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By Dr. Mark Friske
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Public University
The lack of customer service today is staggering. Many businesses provide the minimum amount of customer service or poor service.
But what about good or great customer service? When we repeatedly receive good service, are we going to return to that business and become a promoter?
A promoter is a customer who will recommend a specific business without so much as a special discount. This type of customer genuinely likes the business and will talk about its products or services without pay, often through social media platforms.
Promoters Considered More Authentic by Their Peers, But They Are Difficult to Create
When a customer becomes a promoter of a company, that business gets free advertising when he or she tells others about a positive experience. Many promoters use Facebook or Twitter to share their positive experiences. To me, this kind of unpaid advertising speaks louder than any paid commercial I might see on TV. The promoter’s experience is usually genuine and the experience is unique.
However, it is not easy to create a promoter. The business must exceed the customer’s expectations repeatedly and do so consistently.
Sometimes, I think most businesses have given up on the idea of creating promoters. However, some businesses still regard a promoter as a valued treasure and work hard to keep that customer’s endorsements.
Businesses Should Work Harder on Creating Promoters to Attract Repeat Customers
With the costs associated with advertising and the need to focus on repeat business, more businesses need to refocus on creating promoters of their brand.
One business that clearly focuses on its promoters is Disney. Disney works hard to keep its guests happy – they are never called customers – even if Disney has to give away something to keep that guest happy.
Does this work? Definitely. We know that going to Disney World or Disneyland is very expensive, yet attendance figures stay high.
Every business wants to grow and would love more customers. The question is: Are these businesses willing to do the hard work involved to change customers into promoters?
About the Author
Mark Friske, Ph.D., is a part-time instructor in the School of Business at APU. He holds a M.B.A. in business administration and a Ph.D. in organization and management, both from Capella University. In addition, Mark has a B.A. in pre-law from Bob Jones University.
Mark is a U.S. Navy veteran and has 25 years of management and leader experience with Apple, Citibank, UPS and other companies. He is a management and leadership consultant with Disney.