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*A Book Review*

Upside-Down Marketing

By George R. Walther

by Michael C. Gray

November 21, 1999

What is the best way to design a marketing plan for the growth and profitability of your business?

In most marketing literature and marketing presentations, the focus is on how to get new customers.

According to George Walther, this approach is upside-down. It’s much less expensive and much more productive to initially focus on your former customers and existing customers to build your business.

Upside-Down Marketing is about improving your marketing by starting first to resolve customer complaints and improve your customer relationships.

I especially appreciated Walther’s material about how to deal with unhappy customers to convert them to advocates for your business.

Customers know that companies can and will make mistakes. If the person they are dealing with in the company listens to their problems with empathy and takes steps to respond to the customer and make it right, then the customer appreciates it and is much more likely to continue patronizing the company. In order to accomplish this, the company has to empower its employees to take the actions necessary to respond to customers’ complaints.

Walther points out that customers who complain are valuable assets. Most customers who are unhappy will just go do business with someone else and you’ll never see them again. Customers who complain care enough to share their problems with you, so you can make it right. They are also giving you a road map for how to please and keep other customers. For this one customer who is telling you about a problem, there may be twenty others who are quietly suffering or deciding to just go somewhere else.

Since this information is so valuable, you should appreciate, cater to and possibly reward customers who complain.

Get your company’s marketing priorities straight. Read and apply the ideas in Upside-Down Marketing to recover lost customers and keep more continuing customers of your business.

Buy it on Amazon: Upside-Down Marketing: Turning Your Ex-Customers into Your Best Customers.

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Upside-Down Marketing explains why you should be concentrating more on your current customers than on aquiring new ones.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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