Thursday, September 22, 2005

Amen to customer evangelists!

As promised, I attended the Creating Customer Evangelists webinar today and found it to be very…inspirational :).  As the speakers explained it, “evangelism” means having a volunteer force of individuals who have a deep connection with the company and who will go to bat for you among their peers and prospects.  They rightly pointed out that customer satisfaction is a far cry from loyalty and that we should aim to reach the 20-25% of our customers who have the potential to become evangelists.  Turns out that what this 20-25% wants most is access to the inner-workings of the organizations they love and to share their enthusiasm for the products/services with others.

The speakers outlined the 6 tenets of creating evangelists, the most important of which is #1:  Customer plus delta, meaning we should gather feedback from patrons on a regular basis to correct problems.  The other tenets about sharing knowledge, building buzz, creating community, making smaller chunks of complex services, and having a cause were helpful also.  I really enjoyed hearing these strategies because I think librarians could excel at this kind of marketing strategy.  We’re already natural information sharers and community builders, and we definitely have a cause! I also like that this is not a generic kind of marketing, but a personal one that values relationships over transactions.

I highly recommend that you review the presentation if you get a chance.  It should be posted tomorrow afternoon at  I’m going to try to read the book Creating Customer Evangelists when I can and pass along what I discover.  I think this is an important route for librarians to explore since there is a growing cynicism toward traditional marketing, especially among young people. Besides, what better way to market than have your fans do it for you?

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