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

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

by Bill Lee


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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—, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422172315
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 06/05/2012
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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,, and others.

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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