This article originally appeared on the Spectrum blog.
As a small business owner, doesn’t it feel great when a new customer calls you up or walks through the door and says, “My friend so-and-so told me to come here because you’re the best”?
Absolutely it does! Why? Probably because 1) it’s nice to know that somebody out there loves the way you do business and 2) you just aacquired a new customer for free.
And nothing beats free business.
Except, of course, one thing:
Consistently Free Business
Ever heard of Evangelism Marketing? It’s a form of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) that consistently yields free business.
Evangelism Marketing will help your company develop incredibly loyal and passionate customers who will freely promote your products or services to others.
Evangelism Marketing creates evangelists.
Evangelists are business patrons who want nothing more than for others to spend money where they’re spending money, because they truly believe in the company’s products or services. Apple, for example, has a lot of evangelists.
Bottom line: Evangelism Marketing drives consistently free business to your company’s doormat.
How to Create Evangelists
Seth Godin, a highly respected new age marketing guru (and overall brilliant thinker), once said:
“In the Industrial Age -- the 50s and 60s -- the goal was to be a big business. An industrialist did a reliable thing for average people again and again... [Back then], every small business was told to act more like a big business. [Now], in the Post-Industrial Age, it’s reversed. Every big business needs to act more like a small business. Every small business needs to embrace the fact that the owner is only one click away from the customer. That the owner -- the person that cares enough -- can change things if she decides the market needs it. And yes, big businesses have to do the same; otherwise they’re going to keep industrializing themselves out of the picture. The future doesn’t belong to the mighty industrialists [anymore] -- the future belongs to the adroit, agile small business person who can listen and then deliver.”
That is sound advice.
But I want everyone to sit up and take notice of one crucial word Godin uses in the last sentence. The word is agile.
Agility is “the ability to move quickly and easily.” Therefore, from a business standpoint, being agile has everything to do with 1) quickly responding to your customers and 2) providing competent assistance. Businesses that approach customer service with these two factors in mind are well en route to creating evangelists that are going to spread their message to anyone who will listen.
So let’s break these factors down:
Never in the history of commerce have consumers been so accustomed to the notion of instant gratification. It’s become something of an expected norm – more common and abundant than ever before.
The Internet did that. And companies around the world have had to fall in line.
Today, almost every company has a social media presence and most large corporations have entire departments dedicated to social media because 1) consumers use social media and 2) social media makes it easy to respond quickly.
Some companies even make response time pledges. Dell, for example, has a “two hour rule,” which -- you guessed it -- promises that someone will respond to your inquiry within two hours time.
The “two hour rule” is an incredible commitment. It’s also a testament to the level of attentiveness today’s consumer has come to both expect and appreciate -- the latter being a decidedly important emotion when it comes to developing an evangelist following.
Django was fast in Django Unchained. He was also damn accurate. That’s what made him dangerous.
Quickly responding to questions and complaints isn’t enough. Consumers also expect ability.
Mistakes happen in business: deadlines fall through, products stop working and services sometimes fail. But popular wisdom tells us that it’s not the problem, but how you deal with it that, in the end, makes all the difference.
For example, your sales and customer service staff should be more than just familiar with your products and services. They should be trained to eloquently answer any questions, complaints or grievances -- providing an effective solution to just about any issue surrounding your company’s offerings.
A great example of competent assistance is the Genius Bar at Apple retail stores. The “Geniuses” behind the bar know how to quickly and fluidly solve problems, which has proven to make people immeasurably happy.
Can Your Business Achieve the Same Results?
Can your business make consumers happy the way Dell can... the way Apple can?
Must your business have a budget like Dell’s or Apple’s to do so?
No – not even close.
Your business can efficiently and effectively satisfy your customers’ needs right from your website – all with one, straightforward and inexpensive tool:
This tool will help you sell online like you’re in person, creating happy evangelists who will spread the word about your company’s outstanding customer service. Managed Chat is also an exceptional lead generation tool...
Spectrum Managed Chat is completely full-service, which means that a team of experts (in your industry) will be available to handle chat inquires from your website traffic 24/7 – capturing superior-quality leads by collecting more information than any reasonable form.
Quality information = high-grade leads that are more likely to convert.
Your chat leads will stream directly into Spectrum’s Lead Management Platform, which keeps your sales funnel organized and gives you instant access to the information you need.
Spectrum Managed Chat also features Call-Connect software, which allows chat agents to turn a chat conversation into a phone call with you, the owner, or, as Seth Godin put it, “The person that cares enough.”
If you show your customers that you care, they will care back. They will become evangelists. And they will make other care about your business, too.