Gary Vaynerchuk's great new book "The Thank You Economy" came out yesterday. The book is a big wet kiss to customers everywhere. From where Gary sits, anyone who doesn't prioritize customers and the customer experience is making a huge mistake. His book talks to the importance of using technology to understanding your customers and deliver a personalized experience -- not a generic "thank you," but rather a "thank you" that knows who your best customers are and how best to thank them.
Gary is clearly a man who puts his money where his mouth is. His best customers at his multimillion dollar wine shop have always been thanked and rewarded. Before the advent of social media, that was good business. It resulted in loyal customers and great word of mouth. But in this era of Facebook and Twitter and blogs, it is absolutely necessary. Social media tools greatly amplify positive voices but, even more so, negative ones. As Gary predicted here on MSNBC, those businesses that don't pay attention to their customers will face the same fate as did Borders and Blockbuster. The Startup Economy is all about the ROI of social media, for better or for worse.
As important as this is for brick and mortar businesses, Gary passionately believes it will decide the fate of startups as well. Startups need to recognize that their customers are also king. Successful startups have long understood the value of empowering their customers to spread the word about great new services. What's more, they also understand the value in thanking them for their efforts. In a recent video, Gary not only entreats startups to pay closer attention to their end users, but also encourages VCs to judge startups by how they treat their customers.
Gary Vaynerchuk is always a passionate and persuasive advocate for the customer. His new book, "The Thank You Economy," makes a clear and compelling case for why we all should care about keeping end users happy. For anyone attempting to build and/or maintain a business in this age of pervasive social media, Gary's commentary on the Thank You Economy is a must read.