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Loyalty Myths: Hyped Strategies That Will Put You Out of Business -- and Proven Tactics That Really Work Hardcover – September 15, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Strong stuff...[the authors] offer some well-researched loyalty truths" (Telegraph, November 2005)

"...full of ideas and suggestions...likely to be useful to anyone working in the field." (Research Magazine, May 2006)

From the Inside Flap

It's time to tear down the false idols of customer loyalty!

CEOs worldwide cite customer loyalty as their most important strategic objective, spending billions of dollars to hold onto their customers. Thousands of books and even more articles have been written about customer loyalty and everyone agrees it's vital. But are they right?

In Loyalty Myths, renowned authors from one of the world's premier business research firms reveal the ugly truth about customer loyalty—almost everything you've been told about it is wrong!

In fact, most popular loyalty maxims are based on faulty data or on a faulty reading of good data. For instance, most managers take it as gospel that all customers become more valuable over time. But it's not true! Some do just the opposite; they cost the company money over time. A CEO who keeps the wrong customers can lose millions! But business leaders do it every day because they fail to fully understand customer loyalty.

To set things straight, Loyalty Myths critiques 53 of the most common beliefs about customer loyalty and debunks them fully with hard science and even harder data. Using real-world examples and the latest facts and figures, the authors smash the platitudes and the easy assumptions about customer loyalty and offer real-world, fact-based methodologies that really do keep customers coming back.

But how do you know the authors are right? Granted unprecedented access to customer records from a wide variety of multinational corporations, they were able to track the impact of customer loyalty initiatives on actual purchasing. Their findings will force you to set aside the simple half-truths you thought would work and show you how to leverage your customer loyalty for maximum profit.

Customer loyalty is an important factor in the success of any business, but by oversimplifying it many businesses have failed to realize its full power and effectiveness. For any business leader who wants to truly understand customer loyalty—and get real results from customer loyalty programs—this book finally speaks the truth.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471743151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471743156
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are going to create a book that so directly trashes thousands of its predecessors and the work of many people that have devoted their careers to this subject (including many well-regarded contributions to the Harvard Business Review), you had better come up with something special. This book is not it. It is replete with dreadful generalizations and - contrary to the jacket - is not loaded with solid case studies. In fact, it is challenging to relate the few case studies that are quoted in here to the point that they are trying to make. For example, the authors use a lengthy disposition on France Telecom's capital over-expansion and its subsequent near-bankruptcy as an example of failed customer loyalty. This is like suggesting that the sinking of the titanic was as a result of having engines that were too powerful: Broadly related but absolutely fails to support the assertion. This is true of much of this book. When you feel the authors are finally about to bring something of actionable value they leave you wanting, making broad hypotheses and utterly failing to support them. This book really has one premise: "not all customers are the same"; and anyone for whom that's a revelation should not be in marketing anyway. This book read like many consultant's reports - it is big on conjecture, assumptions and assertions, and very light on any supporting evidence or actionable insights. Overall this was an extraordinarily disappointing and frustrating read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book delivers breakthrough thinking with an incredible amount of new understanding on how to make your customers more satisfied and have it truly pay off in profit growth. I already see three messages in Loyalty Myths that are particularly relevant for my company and that we can act on now. First, we need to spend more time identifying which customers we should focus most of our attention on, instead of throwing resources at the entire customer base. Second, we need to measure not just our customer retention but how much share of wallet our customers spend with us. And third, customers want good service and they also want to feel smart about using us, so we need our service operations and brand management teams to work together instead of independently and possibly at odds with each other. This book delivers a wake up call to any business that still approaches customer satisfaction in conventional ways that don't produce real benefits. Then, it lays out a new approach of smart customer management to grow loyalty and profits. I recommend this to every business person who knows they can get better results.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a welcome addition to an area of business where there are many misconceptions, highly touted anecdotal evidence tends to swamp more grounded empirical findings, and writing tends to be somewhat evangelical, if not apocryphal. Loyalty Myths is a very accessible book written in plain language that should be useful to anyone involved in loyalty initiatives, but especially those charged with leading such activities. The authors are loyalty consultants with strong connections to academe, making them well-positioned observers of the state-of-the-art in both theory and practice in this important area. The book identifies the most widely held beliefs about loyalty and outs them to the test using what they know from their own practice, as well as what they have garnered from their own research and that of other experts in the area. It also does a very nice job of laying out what the authors have learned about what really does work. I recommend it very highly.
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Format: Hardcover
Loyalty Myths does an outstanding job of dispelling commonly held beliefs - some almost sacrosanct - about customer loyalty through an effective mixture of anecdotes, research, and theory. It reads much more easily than most business books while not being completely quantitative. The authors, customer loyalty consultants themselves, disprove some of the most fervently held beliefs about loyalty such as an increase in customer retention of 5% leading to an increase in profits of up to 100%, how it costs 5x as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one, long-term customers being more valuable than short-term ones, etc. The authors show how and where these beliefs go wrong and how to correct where possible. At the end of the book, they present 7 loyalty truths that organizations can use to implement better loyalty initiatives. This is a highly valuable book both for those looking to implement loyalty efforts as well as those evaluating existing efforts. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Interesting reading. I enjoyed the content but this is not what you want to base a campaign or business plan on. I get the impression it was written by people who have never had a real day-in-day-out job. For example, the myth about the cost of obtaining new customers--way over simplified and wrong in many places.
In short, a lot of fluff no substance.
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Format: Hardcover
For millennia, people believed that the earth was at the center of the universe - that was until astronomer Copernicus provided contradictory observations and data that debunked the former myth in favor of the heliocentric truth. A similar paradigm shift (albeit not in the same scope or scale) is captured in the pages of a business book titled - Loyalty Myths - by contrarian writer Timothy Keiningham. The author uses his years of experience at one of the world's preeminent business research firms, coupled with hard-hitting data and hard science, to posit that the pursuit of customer loyalty may not be the center of the business universe that conventional wisdom supposes. Keiningham forces readers to face the provocative prospect that virtually everything you've been taught about customer loyalty was either wrong, won't work or no longer applies. Soundview likes this book because it looks at more than 50 of the most commonly-held beliefs regarding customer loyalty and convincingly refutes the fundamental tenets of each. While some may disagree with the findings, it proves to be a worthwhile exercise that should drive all conscientious businesses to reevaluate how they view and serve the customers. Rest assured that Keiningham still supports the general idea that businesses should revolve around the customer, but on a different axis, orbit and trajectory than previously thought.
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