30 Customer Service Books Everyone at Your Company Should Read

Posted on April 13, 2020 by in Business | 4 comments

30 Customer Service Books Everyone at Your Company Should Read

Every person at a company should have customer service as a priority, whether they’re the CEO or a front-line support agent. We’ve collected 30 of the best customer service books, some that take a broad look at various aspects and others that drill down into niche topics. You’ll learn plenty while you’re on-the-job, but books pack in years of experience, research and real-life examples you can only get from a seasoned pro.

1. The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience Authored by Shep Hyken

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The Amazement Revolution is filled with actionable advice you can start applying as you read it. Strategies that will help you improve customer happiness and increase loyalty include:

  • Building a community
  • Offering appealing membership awards
  • Treating customers as partners

Instead of focusing on one-off “wow” moments, Hyken guides you to create a company culture that consistently provides value.

Price: $9.99 (Kindle) | More Information

2. Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers

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Sivers is the founder of CDBaby, a company that sort of did the impossible. They helped little-known musicians sell their music at a time when enormous music stores put big record labels front-and-center. In Anything You Want, Sivers talks about how he built his company and won customers by focusing on stellar customer service.

Price: $10.99 (Kindle) | More Information

3. The Art of Explanation: Making Your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever

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If you feel that your customers aren’t quite grasping something about your product or service, you may be explaining it wrong. In The Art of Explanation, LeFever explains how to explain, which is something that every customer support agent should be able to do. Instead of thinking there’s something wrong with the product or service itself, consider that you may have an explanation problem.

Price: $15.19 (Kindle) | More Information

4. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Theodore Kinni

customer service books

Love it or hate it, Disney is a leader when it comes to customer service. In Be Our Guest, Kinni shares the strategies that Disney cast members (the in-store and in-park employees) are expected to use. The techniques can be adapted for traditional types of support, like chat and email. The book also talks about how creating a great employee experience leads to a better customer experience.

Price: $11.99 (Kindle) | More Information

5. Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service by John A. Goodman

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Goodman developed the GE Answer Center, considered the first customer satisfaction contact center. In his book, Goodman talks about the best way to collect data and how to let it guide new product features or business strategies. He also explains how to improve your customer support strategy instead of being content with the status quo.

Price: $12.99 (Kindle) | More Information

6. The Best Service is No Service: How to Liberate Your Customers from Customer Service, Keep Them Happy, and Control Costs by Bill Price and David Jaffe

customer service books

Price and Jaffe walk you step-by-step through setting up self-service, covering options like community support, documentation and forums. They also help you decide if self-service is right for your company. They talk about “bad contact,” meaning the conversations that aren’t valuable for either you or the customer. You’ll focus your support where it will make the most impact.

Price: $15.99 (Kindle) | More Information

7. The Customer Support Handbook: How to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience For Your Brand by Sarah Hatter

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This curated book is a collection of articles and essays penned by professionals in the startup world. There isn’t one specific customer service focus, making it a good starter book for an all-around education. Topics range from hiring the best support team to whether or not you should say, “I’m sorry,” to an angry customer.

Price: $8 (Kindle) | More Information

8. Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It by Jill Griffin

customer experience

Griffin goes through the customer experience and shows how you can promote loyalty in each stage. For example, first-time buyers can become repeat customers, and you can also reduce churn by holding on to longtime customers. Instead of assuming there’s magical customer service pixie dust, Griffin says to focus on fundamentals to make customers stay.

Price: $10.20 (Kindle) | More Information

9. Customer Obsessed: A Whole Company Approach to Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences by Eric Berridge

customer service books

Customer Obsessed may be best read by your company’s decision-makers. It suggests that competitive customer support starts at the top and becomes a company-wide effort. Berridge also discusses when you do and don’t need to try new technology, and how to determine where to improve your customer support to beat competitors.

Price: $13 (Kindle) | More Information

10. Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back, and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffrey Gitomer

customer service books

Like others on this list, this book also discusses customer loyalty and why it may be more important than customer satisfaction. What’s most useful, though, is the evaluation test that lets you appraise your customer service strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t know what you need to know, you may want to start with this book.

