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Who Stole My Customer?--Winning Strategies for Creating and Sustaining Customer Loyalty

By Michelle Collins |

Title: Who Stole My Customer?: Winning Strategies for Creating and Sustaining Customer Loyalty
Author: Harvey Thompson
Publisher: Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0-13-145356-4

In Who Stole My Customer? author Harvey Thompson argues that companies need to focus on keeping their current customers first before looking for new customers. He supports this belief by drawing upon examples from his time with IBM, and through accounts of consulting with other big companies.

Many of the lessons that Thompson is trying to teach are worth reading and spending time thinking about. One example of this is the Ten Common Myths of how companies perceive their customers. Among them is the belief that customers do not want to be contacted by the company unexpectedly. Thompson points out that there is a big difference between a telemarketing call made by someone with no prior knowledge of the customer's wants or needs, and a call to inform them about a product or service that, could be a welcomed and successful communication for both parties. The main difference is that you have done your homework on your customer base and have a good idea on which products and services might interest them.

Other highlights of this book are the simple exercises that Thompson provides at the end of each chapter. Here you are given the opportunity to put yourself in the customer role and think about specific examples where you have succeeded or failed in the subject discussed in the chapter. You may find yourself thinking of good and bad customer experiences as you read the chapters themselves, but these exercises allow you to focus on the topic clearly and think of ways to improve or maintain your own practices.

The biggest drawback of this book is that it is very much written for big companies that employ hundreds of people who deal with customers through a variety of ways, such as national call centres. There are principles that small business owners can draw from and adopt, but some of the solutions proposed are likely beyond reach, or simply do not apply to smaller companies.

If you are looking for a book that can show you how to retain and gain customers with limited resources this is not the title for you. However, if you are looking for a fresh approach to customer management, or need to re-evaluate your current strategies this could be worth a look.

To purchase a copy of Who Stole My Customer? go to

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