Customers, customers, customers; everyday I see an article or a program about how to attract and grow customers.
These are popular because most business owners want more customers, they can’t get enough of ‘em. The problem is attracting and growing customers is a waste of time and resources. Attracting and growing fans rather than customers should be the focus of every business owner. Why?
Customers are fickle. Today it’s lunch at Burger King tomorrow it’s Wendy’s.
Fans are loyal. A Harley Davidson fan will not own or even ride a Honda.
Customers are not great spokes people. If asked a customer may tell others about you but it’s not a good bet.
Fans are evangelists. The goal of a Mac fan is to convert the world especially PC users. http://www.hulu.com/watch/94300/macheads
Customers are quiet. Rarely will a customer speak up when something goes wrong.
Fans are vocal. Coca-Cola received over 400,000 angry calls and letters after replacing Coke with New Coke. A psychiatrist hired to analyze phone calls to the company hotline reported that some people sounded like they were discussing the death of a family member.
Customers are not loyal. Many of Wendy’s customers abandoned them after the “finger in the chili” story broke.
Fans fight for you. Toyota has taken some financial hits this year however the company’s Facebook fan base has grown by more than 10% since recalls were announced in January.
It’s time to stop the futile pursuit of customers and ask “What is my plan to attract and grow fans?”
Here are a few suggestions:
Books to read
Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard www.bit.ly/dtPrWu
Customer Satisfaction is Worthless by Jeffrey Gitomer www.bit.ly/bohpAQ
Brands that Rock by Roger Blackwell www.bit.ly/9fKE7U
Companies to call
In Columbus we have two companies that have developed products or services that will help you attract and grow fans.
BrandThunder. The Boom fulfills the desire of your fans to get a tattoo of your company brand (like Harley Davidson fans). The difference is they tattoo their computer rather than their arm (less painful).
Green Compass. The customer report card? allows you to deliver exactly what your fans want and to exceed their expectations.