Price: $9.99 (Kindle) | More Information

11. Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn and Growing Revenue by Nick Mehta, Dan Steinman and Lincoln Murphy

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This book is aimed at SaaS businesses, but any type of business can benefit from the ideas in it. The authors circle back to customer loyalty a lot. They discuss the difference between customer attitudinal loyalty and behavioral loyalty, i.e., choosing a brand because they love it vs. choosing a brand because there’s no other choice.

Price: $14.99 (Kindle) | More Information

12. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

customer service books

The CEO of Zappos discusses his very-outside-the-box ways of creating a company culture and how that leads to happier customers. For example, when he knows a new employee won’t work out, he’s paid them to quit. He doesn’t just throw his radical choices out there but instead turns them into bite-sized steps you can follow and apply.

Price: $11.99 (Kindle) | More Information

13. The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick DeLisi

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In The Effortless Experience, Dixon shows how big companies use tiny “surprise and delight” moments to improve their Net Promoter Score (NPS), which assesses customer loyalty. He also talks about ways that companies – of all sizes and budgets – can reduce customer effort and create the same kind of delightful moments.

Price: $13.99 (Kindle) | More Information

14. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization by Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon

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It seems that a lot of customer service experts agree about the importance of customer loyalty, and this book is another in the category. In Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit, the authors show you how to provide service that’s so phenomenal that customers won’t have a choice but to be loyal. They give real-world examples of how their suggestions have worked.

Price: $10.99 (Kindle) | More Information

15. Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition by Jay Abraham

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Abraham suggests thinking beyond basic customer support to become a customer advisor. He feels that companies have a lot more potential than they take advantage of. After spotting the so-far-ignored assets, opportunities and resources within your reach, you’ll apply your discoveries to customer service, with the goals of multiplying your influence and income.

Price: $12.99 (Kindle) | More Information

16. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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Carnegie’s famous book is like a bible for connecting with people, and everyone should read it, whether they have a hand in customer support or not. In terms of the customer service realm, the book will show you how people are influenced and motivated. You’ll learn how you can position yourself to make them happy and, in effect, get what you want.

Price: $12.99 (Kindle) | More Information

17. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customer by Jay Baer

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While traditional customer service techniques are still relevant, Hug Your Haters ventures into the modern world of support: messaging apps and social media. Businesses with an online presence (i.e., all businesses today) are exposed to negativity and criticism. There’s a savvy way to handle the haters and trolls, as well as the usually-pleasant-but-now-dissatisfied customer.

Price: $13.99 (Kindle) | More Information

18. The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value This book is authored by Frederick F. Reichheld

customer service books

In The Loyalty Effect, Reichheld talks about different aspects of customer loyalty, including:

  • Loyal customers are less expensive to serve than non-loyal customers.
  • They’re willing to pay higher prices because of how satisfied they are with your brand or product.
  • They’re highly valuable as word-of-mouth marketers.

Reichheld is one of the people who created the NPS, making him a longtime customer support expert.

Price: $15.10 (paperback) | More Information

19. Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers Into Advocates by Shaun Smith and Joe Wheeler

customer service books

While this book is also about customer loyalty, it zeroes in on how loyal customers become brand advocates. It also shows what it’s like from the customer’s point of view. The authors give examples of companies that have found ways to bond with customers and utilize them as strong brand advocates.

Price: $23.72 (hardcover) | More Information

20. May I Have Your Attention, Please? Your Guide to Business Writing That Charms, Captivates and Converts by Mish Slade

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Customer support agents have to write a lot when offering chat, email or social media support. Slade talks about all sorts of business writing, including the micro-copy businesses have to create for short-form outlets, like live chat, social media, etc. The book discusses how to concisely and clearly respond to customer concerns.

Price: $5.99 (Kindle) | More Information

21. The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company by Joseph A. Michelli

customer service books

The New Gold Standard goes into revolutionary techniques for empowering agents and satisfying customers, based on the Ritz-Carlton’s methods and principles. For example, the company gives employees a $2,000 daily allowance that they can use to improve the customer experience. The book also talks about defining and refining the customer experience specifically for your company.

Price: $15.12 (Kindle) | More Information

22. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture by Robert Spector and Breanne O. Reeves

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Nordstrom is one of the country’s leading department stores. Since they’ve been around for more than a century, it stands to reason that their customer service is superb. In this book, the authors talk about how Nordstrom creates a winning employee experience to drive the customer experience, proving that you have to start from within the company.

