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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Scott Stratten's excellent new book is actually two books, printed back-to-back under the same cover. "The Book of Business Awesome," as its name suggests, is a collection of examples, ideas and concepts on how businesses can deliver extraordinary customer service through actually communicating and connecting with their customers. The flip side, "The Book of Business...
Published on August 18, 2012 by Mr Michael D Falconer

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome/Unawesome
Another reviewer said that the examples were obvious but I don't think that's a great criticism because that's really the nature of examples. The value is that I would never go research Company A to find out what awesome and unawesome things they've done. So the examples are obvious because he did the work for you, and I thought they were thought provoking...
Published 24 months ago by Debra


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...", August 18, 2012
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Scott Stratten's excellent new book is actually two books, printed back-to-back under the same cover. "The Book of Business Awesome," as its name suggests, is a collection of examples, ideas and concepts on how businesses can deliver extraordinary customer service through actually communicating and connecting with their customers. The flip side, "The Book of Business Unawesome," shows the price of not communicating, not thinking, and not caring about your customers.

As you might expect, social media plays a large role in both the positive examples and the negative examples of this book, but it is not a book about social media per say. Those looking for a nuts and bolts how to I do X, Y, and Z on Twitter, Facebook or practically any another sphere of social media would be better served by Arnie Kuenn's excellent: Accelerate! that I reviewed this time last year. "The Book of Business Awesome," however, is more of a call to arms for brands and companies to be something other than normal - particularly because normal can be so crappy - and to go out of their way for their customer.

To be funny.

To be honest.

To be human.

And to apologize because they genuinely regret a mistake, or bad customer experience, not because they got caught or called on it.

Really, this book is about culture and people. The stories that are replayed in both their awesomeness and unawesomeness throughout give a window into the soul of the featured companies. It shows ordinary front line employees doing extraordinary things and those extraordinary things having an impact far beyond the normal, or even intended, business interaction. As Scott states on numerous occasions: social media doesn't fix anything - it just makes things louder. If you don't give a damn about customers when you transact with them - this will be heard loud and clear online and will also come across in your social media interactions.

Filled with links to additional content and even the odd QR code (I'd actually would have liked to see more QR codes, the link typing thing got old after a while) the Book of Business Awesome also has an excellent couple of chapters on public speaking and panel discussions. As a side note, if you ever get a chance to see Scott speak at a conference, or on his book tour, do so - for the rest of us there is YouTube!

Not as funny as Scott's in-person presentations, The Book of Business Awesome is, however, just as passionate and quite amusing. And this is actually a very minor quibble consider that many business books are about as entertaining as a tax audit. It also probably says more about Scott's skills as a public speaker than any lack of skill as a writer.

The Book of Business Awesome is nothing short of bible for customer service in the Social Media age.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better social media business books out there - fun and well written, September 4, 2012
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As my shelf gets weighed down with business books I have read in the past few years, they all start to sound very similar after awhile. The same anecdotes, similar presentation, even similar book length. Social Media engagement is critical to almost any business today, and that fact has driven the business publishing community to put out more books geared towards this message. I was pleasantly surprised by Scott Stratten's approach to the material for a few reasons. First, you can't get past his "awesome" presentation. The front of the book is the book of "Business Awesome", or companies doing the right thing. The cover is white and shows a ladybug. Flip the book over and the back is "Business Unawesome", with a dirty looking cover and a smashed ladybug. The organization of the book follows - good stories one way, bad stories the other.

I like to think of myself as Awesome, so I started with that side. Most business books suffer from word-glut - the author has a few short messages he tells with too many words. Stratten is succinct with his narrative and well organized. Each chapter is only a few pages long - it tells a point and then moves on. From how to recover from a social media gaffe (The Red Cross is "gettngslizzerd") to rebranding an old product like Old Spice, Stratten hits many points in the market quite well. His "Thirty Tips for Speakers" covers the critical points of a shelf full of public speaking tomes in a single succinct chapter that summarizes about all of the wisdom you need to stand in front of a crowd.

Business "unawesome" covers the others side - social media gaffes that are not well handled, how we misuse Facebook, when not to use a QR code (like on a highway billboard!), and other stories of people who have single handedly killed their brand or just their own careers/reputation.

I have gotten cynical with my reviews of business books - too much repetition and too little original thought. Stratten was a refreshing read. Sure I read some stories I knew from before, but the presentation was fresh, original, and best of all, quotable. I am giving a social media talk in a few weeks and intend to use some of his examples. Thanks to the organization and straightforward style he uses, that will be no problem.

I recommend this book and Stratten's approach to any business person looking to make himself more "awesome".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome/Unawesome, October 8, 2012
By 
Debra (Rochester, NY, United States) - See all my reviews
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Another reviewer said that the examples were obvious but I don't think that's a great criticism because that's really the nature of examples. The value is that I would never go research Company A to find out what awesome and unawesome things they've done. So the examples are obvious because he did the work for you, and I thought they were thought provoking.

Having said that, yes it's obviously bad to swear at your customers, but I have to admit that if you're running a business it is really easy to forget the other perspective. Recently I had an extremely negative customer service experience through a new supplier I was trying out for my business, and it left me running back to the company that packs lollipops with every order and who calls me if something is wrong. Obviously one company is awesome and the other isn't, but would I have applied that to my own business without someone stopping me and encouraging me to think about it? Probably not. If we naturally did that then every company would have great customer service.

