Friday, February 29, 2008

Customer Evangelism: Kudos to Zimbio and Spaghettipie

star fruit

I just sent Mark Goodyear the final information for a "Customer Evangelism" segment in our Mount Hermon Powerpoint presentation.

According to Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, authors of Creating Customer Evangelists customer evangelism is:

"When customers are truly thrilled about their experience with your product or service, they can become outspoken 'evangelists' for your company. This group of satisfied believers can be converted into a potent marketing force to grow your universe of customers."

It appears that I myself have customer evangelist tendencies. Which is why I feel semi-comfortable talking about the subject in a seminar on blogging for promotion.

Case in point. A few short weeks ago I sang the praises of Zimbio on this blog. I also chose Zimbio, from many possible contenders, to host my Stone Crossings Book Club Wiki. Many of you decided to join Zimbio because you could see the possibilities too.

Then the other shoe dropped. On Zimbio, I was given "kudos" by four Zimbio members who've given many of you kudos too. None of these Zimbio members care about you or what you stand for. None of them even bothered to get to know you before giving you kudos. Obviously they meant only to get attention for themselves.

This was all fine and good for the Real Estate woman, the Business Man, and the Craft Seller, but the Unmentionable kudos giver was a definite problem. I wrote to Zimbio immediately at "feedback [at] Zimbio [dot] com" and complained (something customer evangelists also do sometimes). I did not want this person on my page, no way, no how. But I was powerless to delete him (or her?).

Which is where we begin our happily ever after. Zimbio admitted that they need "a more robust system in place", which they've promised to work on. Then my new friend Danny from the Zimbio team went in and personally deleted the Unmentionable kudos giver from my page.

Now I just need to talk to Google, whose ads on the Stone Crossings Book Club Wiki sound something like this: "Kitchen Knife Sets: Top 6 Websites For Kitchen Knife Sets. Sharpen Your Knives. Skip the gimmicks. We have knife sharpeners that work. Best Sharpening Stones. Arkansas, Diamond & Belgian Sharpening Stones. Low Prices!"

(In other kudos news, a big thanks goes to Spaghettipie for being generous and interviewing me for her blog tour series. Needless to say, it was ever-so-kind of her to post my response since I'm not a big fan of blog tours!)

Star Fruit Tree photo by Sara B. Used with permission.


Ann V's new wikizine The Sacred Everyday

L.L.'s latest Zimbio experiment: Blog Post Tool Kit

Brandon's The Journal Journey

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Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

"It appears that I myself have customer evangelist tendencies." You think so? : )

Tina is wonderful, isn't she?

And you know. I could use a new set of knives. Our current knife set was a wedding gift... 13 years ago.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm a terrible salesman. Just not in my bones. At the same time, I can get excited about your upcoming book, L.L., and excited about the Lord and all that is in that.

Good to hear of the service you received.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think of the ad as a reference to your cutting humor.
Or to your ability to cut to the chase.
Or to the soul-cutting we all need.
Or to the iron-sharpens-iron thing.
I could go on...

5:16 PM  
Blogger christianne said...

this is cool, laura. it's fun to watch you saunter into different techniques, try them out, report to us your findings. it's like your scientific mind at work. did you know you had a scientific mind? i'm pretty sure you did. :)

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL - Thank you for participating in my little series! I always appreciate your opinion.

And a dull knife is actually more dangerous than a sharp one. It's okay if they're old (MG), as long as you use a steel and don't put them in the dishwasher! Just send them out to be resharpened and they'll be like new :)

Uh oh, my Food Network addiction is showing again, isn't it?

12:10 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Blog Tours? Where have I been that this is a new concept to me?

12:52 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I'm assuming your name is Laura. At least that is what Christianne calls you in her comment.

I was struck by this: Memoirs of an urban author. Born & bred in country shadows.

It reminds me a little of my childhood . . . well, life. I hint at this in my post "Downy Smells Like Love." I think the combination of city-country thing makes for a well-rounded person.

By the way, I popped over here to check you out because my friend Kirsten mentioned your name to me last night. I like your style.

7:42 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Mark... that made me smile. As for your knife set, hop on over to the Stone Crossings Wiki; I'm sure we'll have something suitable for you and Amy.

Ted... I used to think I was a terrible salesperson too, but I realize it has more to do with what's being promoted. Things that I feel really have the power to transform or help, I'm on it! And yes, that was good service wasn't it?

Heather... got a good chuckle about this!!

Christianne... I do love science. And it's fun when it's applied science like this.

Spaghetti... thanks for the tips. Now, is it okay to cut spaghetti with a dull knife?

Nikki... lucky you. I'll have to point you to one when I see one.

Nathan... thanks for stopping by. Feel free to call me L.L. That's my on-line preference. I look forward to finding out more about your upbringing. And I suppose I feel a little comforted about being well rounded (generally, I just feel like I'm neither here nor there).

10:01 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

You're right. And I was thinking that, too. I do get really enthused about what I do like.

I guess I feel uncomfortable trying to get people to purchase something for a number of reasons.

I like to talk about what is meaningful and has helped me or us, just out of enthusiasm. I have to admit, most of those I'm around are not interested, it seems. But a few are.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

LL-I'm a die-hard customer evangelist too. If I find something I like (or love), I'm gonna tell everybody I know that may like it too about it.

The flip side of it is that any poor experience I have translates into warnings for everyone I know and love.

Which is why selling well isn't only about getting the satisfied people talking, but also caring for the dissatisfied (look, you even made a plug again for Zimbio in your report of how they took care of your problem).

Of course I say all this, but I haven't mastered making it work for me yet. I'm trying hard not to think my book is a bomb because there are no word-of-mouth sales happening.

2:08 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Excellent post.
I want you to know that I love your blog and am always blessed and strengthened when I visit.
I pray that God will bless you and your life in every aspect in ways that you have never dreamed.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

Your blog is one of my favorites and I am now a daily reader. :-)

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so that is what a starfruit tree looks like!

3:40 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ted... the nice thing about sharing books, I think, is that we can get them from the library! No purchase necessary.

A Musing... you are so right about the flip side. And that's where Zimbio did the right thing, from a purely business perspective. Got to keep your evangelists happy! And I'm sorry to hear that about your book... partly I think it's about getting word of mouth in the right circles. But there are so many other forces too. I remember that many books sell less than 100 copies. Ouch!

Kinney.... Welcome to Seedlings. I hope you continue to find blessing here.

Nancy... isn't it marvelous? A Florida one, the time I went and got to meet Christianne!

8:24 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...

Someone (I cannot remember who) once described effective marketing as "turning customers into evangelists" - it seems to tie into what you've described here

3:22 PM  

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