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Attack of the Customers: Why Critics Assault Brands Online and How To Avoid Becoming a Victim Paperback – November 30, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"As Paul and Greg show with fascinating examples, customers complain because they care. You'll learn how to respond effectively and how you can grow your business in the process."
-David Meerman Scott, author, The New Rules of Marketing and PR

"This book gives you the tools to stave off disaster. Ignore it at your peril."
-Mike Moran, co-author, Search Engine Marketing, Inc.

"Don't wait until you're in the middle of a social media crisis.  Read, learn, and train against the knowledge captured here to manage your risk now." 
-Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group

"If your organization hasn't been savaged in social media yet, it may well be tomorrow. Read Attack of the Customers and be prepared."
-Peter Buechler, Marketing Guy 2.1

"A must-read for marketers and client service managers."
-Brent Pohlman, Midwest Labs

"The style of writing is fluid and informative...and the book is a surprising page-turner."
-Christina Kerley, Marketing Strategist

"The most highly rated book in the class. The students found it to be very informative and timely."
-David Faulds, University of Louisville

From the Author

If you have told most business leaders five years ago that they would soon host branded online spaces where angry customers complained about them in public, they would have laughed in your face. But today nearly every major company does exactly that on a site called Facebook.

Companies no longer control their brands; their customers do. Customers make their opinions know on their blogs, in social networks and on dozens of peer review sites. Entire industries are being transformed as a result. This phenomenon will sweep through nearly every industry, B2C and B2B alike. Customer satisfaction will be the hallmark of the world's great companies. 

Much has been written about social media's potential as a marketing tool, but little attention has been paid to its destructive potential. That topic has fascinated me since I published my first book - The New Influencers - in 2007. With Attack of the Customers, I've finally had the chance to explore this topic in detail.

Attack of the Customers is a warning, but also a how-to manual for success. Its horror stories ultimately point to practices companies can use to build customer-centric cultures that resist attack, promote customer engagement and ultimately create barriers to competition. The great companies of the future will be those that put customers first. Here's how to do that. 
--Paul Gillin
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479244554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479244553
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This past semester I assigned Paul Gillin's book "Attack of the Customers," in both my undergraduate course in Social Media Marketing and the graduate course offered in our MBA program at the University of Louisville. In both classes, the response received from the students was overwhelmingly positive. The book discusses a very important subject that is of great interest to business students (found in undergraduate business schools) and practitioners (found in MBA programs at the graduate level). With the widespread use of social media and the power it offers the customer in service failure situations the issues Paul discusses in his book have taken on an entirely different level of importance than they had just ten years ago. As an educator that has developed the first known undergraduate course in Social Media Marketing in the nation, I would highly recommend that my colleagues in academia depart from their normal routine of assigning "traditional" textbooks that are often over-priced, irrelevant, out-of-date, and difficult to read and consider adopting books from the popular business press, such as "Attack of the Customers." The practical perspective these books offer enhance the learning environment and stimulate class discussions far more than traditional type textbooks. I highly recommend "Attack of the Customers" for the insights it offers to students and practitioners and enthusiastically recommend it as an alternative to the traditional textbook.
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Format: Paperback
This book is filled with insights so that you can make your brand and business world-class. On page 48, the authors note something crucial: "an apology delivered too quickly can worsen the situation by looking like a brush-off." Another insight from the authors: the reflexive reaction isn't always the best one. For example, firing an employee who behaves inappropriately may backfire if it turns out the business climate tolerated such behavior.

On page 61, the authors reveal that in online attacks "the vast majority of incidents are driven by the victim's perception that a wrong has been done, the wrongdoer doesn't care about its constituents and the victim speaks for an aggrieved group that can't or won't speak for itself."

In Chapter 9 "An Ounce of Prevention" (page 131), the authors get specific about how you can truly listen. They identify four specific elements to watch for in Twitter that are signs of a developing attack.

I am impressed with the material of Chapter 10 "Handling an Attack." The authors advise on page 155: "Get your social assets in order" and they note: "Social media has made attack planning vastly more complex."

Finally, empower yourself by reading Chapter 11 "The Attack Resistant Organization" (page 171) in which the authors note "the best way to defend against attack: Build a loyal customer base that heads off attacks before they begin."

Get this book. Any business can benefit from being "attack savvy." Better yet, many times, you can turn an aggrieved customer into a loyal fan. And in social media, that means a lot!
- Tom Marcoux
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
May Hauer-Simmonds said: Good book! All about how to deal with hate comments, trolls and bad rep online. The writer really makes good examples and situations. It is easy to read and it gives you real life examples! Good work!
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This is a sort-of 'Social Media Defense for Dummies'. Using well-documented attacks on corporates through social media, the authors illustrate the pitfalls awaiting unwary organizations.

The highlighted cases all reacted to attacks in different ways, giving a wide variety of practical examples and their results which indicate the potential reaction of consumers to each type of response. The language used by the authors is non-technical and non-judgemental, providing a clear and unbiased view of the pros and cons of each type of response. Many of the insights are counter-intuitive and could probably only be gained by bitter experience in the absence of this guide, so I would count this book an essential tool for anyone considering, or already involved with, a social media corporate platform.

The style of writing is fluid and informative, without sinking into dense intellectualism, and the book is a surprising page-turner. For anyone involved in the crafting of a social media policy for a corporate, this book is very timely and should help to avoid some of the lasting and damaging mistakes made by others.

I recommend it for its clear examples, carefully drawn conclusions and easy-to-follow advice.
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Format: Paperback
If business owners think social media is just for sharing kitten pictures and craft ideas, they're dead wrong. Social media has brought some of the largest companies to their knees, begging for mercy. No matter what size the business is, one bad social media review - a bad Yelp, a Facebook onslaught - can cause untold amounts of lost revenue. Paul Gillin does a great job laying out how some businesses have been blindsided by social media and what can be done before, during, and after a social media crisis. If you own a business or are in charge of customer service or social media, you need this book. Trust me.
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