Book Review: The Hidden Power of Your Customers

by Mack Collier

UPDATE: Congrats to Mary Cavanaugh for winning the signed copy of The Hidden Power of Your Customers!  Thanks to everyone for the great comments and discussions!

As those of you that have read for any amount of time know, I rarely do book reviews here.  But I wanted to let you know about the first book from one of my oldest blogging friends, Becky Carroll.  Becky has been blogging for the last 5 years on the power of embracing your customers.  She’s also been consulting companies of all sizes on how to do this, and does it every day in her role as Community Manager for Verizon.

So I was thrilled when she sent me a copy of her first book, The Hidden Power of Your Customers.  This is the book Becky was meant to write.  So often I see that someone has written a book that doesn’t really seem to speak to their core expertise, but not so with The Hidden Power of Your Customers!

Becky explains that the 4 keys to unlocking the power of your customers are based on R.O.C.K.:

R = Relevant marketing.  Creating marketing that customers want, and that resonates with them.

O = Orchestrated customer experience.  Creating a customer experience that’s viewed through the eyes of the customer, not the company.

C = Customer-Focused Culture.  It is in the company’s DNA to delight and excite their customers.

K = Killer customer service.  Be consistent, and focus on getting the ‘little things’ right every single day.


What I love about The Hidden Power of Your Customers, is that it gives you solid business strategy and advice, then tells you how to EXECUTE that advice.  Too many marketing/social media books will give you ‘common sense’ business platitudes that might make for a good RT, but they actually tell you HOW to do what they are suggesting.  Becky does.  For example, the book is organized into 4 sections, each one covering one of the letters in her R.O.C.K. formula.  I was particularly interested in the C, or Customer-Focused Culture.  Now a TON of marketing books have talked about the value of having a customer-focused culture, but few tell you how to actually GET there.

Becky talks about having customer-centered values, and how to track and MEASURE metrics that are associated with your goal of creating a customer-focused culture.  She walks you through the type of employees you should be hiring to help you develop a customer-focused culture.  She gives you an actual plan for creating a customer-focused culture, rather than saying you need to do so, then sending you on your merry way without any direction on how to get there.

And Becky does something else that I love: She uses case studies to illustrate the points she is trying to make.  People LOVE case studies!  And I have found from my work and presentations that people can understand the concepts you are trying to relate much easier if you can tell them a story of how a real company has done what you are suggesting they do.  It really helps the ideas resonate, and Becky has dozens of case studies sprinkled all throughout this book.

So I love this book, and I think you will as well.  If you want to buy a copy of The Hidden Power of Your Customers, then head on over to Amazon.  BUT, since Becky rocks so much, she has given me a SIGNED copy to giveaway here on my blog!

So if you want to win a signed copy of The Hidden Power of Your Customers, simply leave a comment telling us about an amazing experience you have had with a company or organization.  One that you think did a great job of focusing on you as a customer and truly made you feel appreciated, and made you want to tell others about your amazing experience.  And it doesn’t have to be a one-time event, it could be about your favorite business or organization that you love because they consistently give you amazing service and truly appreciate you and you can tell they appreciate all of their customers.

That’s all I need, and I’ll pick one winner to receive the signed book by next Saturday, the 22nd!  And you can live anywhere in the world, I’ll mail it to you where ever you are, all you need to do is share your story with us!  Good luck, and thanks again to Becky for writing such an amazing book!


Pic via Flickr user MelonieG

BeckyCarroll October 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

Mack, I am so honored that you have written a review of my book. You are one the best examples of how to do things the right way, and your work has been an inspiration for mine.

And you are right – this is the book I was meant to write! In fact, I started my Customers Rock! blog with this very book in mind. I wasn’t sure if anyone would read what I would write, but guess who wrote the very first comment on my blog: Mack Collier.

Thank you for all of your support. You are a key part of the genesis of this book!

