Marketing Lessons From Laser Monks

05/24/2004

Have I been living under a rock? How could I have missed one of the most unusual and successful online companies? Just read about Laser Monks on the WonderBrand blog. One more reason to blog – keeps one up-to-date!

Father Chuck O'Malley, played by Bing Crosby in the 1944 classic movie Going My Way, (okay so he was a priest and not a monk!) would find a kindred spirit in Fr. Bernard McCoy of Laser Monks. Father Chuck introduced the old parish priets to modernistic methods and changed the way things were done at St. Dominic's Church. In 2004, Rev. Bernard McCoy is changing the way people are buying ink cartridges.

That's right. Ink Cartridges. 2001, Laser Monks launched their eCommerce site. Two years later sales had increased by 700%! Could this amazing success be attributed to the power of prayer or savvy marketing? I’m betting Rev. McCoy would say a little of both! A fascinating story that is a must read for any marketer.

A few lessons from the good brothers on how to do it right…and make a profit. Beginning with what the monks' term people benefits (love that phrase), their strategy focuses on quality products, customer service, added-value, relationship development and fun.

Building Relationships & Making e-commerce More Human

LaserMonks consciously markets our products and molds our business and website with a focus on “people benefits.” We endeavor to bring our 900 years of monastic tradition to bear on all aspects of LaserMonks. Through these efforts we hope to build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with all our visitors and customers.

-We try to make e-commerce more human through personal and truly caring customer service, that reflects our 900-year tradition of hospitality.

-The LaserMonks website offers an invitation for Prayer Requests.

-Thoughtful phrases and quotations are provided that encourage a moment of reflection and growth in the midst of a busy day.

-Our weblog provides reflections on both monastic and business topics of interest.

-Laughter is good for the soul. Luxor & Ludwig, a feature cartoon produced by Fr. Robert, our superior, provides a humorous view of the monks’ life through the eyes of the Abbey mascots, our Egyptian Pharoah Hound and Doberman Pinscher.

-Our charitable works page highlights the various ways that LaserMonks and the monks of the Abbey endeavor to help others throughout the world.

-The LaserMonks Newsletter is a monthly e-newsletter that provides useful articles and hints relating to efficient management of printing and printers. This newsletter also provides an interest feature on the monks, which shares a little of our life with our LaserMonks customers.

-Handwritten notes of thanks and encouragement from the monks are included in some of our shipments and in occasional correspondence with our customers.

-Our telephone service and auto-attendant are designed to be cheerful, encouraging and thankful, even including our own Cistercian Gregorian Chant for any moments that one must be on Hold.

What would a Bing Crosby movie be without a tune? The lyrics from the Going My Way's Oscar winning song, Swinging on a Star, are what it's all about...

So you see it's all up to you. You can be better than you are. You could be swingin' on a star.

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