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Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force Paperback – January 2, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Word-of-mouth advertising and selling is the most powerful form of marketing, the least expensive, and the hardest to achieve. This book is packed with ways to get your customers to spread the good word, and to do so with evangelistic fervor."—Jeffrey J. Fox, author of How to Become a Rainmaker and How to Be CEO

"The most attractive alternative to advertising is the mouth of the customer. How to harness your customers and turn them into mouthpieces for your brand is the subject of McConnell and Huba's thoughtful, insightful book, which is filled with convincing case histories."—Al Ries

"How do you create customer evangelists? To answer this question, McConnell and Huba went right to the source—the amazing companies that have been successful in this difficult task. The result is an inspiring and thorough book packed with real-life examples, action items, and insight."—Emanuel Rosen, author of The Anatomy of Buzz

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business; Original edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419597213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419597213
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,090,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dana on March 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It seems fitting to be writing a review to evangelize a book written on the topic of making evangelists out of your customers. I can't help but think after reading Creating Customer Evangelists, "how can I let as many people as possible know how wonderful this book is!"
I'd venture a guess that many of you reading this review have delved into a lot of business books in your lifetime. I'm sure that the best of intentions were taken into each book, only to find out that ½ way through the majority of them, they had lost their relevance and hadn't delivered on their promise. I mean, really, how many books about marketing can possibly have any really interesting and immediately helpful ideas?
While CCE is not a fiction thriller, it will keep you as engaged as any good novel would, because at it's heart, it tells a lot of great short stories, and it tells them with insight and conviction. The book follows a "case study" approach and illustrates a world-class case example of a company doing CE right in each chapter. And, unlike those feel-good business books about how breakthrough something is that leave you hanging with no action items, CCE includes a full set of appendices on how you, yes you and your business, can get going on your CE efforts.
The book lays out the process of creating customer evangelists in the following order:
1. Customer Plus-Delta (you need to be continuously gathering customer feedback)
2. Napsterize Your Knowledge (share and share alike, and freely, and not cheap crap either - put some good material out there!)
3. Build the Buzz (find the WOM networks in your industry and tap into them, not blatantly, but intelligently. Oh, and give to get. See principle #2)
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Format: Hardcover
Is this a book about marketing? Or about customer relations? Or about sales? Or about organizational growth? And now the correct answer: all of the above. What McConnell and Huba have accomplished in this single volume is truly impressive, at times stunning. They have consulted a variety of sources whom they gratefully acknowledge, such as Guy Kawasaki (who wrote the Foreword) as well as Emanuel Rosen, Richard Dawkins, Seth Godin, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, Richard Cross and Janet Smith, and Philip Kotler. However, McConnell and Huba are to be commended for formulating and then presenting their own cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective strategies by which to create "customer evangelists" who (in effect) become "a volunteer sales force."
Just within the book's first five (of 16) chapters, McConnell and Huba answer questions such as these:
1. What are the attributes of customer evangelists?
2. What are the six tenets of customer evangelism?
3. Why are customer evangelists the ultimate salespeople"?
4. How to begin the process of creating customer evangelists?
5. What is "Customer Plus-Delta" and what are its "ten golden rules"?
6. What must any organization do to achieve its own Customer Plus-Delta?
7. What are the five key lessons to be learned from Napster?
8. What are the five myths and realities about buzz?
9. Why is a meme so important?
10. Which helpful hints will help any organization to create its own meme?
Chapters 9-15 focus on HOW seven companies create "customer evangelists" who (in effect) become "a volunteer sales force." McConnell and Huba devote a separate chapter to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, SolutionPeople, O'Reilly & Associates, the Dallas Mavericks, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Southwest Airlines, and IBM.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an incredible book. After reading this book, you realize the impact you have on your friends and family and you will want to be an evangelist for more products and services. The case studies in this book also show that it's not about investing millions of dollars in a marketing campaign - but about using a little creativity and personality to give your customers a feeling of excitement in buying your product or service so they will WANT to spread the word about your offering.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
If only every business I did business with had the inclination to read and follow the advice in this book. No more shopping headaches! No more frustrating conversations with (and I use the term lightly) customer service representatives who really don't care about their customers!

Not only was this book easy, quick and enjoyable to read, it gave sound, practical, applicable advice. The author uses excellent, real-life examples of companies who have implemented (or not) the concepts he espouses. They're such simple concepts, really, yet so often dismissed in the name of (ironically) PROFIT, while being the most productive, cost-efficient means to that end. They're not novel ideas either, but ideas that definitely need to be reintroduced, and for those of us who actually want to be successful, implemented immediately.

This is not rocket science. For instance, the pitch that most businesses preach but don't practice - "the customer is number one" (bet you never heard that one before). Yet it would seem to me, as a loyal consumer of both goods and services, (and I know you know what I'm talking about here) that really excellent customer service is the exception to the rule. And what about "word-of-mouth advertising" - the (get this) least expensive, least taken advantage of, yet most successful, cost-effective form of advertising there is. When's the last time you figured word-of-mouth into your advertising budget?

Don't let these simple, common concepts fool you into thinking you don't need to read the book. I've been in customer service and/or sales all of my working life (which has been sufficient, thank you very much), and have always prided myself on providing just the type of excellent service the author talks about.
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