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Walk the Walk, Evangelists

April 22, 2009  

"Evangelism" is the catchword of the day. Companies are diligently turning their customer-service reps into "evangelists." How precious. But is there something behind this movement? Is evangelism actually taking CRM to a new level? Ben McConnell thinks so, and he cites an example at the Church of the Customer Blog. "It's one thing for your company to say, in blog posts and email newsletters, that it loves customers," says McConnell. "It's another thing to go out and do the hard work of brand grassroots-building, and demonstrate it face-to-face."

That's what he says Betsy Weber, chief evangelist at Michigan software company TechSmith, does daily. "[Betsy is] building a passionate fan base for TechSmith by meeting customers and being the warm, caring person she is naturally," he notes. He cites some of her evangelical numbers. Over the past six years, Betsy has:

  • Met 7,000 customers in person
  • Attended 30 conferences per year
  • Picked up 3,000 followers on Twitter

Have her efforts paid off? Apparently so. "TechSmith has done well in that time: double-digit revenue growth every year," McConnell says.

The message for marketers? Be a good listener. The old model of talking the talk (hawking your products to a mass market) has shifted to walking the walk (letting your customers have their say, and adjusting your offerings accordingly).

The Po!nt: Walk that extra CRM mile. These days, engaging with customers across a range of media is a real key to keeping them loyal.

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