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The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset

Overview


Introducing “return on relationship” with your most valued customers

The traditional model of growing your business—by relying on employees in sales, marketing, and product development—is dying. Today’s most successful companies are taking a different approach: getting customers to market, sell, and create products for them.

In assessing client value, most companies look at the money paid for their goods and services. But in this book, ...

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The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset

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Overview


Introducing “return on relationship” with your most valued customers

The traditional model of growing your business—by relying on employees in sales, marketing, and product development—is dying. Today’s most successful companies are taking a different approach: getting customers to market, sell, and create products for them.

In assessing client value, most companies look at the money paid for their goods and services. But in this book, Customer Strategy Group CEO Bill Lee offers a compelling new vision for growth by maximizing your “return on relationship” with select customers—those that offer rich sources of hidden wealth. A different type of ROI, this strategy of making the most of your firm’s existing relationships is a modern approach to customer relations—one that yields a distinct business advantage.

Illustrated by numerous case studies—Salesforce.com, SAS Institute, 3M, Microsoft, and others—The Hidden Wealth of Customers shows the value some customers can have by helping to market your offerings, penetrate foreign markets, leverage the demand-generating power of social media, build customer communities, improve innovation, and more. Lee explains how to effectively engage this crucial audience, which has the power to keep your strategy focused on important customer issues and increase profitability.

When done right, your best customers will prospect for you while also speeding product adoption and improving customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Consider this book a blueprint for finally making the most out of your most valuable customer relationships.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“If you are looking for ways to deepen your relationship with your customers, this book will definitely give you some great ideas and some strong recommendations on how to track and measure your efforts.” — Business 2 Community (business2community.com)

“If you are looking for ways to deepen your relationship with your customers, this book will definitely give you some great ideas and some strong recommendations on how to track and measure your efforts.” — Social Media, Marketing & Musings (margieclayman.com)

Bill Lee's The Hidden Wealth of Customers is one of most insightful business books I've read this year. As I described in my Forbes interview with Bill [...], he posits useful strategies that go above and beyond the established wisdom for how to cement customer loyalty. He uses ample case studies with real, behind-the-scenes information about companies like Salesforce.com and the innovative tactics they use to make themselves indispensable to their customers. I think most business owners or executives can learn a great deal from this book and would recommend it highly. — Dorie Clark, Forbes Online Columnist

“I'm willing to bet that most companies don’t know who their ‘rock star’ customers are, and are missing a big piece of their future revenue engine as a result. This much-needed book shows how to capture that missing piece.” — Brian Householder, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Business Development, Hitachi Data Systems

“As with many business books, I had originally planned to skim this one. However, I was hooked after the first chapter. Lee covers some great concepts very well. Unfortunately, I can’t associate my name with the book, because two of the firms prominently mentioned are key competitors of ours.” — Chief Customer Officer, a Fortune 500 firm

“Since 2007, corporate America has been focused first on survival and second on expense reduction as a means to growing profitability. Revenue growth has now reclaimed its rightful role as a top priority. This book will challenge business leaders to tap a superb revenue engine that’s right under their noses.” — Julia Wellborn, Executive Vice President, Wealth Management, Comerica

“Bill Lee tears down myths and applies his own principles to innovate the most fundamental relationship in commerce: the customer. Regardless of what relationship your organization has with its customers, you’ll come away with new ideas and a motivation to engage with customers far more profitably.” — Robert Hillard, Technology Lead Partner, Deloitte Australia; author, Information-Driven Business

“Managing customers as an asset of your business is a key strategic focus of companies that thrive in good times and bad. This book will help you steer your business toward that critical path to prosperity and growth.” — Jeanne Bliss, President, CustomerBliss; former Chief Customer Officer, Microsoft; and author, Chief Customer Officer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422172315
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,433,100
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Bill Lee is President of Lee Consulting Group. He is also CEO of the Customer Strategy Group, which organizes industry-leading conferences, including the Summit on Customer Engagement, Customer Reference Forum, Summit on Customer Communities, and CAB Exchange Summit. For eight years his organizations have provided educational, research, and consulting services to many of the world’s top firms, such as IBM, AT&T, Apple, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, CA Technologies, Dell, Salesforce.com, and others.
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Table of Contents

1 The Coming Customer Revolution 1

Transforming Customers into Advocates, Influences, and Contributors

2 Return on Relationship 27

The Key to Turning Customer Engagement into Organic Growth

3 The Most Powerful Sales Force 45

Your Customers Are More Credible to a Buyer Than You Are

4 The New Marketing Machine 63

How Customer Advocates Can Drive Marketing Strategy

5 Harnessing the Internet 91

How Customers Can Turn the Web from Threat into Opportunity for You

6 Building Customer Communities in a Networked World 111

How Customers and Companies Are Doing Together What They Can't Do Alone

7 Customer-Enhanced Strategy 139

How C-Level Customers Can Create Rapid Growth

8 The Most Innovative Designers 161

How to Get Meaningful Customer Input to Make Dramatic Improvements in New Product Development

Appendix: Are You Creating Robust Organic Growth? A Diagnostic 187

Notes 199

Index 203

Acknowledgments 219

About the Author 221

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