The number one concern and reason why my EMR/EHR vendor clients talk to me is because they have seen a significant drop in number of leads coming in. Some of them have recently mentioned the concept of ‘Tribes’ that Seth Godin mentions in his revolutionary book “Tribes: We Need You to Lead us”. What they're really trying to say is that Tribes is a good way of marketing and generating new leads. While in theory this is very true, they all fail to understand the underlying fundamental truth.
The concept of tribes works only if there is Passion. In the context of a company, passion has to come from within the company, for products and/or services and also from their followers (clients).
Most people will argue that the company, its owners and employees would be passionate about their products. I'm not so sure about this. Owner will certainly have the passion but I'm not so sure about the employees. Passion has to be generated by the leadership. That is the fundamental aspect of leadership and tribes.
The second aspect is that all of the clients (followers). Let’s suppose you have done customer satisfaction surveys, and you find that your clients are ‘happy’ with your company, products and or services.
Passion, however goes beyond customer satisfaction. It goes beyond liking the product. I am going to use the word fanatic. Do they just like your product or do they love it? And Love as you know, is so fickle and subjective.
Let me challenge you:
Are your clients willing to go out of the way to promote and talk about your product to others? I venture to say that 95% of the products and companies selling electronic medical records solutions do not have clients who are fanatic about their products (the way owners of Apple Macs may be). I do not think they qualify under the ‘followers of the tribe’ rule that Seth Godin is talking about. So before we even start talking about creating a ‘Tribe’, you must start looking within the company to see and find if there is any passion about the product within your client base.
If you think clients are passionate, what is it that they could be passionate about?
Is it your unique product, is it your services, and is it your customer support? With new media and technology such as social media, you need to start a momentum within your client base. Are they willing to talk about your products passionately?
Are YOU a customer support fanatic? If you start looking at 'costs' when it comes to customer support and service, you are NOT at customer support fanatic, and your clients will not perceive you as such.
If you can see some movement, that is the beginning of creating at tribe.