Thursday, November 26, 2009

How about a customer contest?

Here’s a great way for a company that prides itself on customer service to promote itself, and the very concept of service as well., the “cloud computing” hosting company that calls itself “The Home of Fanatical Support,” puts customer service first in its own business. But it also holds a contest for its clients to recognize “one of our customers for valuing customer service as much as we do.”

The 2009 Fanati Contest is now underway (for U.S. customers only). Rackspace clients who think they have what it takes have until Dec. 11 to put together a 5-minute video explaining why they deserve to be this year’s winner.

Here are some of the approaches Rackspace suggests to contest entrants.
• Tell us who you are and what your business does.
Describe what Fanatical Support means to you.
• If you were going to take a thesaurus to the phrase “Fanatical Support” and use that in your company’s business motto, what would your new motto be?
• If you already have a Fanatical Support-like battle cry, what is it and give us the back story.
• Tell us about a time you or an employee went above and beyond (fanatically) for a customer or employee.
• Tell us how you’ve continued to enhance your motto to adapt to your business’ changing needs, culture, and/or growth to ensure that customers stay satisfied?

So why is Canadian Entrepreneur telling you about a U.S.-only contest?

Because it’s a brilliant (and inexpensive!) promotional idea. Rackspace is reinforcing its “Fanatical Support” branding. It’s building community and loyalty by engaging customers (and customers’ employees) in the campaign. And it stands to win valuable publicity as well.

What’s your brand? How could you get customers more excited about it, and promote it to the rest of the world, by organizing a contest of your own?

Perhaps you could recognize the customer to whom product quality is most important, or the one that does the greatest job of staff training or personal empowerment.

Because business is too important to be boring. And branding is a powerful tool that begs to be shared.

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