MaryCavanaugh October 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

We got a couple nights free stay at the Marriott Courtyard in Chattanooga recently thanks to my husband’s frequent travel. The housekeeper left a cleaning rag in the otherwise spotless room so we asked the front desk if they could have some get it or should we toss it? They offered to move us and worked it out in a pleasant manner. When we got back from dinner, we found a nice card with a handwritten apology, a $25 gift card to a nice restaurant in town and 1,000 extra points for our Marriott rewards program.

Amazing service for a comped room!

MackCollier October 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

@MaryCavanaugh Mary that is a great example of going above and beyond! And it created a memorable experience for you, which you still talk about! Not a bad return on a $25 investment by Marriott Courtyard! Thanks for sharing!

MackCollier October 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

@BeckyCarroll Thank you Becky, I am so happy that The Hidden Power of Your Customers came to be and is so successful for you. Congratulations, and thanks again for sending me a signed giveaway copy! I know the winner will enjoy the book as much as I have!

Leigha Landry October 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Yesterday morning, I blew a tire first thing in the morning. Because I’d had a rough previous evening and have sunk tons of money into my car recently, I momentarily sat in my car with my head in the steering wheel feeling exasperated. Well, somebody saw me like that and called 911. Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by the Carmel, Indiana fire fighters and police. They came speeding with lights and sirens. I hopped out of the car feeling terrible for blocking all of the morning traffic. And all they cared about was whether I was hurt. Once we had established that only the car was damaged, they went about helping me out. Rather than have me move my car into a driveway and stop blocking traffic, they decided to change my tire right there so not as to damage my aluminum rims. I kept apologizing for causing trouble, and all they said is that’s what we’re here for. Not only did they dig the spare out of my embarrassingly messy truck and manage to get the old tire back in since they said it was too dirty to put inside the car, they had me drive over to the fire station where they checked the air on all of my tires. They had no idea what a night I’d had, and I’m sure they were tired. But they smiled the whole time and never complained or acted like I was an inconvenience. I was touched and appreciated that level if service more than they’ll ever know.

Mack Collier October 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Leigha sorry you had a flat but what a great story about how the police and firefighters chipped in to help you out. Even taking you to the fire station to check your tires! Thanks for sharing!

Sherri Shelnutt October 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Hi Mack! The book sounds awesome.
As we all do, I have examples from both sides of the customer service fence. I want to share a more personal experience that I feel may have been training, but believe it was simply the wonderful personality that shined giving us a delightful evening. We all know how much waiters and waitresses depend on their tips. Just last week, we had dinner at our local Ruby Tuesday’s. The young lady that was our waitress was exceptional. She smiled, made eye contact with both of the adults at the table as well as made sure to include our 4 yo dining companion. She even spelled out dessert when asking if we would like some after our meal. Needless to say we left her an above average tip. Plus we did indeed order d-e-s-s-e-r-t; which we rarely do!
As we were leaving I found out the young lady is a local college student majoring in Mass Comm. I believe she has all the ‘right stuff’ to go far in life with any directions her goals lead her.

Mack Collier October 13, 2011 at 9:51 am

Thanks for sharing, Sherri! It’s funny how some waiters and waitresses seem to simply ‘get’ how to give great service, and they always seem to get bigger tips! We all know when one of them has gone above and beyond, and most of us want to reward that. Glad you enjoyed your dinner!

Stephanie van Riel October 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

I was visiting a friend in another city when my car started to make horrible noises – I pulled into a Canadian Tire and the guys went above and beyond! Taking the car in right away, shuttling me to my destination, fixing the vehicle and coming back to get me afterwards. Talk about service, and with a smile!

Eric Hoffman October 15, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Twice in the past three years, my family has stayed at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco. The hotel is in the business district so one would think that it caters to the coat and tie crowd, which I’m it does, but is one of the most family friendly hotels in SF as well. The reason for the family friendliness is that each “associate”, as they call their staff, is genuinely friendly and goes out of their way to accommodate, whether it’s saying “good morning” or “afternoon” to each guest or making sure our daughter had gotten their fun kids backpack. The hospitality industry is a customer service driven one, and this hotel, has it nailed.

Mack Collier October 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Eric great story, a friendly staff is really important, especially if you are a frequent business traveler, it can have a big impact on future sales.

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