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23 Books Everyone in Customer Service Should Read

23 Books Everyone in Customer Service Should Read

A few months ago, Peak Support COO Hannah Steiman asked her connections on LinkedIn for some recommendations on good books about customer service, and she received a lot of fantastic suggestions from customer support leaders around the world.

Whether you are an agent in your first support job, or a CEO seeking to learn more about providing an exceptional customer experience, there's a book on this list for you. 

Here are the top 23 books on customer service that you should be reading. Which one will you pick for your 2021 reading list?

Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

Customer Success How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

From Goodreads: “Customer success teams are being created in companies to quarterback the customer lifecycle and drive adoption, renewals, up-sell and advocacy. The Customer Success philosophy is invading the boardroom and impacting the way CEOs think about their business. Today, Customer Success is the hottest B2B movement since the advent of the subscription business model, and this book is the one-of-a-kind guide that shows you how to make it work in your company.”

- Recommended by Taylor Pineiro, Operations Consultant, Plumeria

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Flow The Psychology of Optimal Experience

A summary from Goodreads: “The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness, unlock our potential, and greatly improve the quality of our lives.”

- Recommended by Taylor Pineiro, Operations Consultant, Plumeria

Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business

Uncommon Service How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business

According to Harvard Business School: “Most companies treat service as a low-priority business operation, keeping it out of the spotlight until a customer complains. Then service gets to make a brief appearance—for as long as it takes to calm the customer down and fix whatever foul-up jeopardized the relationship. In Uncommon Service, Frances Frei and Anne Morriss show how, in a volatile economy where the old rules of strategic advantage no longer hold true, service must become a competitive weapon, not a damage-control function. That means weaving service tightly into every core decision your company makes.”

- Recommended by Taylor Pineiro, Operations Consultant, Plumeria

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

Competing Against Luck The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

From Harper Collins: “How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.”

- Recommended by Taylor Pineiro, Operations Consultant, Plumeria

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

According to Powell’s: “In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he’s learned while developing the winning recipe for doing the business he calls enlightened hospitality. This innovative philosophy emphasizes putting the power of hospitality to work in a new and counterintuitive way: The first and most important application of hospitality is to the people who work for you, and then, in descending order of priority, to the guests, the community, the suppliers, and the investors.”

- Recommended by Cassandra Sousa , Director of Retention Operations, Community Company

What the Heck is EOS?

What The Heck Is EOS

A summary from Goodreads: “Designed to engage employees in the EOS process and tools, What the Heck is EOS? uses simple, straightforward language and provides questions about each tool for managers and employees to discuss creating more ownership and buy-in at the staff level. After reading this book, employees will not only have a better understanding of EOS but they will be more engaged, taking an active role in helping achieve your company’s vision.”

- Recommended by Cassandra Sousa, Director of Retention Operations, Community Company

Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships that Matter

Superconnector Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships that Matter

From Goodreads: “In Superconnector, Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh reveal a new category of professionals born out of the social media era: highly valuable community-builders who make things happen through their keen understanding and utilization of social capital. Superconnectors understand the power of relationship-building, problem-solve by connecting the dots at high levels, and purposefully cause different worlds and communities to interact with the intention of creating mutual value.”

- Recommended by Cassandra Sousa, Director of Retention Operations, Community Company

Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale Into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days

Never Lose a Customer Again Turn Any Sale Into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days

According to the official website: “Learn a simple, eight-phase methodology that will help you identify your customers’ emotional needs, guarantee their desired outcomes, and turn passive customers into raving fans.”

- Recommended by Cassandra Sousa, Director of Retention Operations, Community Company

Punk CX

Punk CX

A summary from Goodreads: “So, is it time to consider what a punk rock version of CX would look and feel like, particularly given that many reports suggest that around 70% of customer experience projects fail to deliver on their promises? If so, what would that look and feel like?

Adrian Swinscoe in his new book ‘Punk CX’, tackles some of these questions and shares some key insights and practical takeaways that will allow you harness your inner punk and transform your own customer experience.”

- Recommended by Mathew Patterson, Customer Service Evangelist at Help Scout

Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

Raving Fans A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

From Goodreads: “Written in the parable style of The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans uses a brilliantly simple and charming story to teach how to define a vision, learn what a customer really wants, institute effective systems, and make Raving Fan Service a constant feature–not just another program of the month.”

- Recommended by Jesse Elgene Thomason, Community Support Agent, Peak Support

Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

A summary from Goodreads: “Based on a bestselling corporate education video, Fish! aims to help employees find their way to a fun and happy workplace. While some may find the story line and prescriptions–such as “Choose Your Attitude,” “Make Their Day,” and “Be Present”–downright corny, others will find a good dose of worthwhile motivational management techniques.”

- Recommended by Jesse Elgene Thomason, Community Support Agent, Peak Support

The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

The New Gold Standard 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

According to Goodreads: “The New Gold Standard weaves practical how-to advice, proven leadership tools, and the wisdom of experts to help you create and embed superior customer-service principles, processes, and practices in your own organization.”

