I am so excited to share the news with all of you that I have a book coming out in July! And it is thanks to you, my faithful Customers Rock! readers, that it is happening. The book is called The Hidden Power of Your Customers: Four Keys to Growing Your Business Through Existing Customers, being published by John Wiley & Sons. The hardcover edition will be released on July 20, with eReader versions to follow.
This book has actually been a long time in the making – not so much from the perspective of how long it took to write it (see The Story below) but from the perspective that I have had this book in mind since before I began this blog in December of 2006. In fact, one of the reasons I started Customers Rock! blog was that I wanted to see 1) whether I enjoyed writing (I do) and 2) whether anyone else would enjoy reading what I wrote (you do!). So in a sense, this book has been over 4 years in the making!
This book is also one of the main reasons that I have been so quiet on my blog the past few months. I have definitely missed writing for all of you, and many of you have been encouraging me to get back out here and post. I am finally ready, and what better way to start back up than to introduce you to my book.
The Hidden Power of Your Customers is a book about how to focus on your current customers so that you can lengthen and strengthen your business relationship with them, thus bringing about increased customer loyalty, customer advocacy, and ultimately increased referrals. It is not a social media book (more on that in The Story below), but social media is woven throughout the book (as it should be woven throughout a company’s marketing and customer service strategies). It is also not a customer service book (but that is an important tenet). It is a book about growing your business through one of your company’s best assets – your existing customers.
Here is a short excerpt from the introduction:
It has been my experience that many companies spend most of their time and budget focusing on selling to new customers and end up neglecting their existing ones. This might work in the short term, but eventually these companies will find themselves losing more customers out the back door than they bring in through the front door. Additionally, the onset of social media is driving a major change in customer behaviors and habits, making it highly risky not to focus on existing customers. Social media has brought the customer experience to the forefront of discussions, so it is important for companies to be more vigilant than ever before.
As a result, some people will tell you that you need outstanding customer service. But customer service is not enough. You also need marketing that connects with your current customers. In fact, you need to consider the entire customer experience, and support it with a customer-centric culture, one that promotes an equally exceptional employee experience. And, of course, you do need outstanding customer service.
The Hidden Power of Your Customers is based around the principles of Customers Rock!, and the sections of the book follow the ROCK acronym:
R: Relevant marketing – Organizations need to market to their customers in a way that is relevant to them, including recognizing them as customers, using their language, and meeting their needs.
O: Orchestrated customer experience – Every place a customer interacts with a company needs to provide a consistent, planned experience for the customer that is beneficial to both parties. We can’t leave the customer experience to chance.
C: Customer-focused culture – We can’t just expect that a company will become customer-centric because it hires a few great customer service personnel or states that it cares about customers in its marketing. We need to ensure that customers are part of everything that our company does so that customer-focus becomes part of the company DNA.
K: Killer customer service – Companies need to take customer service to the next level, and it needs to be an integral part of the customer experience. Customer service is where the rubber meets the road, as many buying and renewal decisions are based upon this critical touch point. It has to ROCK.
The book is also supported with many case studies (based on personal interviews I conducted with company leaders), lots of practical tips, and fun personal stories – all written in the Customers Rock! style that you are familiar with here on this blog.
This past summer, at the end of my Marketing via New Media class which I teach at UC San Diego, my students were encouraging me to take what I know and write a book. I told them I had a book in mind already, I just hadn’t made any inquiries about it yet. I went home that evening and tweeted out that I was thinking about writing a book. Less than a week later, I received an email from an editor at John Wiley & Sons. In it, he said that he was interested in working with me on my book. He said he enjoyed this blog and felt that I had good material, and good credentials, to write a book. I actually had already written a book proposal the year before but hadn’t tried to do anything with it. I asked the Wiley editor whether this should be a social media book, and his recommendation was no, it should not be; he felt there were already quite a few of those out there (and I agree).
So, after giving Wiley’s offer some thought, I agreed and signed the contract. The book was off and running!
I then spent the next four months doing interviews, pulling together information, and writing the manuscript. It was completed on February 1 (I think I missed out on most of the family holiday activities this past season). Since then, I have been working with Wiley on a few rounds of edits, approving cover artwork, seeking “blurbs” (endorsements) for the book, and getting a top-notch thought leader to write the foreword (Thank You, Brian Solis – author of Engage! for being so gracious).
The book is now just about ready for prime time, so I felt it was high time to share about it with you all. The attendees of my recent session at SugarCon got a sneak preview of some of the concepts, and I will be giving more talks in the next few months before the release where I will have the opportunity to sign some pre-release booklets and get the word out about the book.
Will You Help Me Share About It?
I am thrilled that the book releases in just a few months (July 20), and I plan to continue blogging, speaking, and sharing about it on my social networks. Will you help me? Here are a few ways you can get involved in sharing the Customers Rock! philosophy that is in The Hidden Power of Your Customers:
- Share about the book on your own blog or social networks. Here is the link to the book on Amazon.
- Go to the Amazon page and click Like (right under my name, at the top of the listing)
- Pre-order the book
- If you are in San Diego, come to one of my Book Launch Parties (more info on these as it gets closer)
- If you are not in San Diego, you can help sponsor me for a Book Signing/Event in your city. I will gladly come to your city for a signing if you help arrange the event; please contact me for details.
- Submit to write a review of the book on your blog! I will be reaching out to bloggers for reviews to take place in early July; please leave me a comment or drop me a note at becky at petraconsultinggroup dot com if you are interested.
Again, thank you all for your support, encouragement, and loyalty over the past 4 1/2 years of this blog. Customers DO rock, and I can’t wait to show you more about that in the book.
Let me know what you think!