Rieva Lesonsky at The Small Business Blog has an interesting look at how to turn customers into fanatic fans.
Every team needs fans. And every business needs them as well. Several years ago, Ken Blanchard of “One Minute Manager” fame wrote a book called Raving Fans, essentially a parable about how businesses can turn customers into fanatic fans through exemplary customer service. In short, customers become so happy with a business that they spread the word to friends and colleagues.
So how do you create fans? While I agree with Blanchard that excellent customer service will convert customers into fans, it’s only part of the equation. You can’t be passive and expect your happy customers to do all the work.
Viral marketing strategies work best when entrepreneurs make it easy for their customers to tell other people about their experiences. That means including a “tell-a-friend” or “share this” link in all your e-mail messages to customers.
Surprise is an underrated business tactic. Used correctly, it can keep your customers coming back because they’re not met by the same old, same old every time. In business, there’s generally a time for both surprise and consistency.
Appealing to customers can be tricky for many entrepreneurs. Teams win when they have a good mix of proven veteran players and young, eager, and hungry rookies. Entrepreneurs have to do the same. The key is to find the winning balance.
Photo by David Kozlowski.