If there’s one way to advance your knowledge and expertise in various areas of business, it’s by reading books. As a customer service provider, we’ve proven time and time again that learning should never stop. Books allow us to add large amounts of knowledge from the experiences of others in a nominal amount of time.
And I know that e-books are the preferred formats these days (by the way, we’re giving away this free Business Reimagined ebook, check it out!), but nothing beats holding a paperback in your hands. I’m old school like that.
If you’re looking to improve your customer service, isn’t it better to learn how from the masters of the field themselves? In this post, we’ll share you six must-read books on creating exceptional experience that customers love!
1. The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America’s #1 Customer Service Company by Robert Spector
Quote from the book: “At Nordstrom, we Outservice, not Outsmart”
If you want to be the best, you should learn from the best. Nordstrom has set the standards for world-class exceptional customer service and this book can serve as guide for other companies on how to achieve the same success. In this book, Robert Spector explains what every business can learn from the world’s most respected customer service–driven firm. The books shares the consistent philosophy and dedication of Nordstrom on creating a lasting experience for customers, and the importance of giving employees freedom and accountability to make things happen for customers.
2. The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary by Joseph A. Michelli
Quote from the book: “A vision and a plan executed to perfection are what categorize great businesses.”
This book reveals just how Starbucks Coffee became such a successful operation. The Starbucks Experience contains the people-driven viewpoint that have made Starbucks one of the world’s most admired companies. Joseph Michelli takes the Starbuck experience as an example to explain how customer service is done. The book uncovers the success of Starbucks – which is driven by the workers, the partners and the special experience they create for each customer. Michelli explores the various levels on which Starbucks succeeds, from its generous HR policies and lively work environment to its attention to detail and genuine concern for social causes.
3. 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
Whew. That’s a long title. Here’s a quote from the book that I absolutely love: “Customer Loyalty is the measure of your present and future success.”
This is one of the great books to inspire creative thinking in customer service practice. The first half of the title may raise arguments, but what the book is really pointing out is that companies should focus on building repeat business rather than just pleasing customers. Gitomer is mainly encouraging companies to analyze normal interaction points with customers and improve them so they become memorable rather than just a static experience.
4. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
Quote from the book: “The only thing that never changes is human nature. Given a choice, people will always spend their money on people they like.”
This book is timeless in addressing concepts of building social and customer-centric business. In this book, renowned entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk breaks down how social media and the Web at large have affected the customer experience. He reveals how small and big companies can leverage on social media platforms that carry consumer word of mouth. The Thank You Economy points out that the companies that see the biggest returns won’t be the ones that can throw the most money at an advertising campaign, but will be those that can prove they care about their customers more than anyone else.
5. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Quote from the book: “I didn’t know why. I just knew I needed to know where my path began. And then just before reality returned and time started moving again, I figured it out.”
This is not a self-help book. This does not tell you what your company should do. In fact, it does not give you any directions. What makes this book a must-read is that this is an honest recollection of one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Tony Hsieh explains his mistakes, his learnings and his takeaways from establishing his own little empire in the Internet, and that is exactly why this is one of the best customer service books in the market. Zappos has become one of the “must cite” businesses when it comes to justifying the value of delivering outstanding service. While Tony Hsieh often has some controversial views, the candid look at how a company like Zappos creates a culture around their customers can’t be found elsewhere.
6. Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It by Jill Griffin
Quote from the book: “Perhaps the biggest reason for the disparity between satisfaction rating and repeat purchase is the measurement of satisfaction itself”
You might be doing customer service, but you could just be measuring it all wrong. You could be doing it wrong too. If you’re wondering how to actually go about it, this book is a great place to start. This book is filled with plenty of inspiration for small business owners. The author addresses some high-level issues that entrepreneurs need to be aware of, such as the distinct difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. With the support of a wealth of information and an author with plenty of firsthand experience, this is a fantastic introduction on creating a loyal customer culture.
Do you have any favorite Customer Service book you can recommend? Share in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.