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In my experience, and from grumblings I’ve heard elsewhere, customer service is not the biggest thing Comcast has going for them from a business standpoint.

There are times when marketing is marketing, sales is sales, and operations is operations. But, from a brand standpoint – the customer experience crosses all platforms and thus businesses are forced to integrate, communicate and work together to ensure the experience is both consistent and pleasant.

There are also times when this is challenging for businesses, to instantly align all departments for a consistent brand experience. For this reason, we applaud Comcast at taking action at making the customer service experience just a little bit better and more personal for their customers.

While 800#’s are jammed with customer complaints and questions, Comcast decided to take their service arm online @ComcastCares via Twitter to, as Frank the Director of Digital Care for Comcast says, “meet Customers where they are, listen and assist when we can.”

The customer service Comcast provides through Twitter is personal, immediate, informative and credible. And, as Frank points out, it is delivered in a manner that the customer chooses, through a medium they are already using.

And most importantly, taking a chunk of the operations and service arms of their business in this manner has led to Zealotry actions amidst consumers. Word-of-mouth, people are talking about their Twitter customer service in a positive manner. Referral – people are recommending others contact them via Twitter. And Comcast is turning potentially negative customer experiences into positive ones, turning detractors into supporters, even more, into potential Zealots for the Comcast brand.

Go ahead & follow them @ComcastCares. And follow us too while you’re at it @FindingZealots.

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Guest Relations Marketing
Transforming Prospects to Guests, and Guests to Zealots

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With Facebook being all the rage for marketers today and brands incorporating a Fan Page into their marketing mix, we felt it necessary to point out a few ways in which you can utilize the power of this online community from a Zealotry Marketing standpoint.

Here are a few ways to integrate Facebook into your marketing plan that will enhance the involvement your Zealots have with your brand.

  • Start by properly branding your Facebook page, to ensure you are maximizing this as a touchpoint and your marketing message is consistent.
  • Promote a “Join our Fan Page on Facebook” message to the current guests of your brand. They should be the first to know and the first to join. You will see the early supporters may be those that are your most Zealous fans. Watch the viral effect of your current guests joining & how far this takes you as a brand.
  • Provide ways in which your fans can spread the word to their peers. Facebook provides the ultimate referral – if someone is willing to support your brand in such a platform, and announce it to their entire community of friends, you already have the ultimate recommendation.
  • Consider a Facebook-only promotion to gauge the level of word-of-mouth chatter you can spread. Offer a special value or discount to your Friends and allow them to share it with their friends &  family.
  • Continue communication with your fans, send out weekly email updates. These are people who want to support you & hear from you, so use this opportunity to keep them informed from an insider standpoint.

All in all, Facebook is not right for all brands – but if it makes sense for yours ensure you are treating it as a valid & effective means of communicating to a great group of supporters, and work to convert your “Friends” into Zealots for your brand.

Rewards programs are simple in theory, reward someone for their behavior with and involvement in your brand and they’ll keep coming back. From a Zealotry Marketing standpoint we’ll put that theory to the test.

Brandweek’s recent article  “Rewards Program Members are Brand Champions” features a new study by Colloquy that has a few important stats to note:

  • Members of rewards programs are 70%  more likely to actively recommend a product, service or brand than the general population
  • 55 % described themselves as brand champions

While positive word-of-mouth and referral are certainly keys to success for a brand from a Zealotry standpoint, there seems to be a disconnect between “Brand Champions” and “Zealots.” With brand champions coming in at an astonishing 55 percent, we are more likely to liken brand champions to “supporters” for the brand, not true Zealots. The postive-impact business difference between “champions” and Zealots is huge, thus finding ways to dig deeper into your Rewards Program membership base to mine out your most zealous fans is one that is well worth the time & effort. And establishing an intimate way to go beyond simply rewarding  – by involving, engaging and nurturing your Zealots – now that has the makings of a true loyalty program.

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