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BOOK REVIEW: 'The Ultimate Question' by Fred Reicheld

Title: The Ultimate Question
Author: Fred Reicheld
Published by: Harvard Business School Press

The key issue that 'The Ultimate Question' by Fred Reichheld helps B2B marketers understand is customer loyalty. This book helps you look at customer loyalty in an extremely philosophical manner. Which customers are more valuable than others? Are some customers actually damaging your business both directly and indirectly? And are you managing your customer relationships appropriately and focusing your resources onto the customers that actually matter?

These are questions that 'The Ultimate Question' raises and then directs you to find the answers by posing the following question to your customers, 'Would you recommend us to a friend or colleague?' Reichheld's golden rule is simple: don't exploit your customers.

His solution is also very straightforward - all companies need to do is use a 'simple and trustworthy' customer feedback process that allows a business to see how many of its customers love it and how many hate it (the Net Promoter Score). This then allows them to fix problems and not only retain their current customers, but increase new customer levels through word-of-mouth, generating profit and growth.

Review by Fabio Torlini
Marketing director, Rackspace