The Thank You Economy, the latest offering from Gary Vaynerchuk, is a book about customer service and the context in which it resides in today’s digital landscape. The thesis is simple: customer service is the end goal and social media is a means to reach that goal. Vaynerchuk, a charismatic speaker and a classic outspoken type A personality, makes an attempt to capture the big picture on why caring about the customer is one of the most important things a business can do. Serving and acknowledging the customer is life and death for a business. It’s a simple message and at first glance one might think a little too simple. Who doesn’t want to WOW the customer? Who doesn’t want to reach new levels of caring?
Answering the difficult questions
In his first book, Crush It, Vaynerchuk takes an evangelist like approach to the importance of content creation and the arrival of social media. It’s a potent message, but just like the growing attention on social media, eventually accountability comes into play. The biggest criticism with Crush It is that the book over delivered on hype and under delivered on strategy. With that being said, followers of Vaynerchuk may come away surprised after reading The Thank You Economy. There’s more substance and the passion is tamed and more focused that one would except from the author. One of the best portions of this book is when Vaynerchuk tackles the tough questions and attempts to silence the skeptics. He talks of misconceptions such as the lack of ROI, the inability to control the message, and the difficulty in measuring success. This section alone may justify the cost of this book; however it’s rather unfortunate that even more detail and how to type of advice is left out.
This is a book for the new and the curious, but professionals should be cautious
I appreciate Gary Vaynerchuk a lot and his enthusiasm is beyond contagious, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to a community manager, digital strategist, or internet marketing professional. Those who are regular participants amongst the social web may come up empty handed after reading The Thank You Economy. It’s worth mentioning that the case studies in this book are well received, but nothing new really sticks out. For an excellent read, a book such as Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness would be a better place to turn. For those looking for an open invitation to care about the customer and need some motivation to get started, The Thank You Economy is worth picking up.