It’s interesting the many different ways we can deal with our consumers.  We can pretend that they’re simply figures in a spreadsheet laying out our generating revenues, or we can realize that there is a fully functioning person on the other end of that number. Groundswell introduced two concepts, which really are nothing more than common sense, but it is a clear picture of how businesses should work with their customer base.

Energizing is simple. Convince the consumers that they should be happy enough about the product and/or service that are willing to spread the good name throughout their network.  Happy customers tell their peers, that trust their opinions, about their happy experiences.  Boom! Third party recommendations (word of mouth) are the most effective marketing.  You trust your friend’s opinions more than you trust the television, or internet, or [insert other media format].  That makes sense. You’ve developed trust your friend for a much longer period of time than any marketer that is being paid to tell you nothing but the good things (anytime is longer than your time with the random marketer). So if you can energize one customer to tell all his friends you’ve just have a great endorsement. Now if only you can convince all your customers to tell all their friends about all the great things your company.

Energizing your customers is good, but also embracing them is great.  Embracing your customers is simple too.  All you have to do is listen to what they have to say, and then do something about it. See how simple that is.  Embracing your customers shows you care. Businesses that listen and respond have a way of energizing people.  If you’ve ever gotten a response from a company, you tell people about it. It’s like getting a response from a celebrity.  It’s completely unexpected, so you share it with everyone around you.

So lessons to learn and incorporate: energize and embrace your consumers.  It makes them feel special, and everyone likes to feel special.