The 5 Rules for Turning Customers into Fans

This past weekend I saw Eric Church perform in Philadelphia. This was my first time seeing him live and his performance was exceptional. In fact, it was one of the best concerts I’ve seen in a while. It made me start thinking about what differentiates great live performers from the bad ones…

The characteristics that make a musician a great at live performer can also help a business provide stellar customer experiences; please let me explain. When you think of the best concerts that you’ve been to, chances are they followed these rules:

  1. Know the audience
  2. Be authentic
  3. Be consistent
  4. Make the experience personal and memorable
  5. Thank the audience (be humble)

Know the Audience

Great performers understand what the audience wants to hear and they create anticipation and excitement throughout the play list. It’s easy to know which songs are the favorites, in comparison to the less popular ones. Any live performing musician that leads off with a fan favorite, grabs the audience right away.

In business, understanding your audience has profound implications for your marketing strategy and beyond. From the perspective of developing your content and SEO strategy, it helps you answer vital questions such as:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What are their most urgent concerns?
  • What factors are they focused on in terms of making a buying decision?

This information helps you decide what strategy will reach the audience most effectively on every point from design and copy to keyword research and content deployment.

Be Authentic

For those of you who have never heard of Eric Church, his style is a mix of country and rock-and-roll. His style is authentic. So let’s define an authentic musician…With so many classifications and no common center, musicians do not need to play by the rules laid down by genre categories.  What matters instead, is  the power of creativity, great songwriting, and a unique sound. A creative musician can join rap with steel guitar, electronic beats with acoustic guitar, without thereby becoming an inauthentic rap, country, electronica, or folk musician.  One is instead a good rap-country-electronica-folk musician, or, as Springsteen would probably have it, just a good musician. Speaking of which, Eric Church has a tribute song to Bruce Springsteen, which I’ll come back to in a little while.

Organizations that are truthful in their business positioning and authentic in their brand pursuits neither undersell, or oversell their products and services. For these organizations, a logo is more than a decoration; it is their flag, their company crest, their reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Authenticity speaks volumes. Brands that tell a genuine, honest story resonate with people. People believe in honest brands and people are the ones who really define a company brand…not the company itself.

Be Consistent

When you listen to music, you come to expect a certain quality of sound. If you go to a concert and the musician sounds nothing like the music that you’ve been listening to, you’re leaving that concert unhappy. Even worse, what if you go to a concert and the performer is lip syncing? (cough…Milli Vanilli)

Bruce Springsteen said that “Sustaining an audience is hard…it demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” He was talking about his route to music stardom, but his words are just as applicable to the world of customer experience. Consistency may be one of the least inspirational topics for most managers. But it’s exceptionally powerful. Further, any organization that is trying to provide exceptional customer experiences must have consistency throughout all touch-points with a customer. It is what customers expect and if they don’t get that experience, they are moving on to a competitor.

Make the Experience Personal and Memorable

How many times have you been at a concert where the performer changes the words to reference the city they’re performing in? It is a small detail, but in doing so, they are personalizing the song. For instance, at the Eric Church concert he changed the lyrics of Springsteen from “Like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night” to “Like a soundtrack to an October Saturday night in Philly.” He then, launched into the song “Streets of Philadelphia” (by Bruce). The song went from being his, to being OURS.

When organizations are truly customer centric, they make the experience personal and memorable. When that happens, they turn customers into fans. Incredible customer service isn’t enough today; you need a more personal, human connection with your customer in order to really make their experience a great one.

Here is the video if you want to take a look & listen:

*the sound quality isn’t the best, because it was an amateur recording, but you’ll get the idea.

Thank the Audience (be humble)

When thinking about the last concert that you went to, did the performer thank you for being there? How  many times? Great performers understand that they are able to do what they love, because of the supporting audience. It is a simple concept, saying thank you, but how often do we hear it? When we do, it is refreshing and the great performers give sincere thanks…and put on a great show to extend that thanks (they aren’t just going through the motions, they really want to perform for the fans that support them).

In business things move faster now than ever before. Organizations that take the time to thank their customers set themselves apart and let their customers know that they are important to their business…vitally important.

With that being said, THANK YOU for reading and I welcome your comments!


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