So the value in the book for me was that it has some memorable examples that make you think about your customers' experiences. Stratten is very witty and it's a quick and interesting read. I also have to give props for the design. The lady bug is brilliant.

Having said that, the QR codes irritated me at the end of each chapter. I would have preferred a thicker book (it is pretty small). I'm not a fan of books making you go get your smart phone to read more - it's too cumbersome (which is ironic - he talks about making it easy for the customer).

I also thought social media was overemphasized. He does talk about it as a tool in a tool box and tries to keep it in context, but you can tell he's good at it and loves it. I tolerate facebook for my small business, but I'm not really witty or entertaining and I have other things I'd rather be doing. Companies need to have a social media presence but I have to disagree about its role. A lot of people still aren't on Facebook or Twitter or anything else. It's amazing how many of my clients ignore social media completely.

So overall it's definitely worth reading, but it isn't *the* book on business. It is quick and light, but does have some nuggets of wisdom worth thinking about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As always, awesome!, August 31, 2012
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G. White (Billings, MT United States) - See all my reviews
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As always Scott's writing is awesome. The two sides of the book created interest when I was reading it in public the other day. It was great to introduce Scott's work to this community that is coming late to the social media party.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, February 11, 2013
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This review is from: The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome (Kindle Edition)
If you are in advertising or marketing this book is an easy fun read. I now have a different outlook on social media.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE it!, February 4, 2013
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SAlaska "S" (Anchorage, Alaska) - See all my reviews
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Scott Stratten is FUNNY. Despite the spunky title, The Book of Business Awesome/The Book of Business UnAwesome, I didn't expect genuine humor. Man, was I pleasantly surprised and entertained!

I learned a lot too. I liked the real-world examples and anecdotes; I've always been a fan of The American Red Cross, but thanks to Scott Stratten, I know how truly awesome the organization really is. I also now know the truth about the Dilbert guy...

The section on proper use of QR codes should be required reading for the entire digital world. I found myself wanting to yell, "Scott! You glorious man! You get it! You really get it!"

I'm buying the next thing Scott Stratten writes, records, or produces. The man is brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the rules of business engagement, January 24, 2013
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Some fail, and some succeed. This seems to be the rule in human endeavors from time immemorial. Here we have a book that goes over the hows and whys of why things go right or wrong. The book is read from forward to back where you how business succeeds with proper customer and employee engagement. When you flip the book upside down and turn it over, you will read why things go wrong. There are many excellent insights shared throughout. You can learn how to be awesome and how to mitigate chances of failure. It is all in the engagement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome example of business activates and how to get en more awesome, September 27, 2012
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There are plenty of great things about most businesses, but where they lack is in the area of social media. This book was written in a cool way in that you can start with the pessimist or optimistic side depending upon what your thoughts are.

The optimistic side of business awesome starts with all of the cool ways that your business can use social media to gain better results by listening to your clients and the people that you serve. There is a segment of society that uses Facebook, twitter and other services to announce to their tribe their thoughts and beliefs to their friends and fans. When you do good the friends and followers hear about it and your company looks like the hero that it is.

The pessimistic or the unawaesome side of the book explains social media gone wrong and what not to do to the people who use your services. There are also a couple of examples of how not to run social media campaigns with a few ways to fix screw ups that happen. The Red Cross had an example where someone was on their twitter feed and tweeted an inappropriate message for the image of the company, they took it in stride and fixed the issue.

While most of this book examines how social media can be used to communicate better it also goes to show that good old fashioned customer service is what will get you to win every time.

There is plenty to learn from the book with good examples of what to do, not to do and possible fixes if you get yourself in trouble. The book is a fast read and is easy to follow.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Great Books In One, September 1, 2012
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In his welcome to the "Awesome" side of the book, Stratten theorizes a number of reasons why one would read the Awesome side before the UnAwesome side. He missed my reason. My reason is the same as why I eat dinner before I eat dessert: I knew if I read the decadent goodness of the UnAwesome, I'd be both too full, and just generally uninterested in the meat and potatoes.

This meal was so good that as soon as I finish digesting it, I'm going back to re-read the Awesome side again.

Stratten, in addition to being an author, is a public speaker. That comes through in the tone of his book. Up-beat, a little informal, and right to the point. He keeps our attention riveted to the book in such a way that I hated to put it down. But the book should be put down -- especially the Awesome side -- in order to absorb, and process the wealth of information presented.

While there is a huge focus on "social media" (especially Twitter), this isn't a how-to book that's outdated as soon as the site makes the most minor change to the interface, or the metrics that drive how things are shared. It does, however, emphasize the importance of the content of what you say, and how you respond to those who respond to your message. Essentially, we're reading about concepts and attitudes that transcend any particular medium.

Whether you're reading the Awesome side to be inspired to be Awesome yourself, or the UnAwesome side to learn how to avoid inadvertently landing in the Hall of Shame (or to laugh at the stories of those who did), this book is itself awesome. I would recommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!, January 19, 2013
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The big is jam-packed full of useful information. Real information that every business owner or business student needs to succeed. I like the fact that it gives you two perspectives and not just positive fluff or all the negatives. A rare concept in the business book arena.
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