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Attack of the Customers: Why Critics Assault Brands Online and How To Avoid Becoming a Victim [Paperback]

Paul Gillin , Greg Gianforte

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Book Description

30 Nov 2012
Customers don't suffer in silence anymore. Today they make their gripes public on the branded websites of the very businesses they attack. Online customer attacks have struck some of America?s biggest brands, and the volume and scope is growing dramatically. You no longer have the luxury of time to respond. An attack can go global in a matter of hours. Attack of the Customers shows how social media can be used to destroy as well as to build. It provides actionable strategies to prepare for and prevent disaster from striking your company. And it shows you how creative engagement can turn critics into raving fans. As this book shows with fascinating real-world examples, customers complain because they care. In these pages, you'll learn how to respond effectively and how you can grow your business in the process.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (30 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479244554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479244553
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,504,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Paul Gillin is a writer, speaker and online marketing consultant who specializes in helping businesses use content to reach customers. A popular speaker and writer, he has addressed more than 100 groups and published more than 150 articles since 2008. He is a veteran technology journalist with more than 25 years of editorial experience, including 13 years exclusively online. His books include The New Influencers, Secrets of Social Media Marketing, The Joy of Geocaching (co-authored with wife Dana) and Social Marketing to the Business Customer (co-authored with Eric Schwartzman). Paul is a columnist for BtoB magazine and a director of the Society for New Communications Research. Greg Gianforte has started five successful software companies. He founded RightNow Technologies in 1997 with a mission to rid the world of bad experiences. The company enjoyed 15 years of continuous growth. At the time of its sale to Oracle in 2011, it had more than 2,000 large customers, 1,100 employees and $225 million in annual revenue. Among his many awards are Ernst & Young’s Pacific Northwest Entre-preneur of the Year and the Leader Award from CRM magazine. he was inducted into the CRM Hall of Fame in 2007. His books include Bootstrapping Your Business and Eight to Great: Eight Steps to Delivering an Exceptional Customer Experience.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended for Undergraduate and Graduate Course Adoption 18 Feb 2014
By David Faulds - Published on
This past semester I assigned Paul Gillin's book "Attack of the Customers," in both my undergraduate course in Social Media Marketing and the graduate course offered in our MBA program at the University of Louisville. In both classes, the response received from the students was overwhelmingly positive. The book discusses a very important subject that is of great interest to business students (found in undergraduate business schools) and practitioners (found in MBA programs at the graduate level). With the widespread use of social media and the power it offers the customer in service failure situations the issues Paul discusses in his book have taken on an entirely different level of importance than they had just ten years ago. As an educator that has developed the first known undergraduate course in Social Media Marketing in the nation, I would highly recommend that my colleagues in academia depart from their normal routine of assigning "traditional" textbooks that are often over-priced, irrelevant, out-of-date, and difficult to read and consider adopting books from the popular business press, such as "Attack of the Customers." The practical perspective these books offer enhance the learning environment and stimulate class discussions far more than traditional type textbooks. I highly recommend "Attack of the Customers" for the insights it offers to students and practitioners and enthusiastically recommend it as an alternative to the traditional textbook.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every business needs this book Now! 18 Dec 2012
By Tom Marcoux - Published on
This book is filled with insights so that you can make your brand and business world-class. On page 48, the authors note something crucial: "an apology delivered too quickly can worsen the situation by looking like a brush-off." Another insight from the authors: the reflexive reaction isn't always the best one. For example, firing an employee who behaves inappropriately may backfire if it turns out the business climate tolerated such behavior.

On page 61, the authors reveal that in online attacks "the vast majority of incidents are driven by the victim's perception that a wrong has been done, the wrongdoer doesn't care about its constituents and the victim speaks for an aggrieved group that can't or won't speak for itself."

In Chapter 9 "An Ounce of Prevention" (page 131), the authors get specific about how you can truly listen. They identify four specific elements to watch for in Twitter that are signs of a developing attack.

I am impressed with the material of Chapter 10 "Handling an Attack." The authors advise on page 155: "Get your social assets in order" and they note: "Social media has made attack planning vastly more complex."

Finally, empower yourself by reading Chapter 11 "The Attack Resistant Organization" (page 171) in which the authors note "the best way to defend against attack: Build a loyal customer base that heads off attacks before they begin."

Get this book. Any business can benefit from being "attack savvy." Better yet, many times, you can turn an aggrieved customer into a loyal fan. And in social media, that means a lot!
- Tom Marcoux
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for any business owner 15 Jan 2013
By C. Parizo - Published on
If business owners think social media is just for sharing kitten pictures and craft ideas, they're dead wrong. Social media has brought some of the largest companies to their knees, begging for mercy. No matter what size the business is, one bad social media review - a bad Yelp, a Facebook onslaught - can cause untold amounts of lost revenue. Paul Gillin does a great job laying out how some businesses have been blindsided by social media and what can be done before, during, and after a social media crisis. If you own a business or are in charge of customer service or social media, you need this book. Trust me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Timely 20 Dec 2012
By Damian N. Walch - Published on
This book is very timely given the handful of recent lawsuits coming from Yelp postings. Paul is a great author and has terrific insights into this topic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for businesses using social media 8 Aug 2013
By James Beswick - Published on
Social media books tend to be very thin, either being too general in content or lacking any actionable information to remedy problems - I'm glad to say that Attack of the Customer avoids these issues and is a solid read on a very mercurial subject. I've worked with social media in a business capacity for many years now so some of the information I already knew but there is a huge amount of content that is refreshing, thoughtful and definitely timely given the growth of these platforms and the impact on business.

The writing style is easily understandable and the subject is covered thoroughly with an expert insight into the vagaries of running social media campaigns in both large and small businesses. The case studies and examples are completely up to date and the advice given on how to counteract customer attacks is all best practice. I would strongly recommend that anyone running B2C social media platforms reads this thoroughly since while there are enormous benefits to engaging customers this way, there are also tremendous pitfalls that can be avoided with a little forewarning.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this product.
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