- Recommended by Megan Bowen, Chief Customer Officer, Refine Labs

High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce

High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce

From Goodreads: “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service reveals inside secrets of wildly successful customer service initiatives, from Internet startups to venerable brands, and shows how companies of every stripe can turn casual customers into fervent supporters who will spread the word far and wide–online and off.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service

The Customer Rules The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service

According to Goodreads: “In 39 digestible, bite-sized chapters, Lee shares everything he has learned in his 40+ year career in the hospitality industry about creating an environment that keeps customers coming back for more. Here, Lee not only shows why the customer always rules, but also the Rules for serving customers so well they’ll never want to do business with anyone but you.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

The Customer Service Survival Kit: What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations

The Customer Service Survival Kit What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations

A summary from Goodreads: “By providing clear techniques, behavioral science insights, case studies, situation-specific advice, and actionable practice exercises, workplace communication expert Richard Gallagher has created a resource that can help anyone master the delicate art of communication. The Customer Service Survival Kit recognizes that the worst customer situations demand more of front-line employees than good intentions and the right attitude. The book includes tangible tips and tricks to help readers discover how to lean into criticism, how to avoid trigger phrases that can make bad situations worse, the secret to helping people feel heard, how to safely deliver bad news, and how to become immune to intimidation–among many other skills.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

If It Wasn’t for the Customers I’d Really Like This Job: Stop Angry, Hostile Customers Cold While Remaining Professional, Stress Free, Efficient and Cool as a Cucumber

If It Wasn’t for the Customers I’d Really Like This Job Stop Angry, Hostile Customers Cold While Remaining Professional, Stress Free, Efficient and Cool as a Cucumber

According to Goodreads: “Written for anyone dealing directly with customers in any industry from hospitality to business to business this book provides you with both the principles and words to defuse almost all difficult and scary customer situations.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

The Effortless Experience

The Effortless Experience

From Penguin Random House: “The Effortless Experience takes readers on a fascinating journey deep inside the customer experience to reveal what really makes customers loyal—and disloyal. The authors lay out the four key pillars of a low-effort customer experience, along the way delivering robust data, shocking insights and profiles of companies that are already using the principles revealed by CEB’s research, with great results. And they include many tools and templates you can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn, and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the “dazzle factor” fails to deliver.”

- Recommended by Stacy Justino, Director of Customer Happiness, Wistia

Secret Service: Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service

Secret Service Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service

Here’s an overview from Goodreads: “Secret Service reveals the hidden systems of the few exceptional companies that do: what actions they take behind the scenes to consistently surpass customer expectations. These organizations reap the benefits of greater customer loyalty, exponentially expanded referral networks, lower employee turnover, and stronger bottom-line results. By quantifying and examining each phase of the “”Customer Experience Cycle,”” Secret Service reveals clever, practical ideas that can be transformed into repeatable best practices in any organization and at every level.”

- Recommended by Miranda Barrett, Vice President, Member Success, The Community Company

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Leadership and Self-Deception Getting Out of the Box

From Goodreads: “This straightforward book explains how leaders can discover their own self-deceptions and learn how to escape destructive patterns. The authors demonstrate that breaking out of these patterns leads to improved teamwork, commitment, trust, communication, motivation, and leadership.”

- Recommended by Elliott Parker, CEO, High Alpha Innovation

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Multipliers How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

A summary from Goodreads: “ In this engaging and highly practical book, leadership expert Liz Wiseman and management consultant Greg McKeown explore these two leadership styles, persuasively showing how Multipliers can have a resoundingly positive and profitable effect on organizations—getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.”

- Recommended by Craig Stoss, Escalated Support Lead, Shopify Plus

You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters

You’re Not Listening What You’re Missing and Why It Matters

Here’s a snippet from Goodreads: “In this always illuminating and often humorous deep dive, Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. She makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there (including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman). It’s time to stop talking and start listening.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

The Lost Art of Listening How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

Here’s a summary from Goodreads: “Why do we often feel cut off when speaking to the people closest to us family members, friends, or colleagues? What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening? Michael P. Nichols answers these questions and more in this thoughtful, witty, and helpful look at the reasons people don’t hear one another. His book, a guide to the secrets of listening and being listened to, is filled with vivid examples that clearly demonstrate easy-to-learn techniques for becoming a better listener. He also illustrates how empathic listening enables us to break through misunderstandings and conflict and to transform our personal and professional relationships.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

The Power of Moments Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

From Goodreads: “The New York Times bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick explore why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.”

- Recommended by Brittany Ferguson, Customer Experience and Success at BRIO Systems, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                      llustration by Rhea Avanceña

Adrian Estrella

About The Author

Aidz is a Sales and Marketing Associate who has been with Peak Support since October of 2016. When Aidz isn’t busy taking care of the company’s LinkedIn and Twitter pages, you can find Aidz juggling other tasks in the company. From copywriting to lead generation, whatever it is that accounts need, Aidz will do it. Aidz is also in-charge of Peak Support’s Q&A blog - a blog that allows other team members and site visitors to get to know featured Peak Support agents even more. Aidz is a big fan of bacon and butter.

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