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Fans Not Customers: How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World Paperback – International Edition, November 13, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vernon Hill was the founder of the hugely successful Commerce Bank in the US and Metro Bank in the UK. He is one of only a handful of chief executives ever to be a member of the Forbes 20/20 club: to have stayed in the same job for over two decades paying more than 20% returns every year.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781251118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781251119
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Fans not Customers: Vernon Hill
"A fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person who supports with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band, a sports team or entertainer. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fan base or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being a member of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention. Some fans even take it as far as impersonating their idol or go into a state of insanity by believing they are the character the person is obsessed with." Why can't businesses cultivate fans in the same way? When reading Fans not Customers you the reader as well as this reviewer will take away some invaluable information and lessons on how and why when dealing with customers you need to excel in more than just outstanding customer service. You must provide hours seven days a week, welcome customers into your store and provide the kind of service that will get them talking at parties, at work and even when in your store telling others why they should frequent your business over others. So, let's get started and find out just how Vernon Hill the founder of Commerce Bank put his Amazing plan into action.

Next, he founded Metro Bank in the UK, which as the author states has no other bank like it in the world. Now, that is a huge statement and one to live up to big time. But, according to Mr. Hill this bank is open 365 days a year and the service is unparalleled plus their customer service is live 24 hours a day. Imagine lines to get into a bank. Imagine the media making a big deal over the opening and covering it.
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This is a pretty fast read with some amazing stories of how Commerce Bank in New Jersey and now Metro Bank in London have, under the leadership of Vernon Hill, created great enthusiasm among bank staff and customers. No Stupid Rules -- bowls of cold water for dogs, bikers can ride up to the tellers rather than locking their bikes outside, accounts take 10 to 15 minutes to open, counting the time it takes to print checks and debit and credit cards. A teller finding a left behind cheque book, calling the customer's mobile and delivering it to a nearby pub on her way home. All the pieces and the people work together and the bank works on its culture all the time, and people have fun doing it. he is one of the few CEOs to grow his business at 25 percent a year for 30 years....Tom Peters, who wrote the foreword, is very impressed, but never speechless, of course. He does rave. Hill is also pretty funny about the British banks whose customers he is taking.
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Never go to know who Vernon Hill was until I took a course on Strategy Management and was introduced to a case study on what Vernon did with Commerce Bank published by the Harvard Business Review.

This book details what Vernon did at Commerce Bank in the US and also a subsequent venture Metro Bank in the UK. It gives you good examples and tips on how to make the customer fall for your business, the right way in markets where the business is to make money but not actively engage and retain customers.

A recommended book for the project implementer or CEO of a company.
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In all the books I've read there are two that standout with the unique distinction that I was so enraptured that I was unable to put each one down until I was through with the final page. These two books happen to be "Fans Not Customers" by Vernon Hill and "Zero to One" by Peter Thiel. Strangely enough both authors are billionaires, however, that is a cause of something far more significant that both these men share, it is their contrarian belief system. Throughout their books, you can see this belief system combined with a sustained hatred for complacency and the status quo which guided them forward and gave them the confidence to achieve the "impossible" on a grand scale.

A major complain I hear, and experience myself, is that many books are merely a regurgitation of other author's ideas. With that being said, allow me to emphatically state that this is not one of these books -- not by a long shot. This is an exceptional book, it is the type of book that makes you feel as though a business legend is standing right before you and instilling his authentic and truest thoughts right into your head with the intention of having you, his student, succeed.
This is normally where someone would say they "hope" to meet Vernon Hill. Yet, I choose not to make hope a plan and instead say that I intend to meet both Vernon and Shirley Hill. Here's to the greatest business couple of our time! Thank you for being paradigm challengers and inspiring me and others like me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Vernon W. Hill II founded Commerce Bank in 1973. In 2007, the bank “was sold to Toronto-based TD Bank for $8.5 billion, producing a 30-year, 23 percent annual shareholder return. Everyone profited, including shareholders and team members.” In 2010, he co-founded Metro Bank, bringing the same service culture to British banking. In Fans Not Customers he reveals the secret sauce of his business model. This book is about branding, differentiation, corporate culture, and organic growth, but the dominant theme is providing exceptional customer service.

“I always believed that the world did not need another ‘Me, Too’ bank. I believed that the value of a bank is in its deposit base. I set out to build a power retailing company modeled on the successful retailers of America rather than a typical bank… The customer exchanged what they considered a better retail experience… for a lower yield on their money—giving us more of their low-cost money. We competed on service—not price.”

“We are perfectly happy having customers. But our goal is to convert them to fans. Fans are customers who embrace your model and culture, become part of your community, and convert their friends to new customers of your brand.”

Here are some of the things that make the branches—or stores as Hill prefers to call them—stand out from traditional banks:
• Cashiers don’t go to lunch during the customers’ lunch hour.
• Card and check printers on site so a customer can open an account and start using it immediately.
• Free coin counting machines. “In 2006 alone, they were used 6 million times.”
• Sunday hours at every location. “It sent a message to customers that we are there for their convenience, not for ours.
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