Think of your business as an apple – the kind you eat, silly. On the surface – your apple looks shiny and bright – at least to you. But, how does your tribe of customers view your apple and what are they saying about it?
Yesterday’s businesses are thinking “customer service department” – successful businesses of the future are working hard to please their “tribe of customers" – one tribe member at a time – from the highest levels of your apple. Ask yourself a few simple questions about your apple:
* Do your customers talk about your apple in forums on the internet and elsewhere? What are they saying about your it?
* Might your potential customers be researching your apple and/or products on the net? If so, are they likely to discover a member of your tribe of customers and ask he/she a few questions? What will be said about your apple? What would you like potential customers to hear about your apple?
* How many of your customers are bloggers? What are they blogging about your apple? Don’t you want good things to be said about your apple? What about this: "Giant worm found in apple!"?
* Is there a reason your tribe of customers might be talking about your apple? Reason or not - they're talking anyway. What has your apple done now?
* If you don’t know the answers to these questions and how they affect your business – your apple probably has a worm in it. Your tribe of customers probably knows about and is discussing that worm. Do you really want your customers telling each other (and potential customers) about the worm in your apple?
Here’s the good news and the bad news for your apple:
First the bad news - it’s quite likely your customers are already discussing a worm somebody found in your apple.
Here’s the good news – when you properly care for those who have an interest in your apple – care for them as a tribe of customers – a little worm won’t be able to hurt your apple. Your tribe will help you keep worms away from your apple. They’ll go to great lengths to make sure everyone (including potential customers) knows your apple has no worms in it.
What will you do about the worm in your apple? Will you ignore it? Or will you choose to embrace your customers as a tribe – and allow them to help you with the worm problem?