Price: $9.99 (Kindle) | More Information

23. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

customer service books

While not a straightforward customer service (or even business-focused) book, Nudge goes deep into the psychology behind choices and how people think when making a decision. For any professional who has to influence decisions, this book explains how to present choices correctly and gently push people toward the best one.

Price: $9.99 (Kindle) | More Information

24. The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz

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The Paradox of Choice is an excellent book to read along with Nudge, as it goes more into how people make choices. More importantly, it talks about how more choices aren’t necessarily better, and how you may be turning your customers off – and harming your business – by presenting too many options.

Price: $12.49 (Kindle) | More Information

25. The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary by Joseph A. Michelli

customer service books

In The Starbucks Experience, Michelli shows how the company took an inexpensive product – coffee – and figured out how to sell it for a lot more than people were used to paying. The book talks about how Starbucks influences customer service from all sides – listening to employees, customizing the customer experience and reaching out to the community.

Price: $14.53 (Kindle) | More Information

26. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

customer service books

This book is aimed at company leaders, showing them how to inspire the rest of the team by focusing on the driving “why” behind the brand. When everyone understands the greater purpose, it’s easier to act accordingly. That trickles down to all team members, including customer support agents. Moreover, anyone who works directly with customers will find it easier to discover their “why,” too, and to cater to that purpose.

Price: $12.99 (Kindle) | More Information

27. Strategic Customer Service: Managing the Customer Experience to Increase Positive Word of Mouth, Build Loyalty, and Maximize Profits by John A. Goodman

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In Strategic Customer Service, Goodman talks about turning lemons into lemonade. By considering complaints and negative feedback, improved practices and better customer service can emerge. Ultimately, Goodman believes that companies can create a customer experience roadmap that gets it right the first time, but only by learning from mistakes they’ve already made (and a few you can avoid, thanks to this book).

Price: $14.99 (Kindle) | More Information

28. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

customer service books

Vaynerchuk is a major influencer in the marketing world, and he often pushes the idea of one-to-one marketing. In The Thank You Economy, he covers ideas like:

  • Listening to the customer
  • Asking for more information
  • Offering resources that are simple to use

Vaynerchuk believes that every company should care more about genuinely caring than the ROI.

Price: $10.49 (Kindle) | More Information

29. Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss

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Uncommon Service takes an interesting approach: the authors suggest not focusing on certain areas so that other areas can get more attention. You’ll discover where your energy should be directed, as well as the areas where you should let your business fail. The end goal is to cater to your customers, no matter what you have to neglect to get that done.

Price: $21.08 (Kindle) | More Information

30. What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint by Nicholas J. Webb

customer service books

What Customers Crave is another book that talks specifically about the customer experience. Instead of taking a bird’s eye view, Webb suggests looking at every single touchpoint and figuring out how to improve it. Also, he covers how to collect customer insight to determine exactly how to maximize each touchpoint. Go above and beyond instead of simply satisfying customers.

Price: $12.99 (Kindle) | More Information

Final Thoughts About Our List of Customer Service Books

Customer service is a complex topic, and it goes far beyond the basic idea of, “The customer is always right.” Even companies with stellar reviews and brand advocates can improve the customer experience. While many strategies in these customer service books are time-tested, others are new, adapting to an ever-evolving, tech-heavy landscape.

As you explore new ways to impress customers, you’ll want to create a customer journey map. If you don’t have yours yet, check out our guide to creating and using one.

Featured Image via blockberry / shutterstock.com

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4 Comments

  1. If I were going to pick just one of the books from your list it would be the Be Our Guest Book. Since I live in Orlando and have seen first-hand how great the Disney customer service is and I have read this book, I can highly recommend it.

    It’s interesting as I have lived in several other areas across the United States and never has there been one company everybody else follows so closely. Disney nails it when it comes to customer service and they are so far above and beyond their competition it’s not even close.

    Of course, many of the other books on your list are great, too. I have read a few others, like The Thank You Economy and The Paradox of Choice. The cool part is some of these books can easily apply to day-to-day life and not just customer service.

  2. I think nobody who starts working with a customer will read all of them. I know some parts of those positions. They provide theory and a lot of examples, which is superb for young people.
    Education is the keyword in all fields.

  3. The article is commendable. I will definitely read it for my career.

  4. Surprised to Not see anything by John DiJulius…

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