What’s inside CCE
Chapter 1: Customer Evangelism: A Manifesto
You are an evangelist.
You tell others what movie to see, which computer to purchase, what restaurant to visit, which dentist you prefer, which cell phone to buy, which books to read, which clubs to join. Your recommendations are sincere. Passionate, perhaps.
Perhaps you did not realize that you are an evangelist, a bringer of glad tidings, but your sphere of influence does. It is made up of friends, family, colleagues and professional communities.
Chapter 2: When Customers Believe
Do your customers recruit new customers on your behalf?
Do your customers provide you with ideas for new products, product improvements, new services, store locations or new strategies to work with their business partners?
Customer evangelists do all of these things. Focusing your business and your marketing on creating evangelists is the most profitable approach to acquiring and retaining customers.
Chapter 3: Customer Plus-Delta
Listen to your customers.
The lessons of the case story companies in Chapters 9-15 teach us that listening to customers is a key component to creating customer evangelists. Many of our profiled organizations receive hundreds or over 1,000 emails a day from customers, filled with suggestions, complaints, and praise.
Overwhelming? No way, say the leaders we talked with. They wouldn't have it any other way. To them, a deluge of email confirms that their customers really care.
Chapter 4: Napsterize Your Knowledge
When 19-year-old programmer and college dropout Shawn Fanning wrote a program in 1999 to help his roommate find and share MP3 music files, it allowed Web surfers to open their hard drives to other people and do the same.
He named his program Napster, a nickname given to him years earlier. In 18 months the world of computing and knowledge sharing changed.
Word of Napster spread like an enormous, worldwide fire. Napster quickly became home to a community of 50 million people who shared about 9.4 millions files with one another every day.
Chapter 5: Build the Buzz
In the customer evangelism model, buzz is the pathway that helps shepherd new customers into your company's front-row pews.
Each wave of buzz provides your evangelists with another reason to extol you. Buzz helps people discover your business faster than traditional marketing programs. It helps your salespeople develop relationships because prospects already have some knowledge of your product.
In some cases, buzz sells the product by itself.
Chapter 6: Create Community
Each year, a tight-knit group of patients from Shouldice Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, get together and... party.
They have dinner, entertainment, dancing. Maybe some hula. It's a fun night. Many partygoers have two things in common: they've had hernia surgeries, and they are former patients of Shouldice.
Shouldice is not your ordinary hospital. It encourages patients to meet one another and build relationships. Its approach to hospitalization: it should be an experience -- a happy and memorable one, not a frightening and forgettable one.
Chapter 7: Bite-Size Chunks
How do you eat a cow? One bite at a time.
It's how companies recruit new customer evangelists, too. Instead of selling customers on the whole kit and cow-boodle of products, entice them first with a steak dinner. If they love the steak, they'll be back for the rump roast and later, the whole side of beef.
Break your product and service portfolio into bite-size chunks. They are small, easily consumed pieces of what makes your company valuable. For some products, it's samples. For other products, a limited-time or limited-capacity trial version works well. For others, it's a public workshop that provides a service. A starter product or service lets customers try your lower-end offerings on their way to purchasing your high-end, more expensive and complex products.
Chapter 8: Create a Cause
Guy Kawasaki and his compatriots at Apple Computer borrowed religion-based evangelism and took it to work.
Apple Computer's secular evangelism launched a new computer that suffered from insufficient software, a lack of storage capacity, a small screen and a price point higher than its competition.
Yet the Mac could compete with lower-priced, richer-featured models made by IBM because Apple was selling a dream, not a computer. Apple sold the Macintosh dream, which was to improve everyone's productivity and creativity. It created an evangelism department and hired marketers to evangelize, evangelize, evangelize.
Chapter 9: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts: Hot Marketing Now
On Dec. 4, 2001, Darrin Dredge and his friends set up camp at 6:30 p.m. on a dark but pleasant Kansas night.
A three-quarter moon would be rising in about three hours in the southern sky. Being smart campers, Dredge and his crew brought blankets, board games, food, water and the latest camping accessories, a portable TV and VCR, to pass the time.
As the hours slowly ticked by, others arrived and joined their campsite. Within a few hours, the crowd had swelled to 75 people, some of them prepared for the elements, some not. The night air was filled with the sweet aroma of cooked flour and sugar cane, and hunger pangs stirred in the campers.
But these campers weren't enjoying the night air to escape the bustling life of blue-collar Wichita, which produces more general aviation aircraft than any other city in the world. Darrin Dredge was there to eat the very first confectionary wonder produced by Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Eleven hours later he would.
Chapter 10: SolutionPeople: The High-Flying Solutionman
Gerald Haman spent $2,500 to launch his million-dollar business.
