- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Kaplan Business; 1 edition (November 12, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0793155614
- ISBN-13: 978-0793155613
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force Hardcover – November 12, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
This enjoyable but hardly essential book offers case studies of eight companies whose customer communities-that is, the base of customers who believe in a particular product or service-are robust and successful: Southwest Airlines, Krispy Kreme, Build-A-Bear Workshops, the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Pallotta TeamWorks, O'Reilly & Associates, SolutionPeople and IBM. The authors, cofounders of the marketing consulting firm Wabash & Lake, claim that "customer evangelists" are free; they offer a six-step plan for building customer evangelism, but the specific programs they recommend are expensive. They decry "nuisance" advertising, yet praise MSN's infamous Hotmail spam tag line attached to every e-mail Hotmail users send and IBM's graffiti campaign that resulted in criminal fines. They argue against focusing on shareholder value and cost controls, but criticize companies that imploded for ignoring those two things. Although the idea of deepening customer relationships is certainly valid and should be embraced by marketers, there are better and far more balanced accounts of this process available (the first four chapters of Philip Kotler's Marketing Management, the standard MBA text, for example).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"In the best book of the month ... McConnell and Huba offer six practical tenets for turning customers into evangelists. " -- The Business Reader Review, December 2002
"[Creating Customer Evangelists] is the new mantra for entrepreneurial success." -- New York Times
Lessons of customer evangelism related through real life company stories make this book an absorbing read. -- Harvard Business School
The book is packed with working examples of how to [create customer evangelists]...so buy it, learn from it. -- Azriela Jaffe, Welcome Business USA
Top customer reviews
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Also huge trigger warning for 9/11 - they talk about it way too much.
1. Not relevant to small companies. I am not sure how much can be learned from Southwest Airlines, Apple Computers, Harley Davidson. Some small companies were included, but the examples cited were mainly from major corporations.
2. Poorly organized. The chapter titles are not descriptive. The chapters themselves tend to ramble, and there are no sub-chapters. I ended up rewriting the table of contents myself, so I would better understand what I am reading. Here is what the TOC should have been:
PART I: INTRODUCTION
Ch. 1 - Introduction, Overview of the book
Ch. 2 - Value of Customer Evangelists
PART II: 6 STEPS TO CREATING C.E.
Ch. 3 - Customer Feedback
Ch. 4 - Provide Value Added Information
Ch. 5 - Promote Word of Mouth
Ch. 6 - Create Community (this is actually the title of this chapter)
Ch. 7 - Provide Low Risk Entry
Ch. 8 - Create a Cause (this is actually the title of this chapter)
PART III: CASE STUDIES
Ch. 9 - Creative Consultants
Ch. 10 - Book Publisher
3. Almost no guidance on implementation. Like so many books written by consultants and marketers, this is a book of "big ideas", not about how to actually do anything. To give just one example, the chapter on customer feedback (title: "Customer Delta-Plus") goes on and on about the importance of getting feedback. Not one word on how to record this feedback in a database, how to analyze the data collected, or how to integrate this data into operations.
4. The case studies were worthless, and they are half the book. The writing is so convoluted, I could not figure out what they were trying to get at. In the first one ("Solution People"), I still don't even know what the business was (what the heck is "Creativity Consulting"?). These chapters would have received a failing grade in any decent high school composition class. The editors at Kaplan Publishers should be ashamed of themselves.
You get the idea. I did come away from this book with a few good ideas, but it was work to get through all the fluff.
This book is excellent - not only as a must read for businesses but for anyone who buys anything. Everyone is an evangelist for something, but this book really makes you realize the benefits of your evangelism - and it makes you want to be an evangelist for more products, services and people. From a business perspective, it shows you how other companies have provided an atmosphere for growing evangelists - do you know how you are growing customer evangelists in your organization? Read the book - and I guarantee you will get ideas on how to create these relationships with your customers.
If you want your customer to become your best sales people, don't pass this book by. Invest in it and into Ben Mc Connell's Citizen Marketers: when the people are the message, as well as in Andy Sernovitz's Word of mouth marketing.
If you're making an e-commerce website, you would simply be a fool not to study the subjects covered by this book. It can also actually be applied to any modern form of communicaton including blogs. The only (small) critic which may be presented is that the author's approach is top-down when good word of mouth is, most of the times, user-generated (see MySpace and YouTube)
The author however did a really good job. Worth not only your money but devoting some of our precious life time to learn from it.
- Focusing on solving customer needs
- Putting the customer's success at the heart of your business relationships
- Making them feel special, create "clubs" and "communities" for your customers to participate
- Creating "causes" for them to be emotionally attached to, deliver unequalled service and show genuine interest in what they do and how you can help them to do it better.
- Being loyal to customers, and they will be loyal to you. Remember, customers are loyal to people, NOT products.
- Creating genuine buzz about your company (and how to do it).
- Sharing knowledge openly with prospects and customers, instead of hoarding it.
A multitude of examples are given, showing step-by-step how to duplicate the concept in real-world practice.
This book is worth every penny for those willing to take the risk of breaking away from traditional, interruption marketing and enable their customers to become their evangelists.
Once we get them to that point, the best thing to do is to keep out of their way and let them do their work -- then watch your business grow. I have already seen the impact in our firm.
Best of success to you!
Most recent customer reviews
The book may be nearly 10 years old at this point, but many, if not all, of the examples hold up...Read more