This is an addendum to my recent post on Business Week’s article — True Believers. Here’s a second serving of quotes from the article, which also serves as an overview of how-to “connect, foster, and build” a community of evangelists:
1. Don’t just preach; practice —
For many companies, transforming customers from passive buyers to active participants demands a seismic shift in thinking. You can’t just slap up a blog and expect people to get excited.
2. Customer evangelism is TANGIBLE!
The benefits of courting customer advocates are clear. Research by Bain & Co. over the past decade has found that revenues of companies with the highest levels of customer loyalty grew more than twice as fast as those of their competitors. And University of Michigan researchers have seen a strong correlation between a company’s ratings on its customer satisfaction index and its future stock market performance.
3. Court the lovers —
While bringing in customers from the get-go is a great strategy, every company has loyal followers who may become advocates. It’s simply a matter of finding them.
4. More importantly; Court the HATERS —
When looking for advocates, don’t make the mistake of writing off customers who have complaints about your company. Addressing their concerns may well convert them into your most fanatical followers.
5. The Secret Sauce — build the community:
It’s a lot less tangible than how often someone buys from you, but customers who see themselves mirrored in your brand are more likely to be loyal. You can develop that reflection by building a community in which customers can interact with your employees as well as their peers.
Are you a believer now? The best way to find out is by trying out the 5-step formula outlined above.