What do keys and back doors have to do with community?
Well, I was watching Sunday Morning on CBS a few weeks ago, and there was an interview with one of my favorite actors John Goodman. He is shown eating at the Commander’s Palace, a New Orleans landmark since 1880 and one of its more famous restaurants.
Long-time customers are welcomed and given extra attention as any good restaurant cultivating a loyal clientele would, but what marks this restaurant as unique is a highly unusual benefit: the restaurant’s best customers are given a key to the back door, said to be “one of New Orleans’s most coveted prizes.” Selected customers can come through the back door and into the kitchen area of the restaurant at any time, talk to the owners and chefs, sample the dishes, make suggestions for the menus, and so on.
Granting your MVP’s “insider” status is a classic best practice of recognizing and rewarding the top contributors, posters, writers, photographers, videographers in your community. To a constituency motivated primarily by recognition, insider access to C-level execs, product managers, product designers, and company engineers is a status most highly prized by your community members. And like many effective community recognition devices, at little to no cost, you create inestimable value.
What’s your community’s “key to the back door”?