Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Church of the Customer - Creating Customer Evangelists

Creating Customer EvangelistsBen McConnell & Jackie Huba--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blog Writing Speaking About Contact Books: Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force
Overview Contents Examples Reviews Buy it
What is customer evangelism?

When customers are truly thrilled about their experience with your product or service, they can become outspoken "evangelists" for your company. This group of satisfied believers can be converted into a potent marketing force to grow your universe of customers.

Authors Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba explain how to convert already loyal customers into influential and enthusiastic evangelists. The year-long research project that led to "Creating Customer Evangelists" outlines the framework for developing evangelism marketing strategies and programs. The ultimate goal is to create communities of influencers who drive sales or membership for your company or organization.

From their research into the best practices of some of the most forward-thinking companies with legions of evangelists who spread the word, McConnell and Huba outline and explain the six basic tenets of creating customer evangelists:

Customer plus-delta: Continuously gather customer feedback.
Napsterize knowledge: Make it a point to share knowledge freely.
Build the buzz: Expertly build word-of-mouth networks.
Create community: Encourage communities of customers to meet and share.
Make bite-size chunks: Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite.
Create a cause: Focus on making the world, or your industry, better.
McConnell and Huba profile highly successful companies to illustrate these tenets and prove how solid customer relationships build and sustain companies through good and rocky times. These in-depth company profiles provide real-life examples of evangelism marketing at work, including the opportunities and pitfalls of specific campaigns.

"Creating Customer Evangelists" explains how organizations as diverse as Southwest Airlines, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, The Dallas Mavericks, IBM, and others successfully built their customer base and created targeted marketing programs to involve their biggest fans. These programs have produced legions of unofficial salespeople and a cost-effective and powerful marketing force.

By deepening customer relationships, successful organizations create communities that generate grassroots support and value for their products and services. "Creating Customer Evangelists" focuses on this ultimate marketing approach. McConnell and Huba demonstrate how you can convert good customers into exceptional ones who willingly spread the word.

The book is intended for marketing managers and directors, entrepreneurs and customer champions inside companies large and small. It's also intended for students and professors who require case studies for their research.

For regular updates about customer evangelism concepts, ideas and research, follow the customer evangelism link in the categories column to the right.

Testify: The CCE supplement

Organizations that focus on building word of mouth into full-fledged evanagelism grow faster, are more profitable and have big-picture ideas that somehow change the world. It's fun, exciting stuff.

So we asked organizations to tell us how they're creating evangelists for their cause, product or service. From the submissions we received, we selected examples from companies that represent software, sports, education, non-profits, training, and free agents.

"Testify! How Remarkable Organizations are Creating Customer Evangelists" is the result. There are two ways to read the book:

Buy the paperback version
Download the free version (PDF, 472KB)



Visit Society for Word of Mouth

Essential reading
All about customer evangelists
All about citizen marketers
7 reasons why small businesses should blog
Exposing stealth marketing
The 1% Rule
Understanding the 1 Percenters
Citizen marketers
Companies behaving badly
Customer evangelism
Social media
Word of mouth
Our tag cloud


For extra credit, read our transparency policy. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License

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