It just keeps getting harder and harder to exceed or even meet the expectations of today’s customers. The few who can do it are able to differentiate themselves and establish forever transactions, in which the levels of loyalty are so high that customers truly just stop considering other alternatives.
How do you build those kinds of relationships? The secret is superusers.
A superuser is more than a loyal and engaged customer. They also recruit new customers, build community among members, create content to help their peers and give your organization feedback, so you can continue to evolve your products and services.
Superusers are important in every industry, and especially important to Customer Success professionals, because it is so much easier to be successful if an organization has more than its fair share of superusers.
The challenge is to find your superusers, and engage them in your brand. You want them to join your brand, not just buy your brand.
Here’s an example…it happens to be my sister. She’s a Crossfitter. She loves their brand, and has a full wardrobe of Crossfit tshirts, Of course, she uses their offerings regularly and well—she attends class 3 times a week religiously, visits other “boxes” (the Crossfit name for gyms) wherever she travels, and has steadily improved her results, which she posts.
She writes a blog about Crossfitting and she and her husband offer their peers access to their “Crossfit driveway” on weekends and when the box is closed for special events or repairs or any other reason. She recruits through her blog and through word of mouth, telling people how much she’s gained through her Crossfit community. She’s a superuser.
Superusers are important in any kind of organization, but they are especially important in The Membership Economy. The Membership Economy is a term I coined to explain this tidal wave that is changing how organizations are structured, how they deliver value, how they charge for that value and how they communicate.
It’s about transitions…
…from ownership to access,
…from an organization pushing content in one direction to multidirectional communication, and
…from anonymous transactions to relationship
Because the Membership Economy is all about ongoing relationships, superusers are critical to driving the success. Organizations that know how to identify superusers and create an environment that supports them have a unique competitive advantage.
So how do you create them? Use the information you have, because you probably already know some customers who would qualify as superusers. Now you just want to create more of them.
Here are some tips:
Deliver immediate value to new customers, so they incorporate your products and services into their habits
Reward desired behaviors like referrals and engagement through recognition and appreciation, especially in the onboarding phase.
Build processes that support your customers, not just prospects. After all, the transaction is the starting line, not the finish line.
We see these patterns across all kinds of organizations—non-profits, and for-profits, mom & pops and Fortune 100, digital natives and traditional bricks-and-mortar companies. Nearly every kind of organization can take advantage of this massive trend to build forever transactions, and superusers are key.
Like it or not, we’re in a Membership Economy. Traditional marketing doesn’t work. If you want to be successful, you have to treat your customers like members. Superusers are the flywheel that drives success, and membership is the key to engaging them. It’s up to you to take action.
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Robbie Kellman Baxter brings over twenty years of strategy consulting and marketing expertise to Peninsula Strategies, working with prominent clients such as Netflix, Oracle, and Yahoo! She is a sought-after keynote speaker, having presented to alumni organizations at Stanford , Harvard and Haas , as well as chapters of the Product Development and Management Association, the Business Marketing Round Table and Women in Consulting. Robbie's #1 New Release business book, The Membership Economy, was published in March 2015. Follow her on Twitter @robbiebax
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