A Gem From Noah Flemming – A Lesson from the Best Teachers

My girls are incredibly excited to start school tomorrow.

It’s all they’ve been able to talk about all weekend. They get to see all of their friends, and they get to spend time with excellent teachers. They’re thrilled to be back on the playgrounds, and they even love the structure of the day. After a summer of fun, they’re ready to get a little routine back in their lives.

Mom and dad are too.

It got me thinking about this week’s question.  How can you get the same excitement for your customers to come back to you on a regular basis?  Let’s look at what my girls love about school. First and foremost, it’s their friends and the social connections. You can build this by creating a healthy community around what you do.  This was one of the three Cs I taught about in my first book, Evergreen. The three Cs were Content, Character, and Community.

How can you create more of a community for your customers? What structures could you put in place to foster a sense of community?

In Evergreen, I provide a roadmap but consider what’s already in place.Whether it’s other buyers, other companies, associations, etc. If they’re already in place, make use of them. If not, how could you create them? Next, they love the excellent teachers. My wife teaches at the same school. The good news for you is everybody in your company can be like an excellent teacher – somebody who is likable, pleasant, and helpful. Somebody who shows up tomorrow warmly welcoming the students back.

If not, those aren’t the right people acting as ambassadors to your company.  When companies can facilitate and bring together groups of customers who share similar interests/goals/desires, then the company benefits by becoming the essential pillar of support for that group. You become the ultimate value provider. Your customers WANT to come back. They WANT to be a part of what you have to offer. And what happens next is interesting… The relationship between customer and company suddenly becomes stronger and more valuable on its own.

Here are three real-life examples:

  • If you run a company that services people interested in classic cars, for instance, they’re probably more interested in a relationship with others who share similar interests. Can you facilitate that?
  • If you’re a franchisor, it’s not very valuable to send them a basic monthly newsletter every month. It’s more valuable to be connecting them with others franchisees (more often than the annual meeting).
  • If you’re a Professional Trade Association, you almost have no other option but to build and facilitate a new, strong sense of community amongst your members. Long gone are the days of the yearly soirée, random photo-op speaker, and the monthly newsletter being enough to keep members engaged.

Your Challenge For This Week: Ask yourself some of the following questions.

  • How can you better unite your customers around their shared interests/goals/desires?
  • How does your company perpetuate a sense of community amongst your customers and are you doing enough?
  • What structures do you currently have in place to facilitate community?

Going back to school is fun and exciting. Your customers can feel the same way about doing business with you, but it usually doesn’t happen on its own. It’s up to you to create the right environment.