Haman's company is SolutionPeople, a Chicago-based creativity, innovation, training and consulting firm. It helps companies brainstorm ideas for new products and services, solve existing problems and improve teamwork skills. He launched SolutionPeople not long after the elder George Bush was being sworn in as president. Haman's idea behind his company: Training should be fun, and the tools for it should be perpetually useful.
It was 1989 and Haman bet that investing a few thousand dollars to mingle with the 5,000 attendees of the American Society for Training and Development at the Dallas, Texas, Convention Center would be a good strategy for launching his company. The human resources and training professionals who make up the ASTD get together every year to discuss the latest techniques and methodologies to train people in their companies.
Chapter 11: O'Reilly & Associates: The History Lessons of O'Reilly's Wars
Sebastopol, Calif., was named after the Crimean War.
How ironic then that, 144 years later, a few residents of quiet Sebastopol, California, had their own Crimean War. This time the battle was with an Internet giant to the north, Seattle-based Amazon.com and its founder, Czar Jeff Bezos.
Amazon was granted a patent for its "One-Click" buying process, which can significantly reduce the time required for online purchases. Amazon wanted to enforce its patent and make its biggest competitor, Barnes & Noble, stop using a similar process. Fear that Amazon would enforce its patent against other websites also using a "one-click" program filtered across the Internet. It was like Czar Nicholas seeking to protect his trade routes at all costs.
Enter Tim O'Reilly.
Chapter 12: The Dallas Mavericks: The New Mavericks of Marketing
Mark Cuban is a rebel with a cause.
He's out to make life better for long-suffering Dallas Mavericks fans. He wants to overthrow the elitism of the NBA, introduce new levels of marketing sophistication to the sport and bring fans closer to a game that has been declining in popularity since 1997.
Since purchasing the Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million ($200 million for the team and $85 million for part ownership of the arena), Cuban has helped revive a dormant franchise into a winning team -- both on the court and in the back office. Many of the take-it-or-leave-it fans have morphed into a raucous group that encouraged the team to reach the second round of the NBA playoffs in 2001 under coach Don Nelson. The last time the team made the playoffs was in 1990. In 2002, the team had a record of 57-25 and made it to the second round of the playoffs.
Chapter 13: Build-A-Bear Workshop: A Bear Market for Retailing
The retail industry has been lost in the woods for the past several years.
Montgomery Ward, inventor of the mail-order catalog, retail visionary and inventor of the catchphrase "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back," filed for bankruptcy and closed for good. Born in 1872, it died in 2000.
Kmart, pioneer of discount retailing that began life as Kresge's, filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and announced it was closing 284 of its 2,114 stores. More than 22,000 employees would be fired. Born in 1899, Kmart was on life support in April 2002.
Satisfaction among retail customers hasn't been setting any world records. The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which is compiled by the University of Michigan, shows that the retail industry has never surpassed a baseline satisfaction score set in 1994.
With this gloomy assessment, what's a retailer to do?
Maxine Clark has a pretty good idea. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a St. Louis-based retailer of stuffed animals. First-year revenues were $377,600. Four years later, Build-A-Bear has grown to 75 stores and over $100 million in revenues. A Build-A-Bear store rings up about $700 per square foot; the national mall average is $350.
Chapter 14: Southwest Airlines: A Cause, Not Just an Airline
Southwest Airlines receives about 3,900 customer letters every month. Some letters complain about delayed flights, lost baggage and other systemic ills associated with air travel.
But the company estimates that at least three-fourths of correspondents thank the company for good service, commending a flight attendant or a request that Southwest establish service in a new city.
Then terrorists hijacked four passenger jets on Sept. 11, 2001, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center in New York, one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and another in a Pennsylvania field. Estimates are that 3,054 people were killed. While none of Southwest's planes were involved in the attacks and none of its employees were lost in the debris of destroyed buildings and lives, the company was significantly affected nonetheless.
Among the hundreds of new challenges the United States and the world suddenly faced, one was key to Dallas-based Southwest: would the American aviation industry recover?
Chapter 15: IBM: The Billion-Dollar Cause
A wave called Linux is heading toward the shoreline of computer operating system supremacy, and IBM is doing its best to ride it.
This isn't your father's IBM.
Big Blue committed $1 billion to ride the Linux wave. Linux is the free computer operating system that isn't controlled by Microsoft, Apple or any other computer company. The life of Linux is determined by a "gated community" of programmers who, while working at varying companies, also donate their time to developing the operating system; they collaborate on writing the software so that it will run any computer. Companies like IBM package Linux on their various computers with accompanying software.
Chapter 16: Customer Evangelism Workshop:
Getting started on developing and launching your own customer evangelism program.
Download an excerpt
The Customer Evangelism Manifesto is 21-page excerpt from "Creating Customer Evangelists" that sets the stage for customer evangelism and why it eclipses all other media in trustworthiness. The excerpt is a free download from ChangeThis.com. In the meantime, here's a summary of the chapters in the book.