Community Evangelism in Naperville… It’s Not What You Might Think

When it comes to hiring outstanding customer service-oriented employees, “attitude” is often more important than “aptitude”.  Mainly because most business processes and tasks can be taught, while attitude cannot.

Over the weekend, I attended a session presented by Jackie Huba, a thought leader and author who has focused on the rise of mainstream social media and viral marketing.  Two books you might consider purchasing and reading are “Customer Evangelism” and “Citizen Marketer”. 

Customer evangelism is the process by which ordinary people transform themselves into powerful activist marketers as a result of either passion or disappointment for a certain product/service/business and access to social media outlets by which to engage and broadcast their love or disgust for their product or brand.

When I think of Naperville and consider the theories advanced by Jackie Huba, one fundamental point she misses is the fact that customer evangelism starts with solid employee evangelism.  To succeed in building a buzzworthy customer service culture, you need to have great people on the front line who will shape the experience and leave a lasting impression on your customers.  Look for true believers in what you do and the customer-base you serve.  

Naperville, as a whole, is a big brand in and of itself.  As residents, employees and business owners, we all have the opportunity to be community evangelists.  As I’ve addressed in previous posts, we all play a role in shaping the Naperville experience. 

One point I always stress to my member service team is the reality that the person you are talking to, reading an email from or standing face-to-face with may be the 100th person you’ve encountered that day.  But for the individual on the other side, it may be the only time they ever reach out to connect with you, your business or your city.  It’s what I call a moment of truth and we all have the power in our hands to make or break that moment. 

So the next time an unfamiliar face crosses your path or walks into your business, think of what it will mean to them in terms of reinforcing the positive image of Naperville in going out of your way to make that person feel welcome in our community or at your business.  Remember, how you make them feel is what will always matter the most. 

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