes to Sessions, we had customers tell their story about why they are raving fans of Nutanix.  .NEXT showed the world that Nutanix is here to stay, we continue to innovate and we do this while providing outstanding customer service at the same time.  You can see this from our 96% customer satisfaction rate and our phenomenal Net Promoter scores, besting those that have been in the industry for over a decade.

This is how you create raving fans and “keep our customers delighted.”  After all, that’s why we’re here.

To become a raving fan of Nutanix, go here.

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