Creating Customer Evangelists
IN THIS SUMMARY
In Creating Customer Evangelists, veteran marketing communications strategists Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba describe how customer-driven referrals can determine a company's success. To create evangelists, companies must cultivate relationships with their customers so that customers feel compelled to tell others about their positive experiences with a company's product or service. McConnell and Huba reveal six common practices of evangelism-driven companies and illustrate the practices with case studies of seven small, medium, and large companies in varied industries who have created, and who use, customer evangelists to maintain successful, profitable businesses, even in uncertain economic times.These customer-centered companies not only understand the importance of soliciting, and acting upon, customer feedback, they also make it a point to share their expertise whenever possible with customers and future customers. They encourage customers to meet and share ideas under the auspices of company-sponsored events and activities, whether at actual events or in online communities. Creating communities of customers further extends the word-of-mouth networks that are already in existence, and the customer community grows with the support of the company. With the communication network in place, customer evangelism-focused companies can enhance future buying experiences by offering specialized, or smaller, offerings to allow prospective customers to experience the product or service. Then, going one step further, the company, through its customer evangelists, has positioned itself as an industry leader, and is now in a strategic position to champion causes or issues that are important to customers and to the industry.The seven companies McConnell and Huba select for their case studies are leaders in the customer evangelism movement. These case studies look at the people-and not just the CEOs-behind the company and their approach to customers as well as the lessons they can teach companies of all sizes from all industries.