8 Great Customer Service Books
“The customer is always right.” I am certain you must have heard this before or perhaps have used it yourself!
But you probably also know that “the customer is always right,” isn’t the only key to making customers so happy they stick around. There are a variety of other philosophies, strategies, and tools customer-facing professionals and teams can use to turn customers into loyal promoters and advocates.
But how do you learn everything you need to know to turn yourself — and your team — into a high-performing customer happiness engine?
There are a lot of things you can learn on the job when you work in customer service. But sometimes, it’s faster to learn from an expert, so you can take their learnings after years of research and experience, and immediately implement them in your own workflow.
Peruse this book list to learn from the experts about customer service, customer success. All of these books contain valuable insights for anyone working in a customer-facing role, so pick one to get started on improving your knowledge so you can become an expert, too.
8 Great Customer Service Books for customer-facing professionals and teams can use to turn customers into loyal promoters and advocates.
Read these books to learn about how to create an exceptional customer experience — featuring real-world case studies and time-tested methods created by industry thought leaders.
Authors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss argue that, in order to provide exceptional customer service, you need to do other things less-than-exceptionally. That’s right: The authors advocate for underperforming in one area of your business in order to excel at customer service — because, they argue, you can’t do everything well.
The authors encourage businesses to identify what their customers value most, prioritize excelling in that business function, and accept that this prioritization will result in underperformance in other areas. They argue that customer service will become a competitive differentiator for customers trying to choose among many different options, so this tough truth is also a necessary one.
Nordstrom has set the standard for customer happiness in the sea of its other department store competitors, so authors Robert Spector and BreAnne O. Reeves literally wrote the book on how they did it.
Key insights from Nordstrom include empowering self-motivated employees to go the extra mile to make customers happy, to prioritize ease-of-use for your customers across every touchpoint they have with your brand, and to always think like the customer to build a customer-centric brand on every team and function within your business.
- The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience
Authored by customer service thought leader Shep Hyken, this book offers seven practical strategies to improve customer happiness and loyalty, including cultivating partnership with customers, providing unique membership awards, and building community with customers.
This book is all steak and no sizzle, with tons of practical ideas and strategies supported by real-world examples that readers can take into work with them as soon as they read.
Author Jay Baer wrote Hug Your Haters for a modern customer service organization that isn’t just built on the phone or email, but on social media and on messaging apps, too. Baer implores readers to build their customer service organization around these digital channels, where the majority of customers share their rave reviews — as well as their complaints.
In the book, Baer teaches readers how to handle your haters and your trolls, how to measure customer service productivity, the impacts of not addressing customer complaints, and how to use his frameworks for responding to customers complaints across a variety of online channels.
- The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
If you’re not familiar with the Ritz-Carlton’s famous customer service policy, it’s pretty legendary: Every single employee, no matter what their role, has the discretion to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve customer experience.
This policy, and the principles and foundations behind it, have built the brand a legion of loyal customers, and in this book, author Joseph Michelli explains how other brands can build a similarly memorable brand and customer experience — using principles like “empower [employees] through trust,” “leave a lasting footprint,” and “define and refine [the experience you want customers to have].”
Marketing mogul and author Gary Vaynerchuk regularly talks about the importance of 1:1 communication in marketing — and his philosophies extend to the customer service world, too.
In this book, Vaynerchuk writes that the era of small courtesies is returning to the business world, now that social media has enabled businesses to communicate more intimately across different channels. He also writes that, if businesses don’t pursue 1:1 customer care and engagement, they’ll lose business to their competitors. This book will make you think about how to use the power of technology to more effectively grow and scale relationships with customers around the world.
Author Nicholas Webb has some things to say about the current state of customer experience: “Let’s face it: Today, most customer experience programs are a disaster.”
Webb things only businesses that offer “optimal” customer service will survive — and that most businesses are a long way off from achieving that. The main reason, Webb argues, is because the technological innovations of the last few decades have made it easier for businesses to treat and review customers like data points, instead of treating them like real people.
Webb calls for reviewing each touchpoint a customer shares with your business, and evaluating what you can do, both online and offline, to improve each step of that experience. Optimizing each stage of the customer experience, instead of making broad-strokes changes, will satisfy individualistic customers who won’t be satisfied by the bare minimum.
Authored by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness is another case study of a company made successful by its exceptional customer service. The book chronicles Zappos’ one-of-a-kind company culture and commitment to customer experience that’s made it as big as it is today.
Hsieh really believes that company culture is a determining factor and predictor of your business’ success — and the kind of service your customers will receive. Like the authors of Uncommon Service, Hsieh advocates for choosing one thing to do exceptionally well, instead of trying to be average at everything. And that one thing, he argues, should be customer service.
Now you have the 8 Great Customer Service Books for customer-facing professionals and teams can use to turn customers into loyal promoters and advocates. What are you going to do about them?