Blog Customer Experience

7 Must-read Customer Service Books

Clare Zacharias

Clare Zacharias

5 min read

In our company, I can’t think of any position that isn’t ‘customer-facing’ at some point. Yes, that is not forgetting the back-end developers and the in-house visual artist.

That said, when I listed down the books that have to be there in the Customer Service Personnel’s bookshelf, I asked our go-to Customer Success expert, for his recommendations.

You’ve to constantly up the game when you are in this business. Books are the best means for that. My all-time favorite is Delivering Happiness”, he said. “As I frequently tell everyone, Don’t just sell the software, sell the experience too”, he added.

what customer cares about

So here goes; the most wonderful books ever written on customer service! We’ve also included the links where you can order them right away. Happy reading!

1. Nudge

Ooh yeah, it’s all about the subtle nudges. Subtle behavioral nudges that can influence the way people make choices.

“If you want people to lose weight, one effective strategy is to put mirrors in the cafeteria.”

– Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

The Guardian called it the ‘it’ book for politicos not for nothing. Drawing tons of examples from day-to-day life, they illustrate how we can use “choice architecture” to nudge people towards making better decisions.

It is recommended for everyone, but the customer service professionals will merit an awful lot from learning how to influence their customer’s choices and help them find more value out of the product.

Get Nudge now!

2. Be Our Guest

Disney, in some magical way, always makes its way into everything one writes about customer experience! Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, has well-documented what-they-do to stay committed to customer service.

“From our earliest days, education has been a hallmark of our company. It was Walt himself who said, “We have always tried to be guided by the basic idea that, in the discovery of knowledge, there is great entertainment—as, conversely, in all good entertainment, there is always some grain of wisdom, humanity, or enlightenment to be gained.”

― Theodore Kinni

If you are curious about what strategies made Disney employees delight their guests and make the customer experience a class apart, you’d love this book.

walt disney quote

Ted Kinny takes the reader through step-by-step instructions to come up with support strategies that’ll make your company the stuff of urban legends. Or something along those lines, surely!

Get Be Our Guest now!

3. Delivering Happiness

Almost everyone has a favorite Zappos Wow story to share. At least it looks like that!

“Over the years, the number one driver of our growth at Zappos has been repeat customers and word of mouth. Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spent on paid advertising and invest it into customer service and the customer experience instead, letting our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth.”

-Tony Hseih

When the king of ultimate customer experience, Zappos tells their story, it’s absolutely worth listening to. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos talks about how his life became entwined with the life of Zappos in his Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. He narrates how and why he started the company and shares countless insights on how to make loyal customers.

Highly recommended by our in-house customer expert!

Get Delivering Happiness now!

4. Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

center of universe

Remember how I said we all do customer support irrespective of our job titles? Like the time when our Director of Engineering discussed with a customer the specifics of a new feature update that was soon to roll out. So it’s only reasonable that we equip everyone with the right skills and aptitude when it comes to dealing with our customers.

“Are you trying to solve customer experience problems without understanding your customer experience ecosystem? You might as well be air-dropping butterflies into Zion National Park. You’re going to spend a whole lot of money and end up right where you started.”
― Harley Manning

Outside In is all about making customer service at the center of everything. This principle should apply to the business as a whole- from the CEO and top-executives to the front-liners.

Get Outside In now!

5. The Paradox of Choice- Why More is Less

Too often, we’re solving the wrong problem! If you happen to be one of those businesses that think customers benefit most from offering them a lot of options, this book will bust that myth for you.

The Paradox of Choice demonstrates how a lot of choices will only end up in people making bad decisions, contributing to anxiety, dissatisfaction and regret, and also hurting your business.

“We give disproportionate weight to whether yogurt is said to be five percent fat or 95 percent fat-free. People seem to think that yogurt that is 95 percent fat-free is a more healthful product than yogurt that has five percent fat.”

Barry Schwartz

Schwartz explains why too much of a good thing can stumble our sense of psychological and emotional well-being. This book is all about practical advice on how to focus on the right choices, and how to derive greater satisfaction from choices that we do make.

Some Psychology that will level up your support chops!

Get The Paradox of Choice now!

6. The Thank You Economy

how you made people feel

Gary Vaynerchuck is no stranger to wowing his readers. But The Thank You Economy (the groundbreaking follow-up to the bestselling Crush It! ) goes beyond that. He explores the value of social interactions in building our economy.

“A strategy of caring usually out-shines tactics, but when they’re used with the right intent, tactics can help a brand achieve greatness.”

― Gary Vaynerchuk

In fact, this is the go-to book for those seeking to understand why great customer support is the difference that matters in today’s economy. If anything, reading this book will make you realize why Vaynerchuk is named as one of the Bloomberg Businessweek’s “20 People Every Entrepreneur Should Follow”.

Put great customer service at the heart of everything you do, and you’ll do fine.

Get The Thank You Economy now!

7. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit

For the longest time, every new support agent at Campaign Monitor received a copy of this book on their first day! And if that fact doesn’t make you want to read this highly recommended book, I wonder what does!

“Customer satisfaction is based on four predictable factors. Customers are satisfied whenever they consistently receive: 1. A perfect product 2. Delivered by a caring, friendly person 3. In a timely fashion … with (because any of those three elements may misfire) 4. The support of an effective problem resolution process.”

― Leonardo Inghilleri

They have a ‘use’ and ‘do not use’ word list for the customer service teams that we could all learn from. If you happen to think that your customer approach needs to undergo a transformation, then go no further. You’ve found your handbook.

Get Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit now!

extra leap in customer service

According to Insightsquared.com, “$41 billion is lost by U.S. companies each year due to poor customer service.” Now you wouldn’t want to be part of that stat, would you?

All these books we have listed above are packed with solid advice and actionable tips. Priceless, really, for anyone in the service industry. Learn how to go from ‘good’ to ‘best’ and get your customer service high up there. Do well!

Clare Zacharias
Clare Zacharias

Content Marketer at SurveySparrow.

A sort of Jill-of-all-trades! Enchanted with storytelling, fascinated with startup life.

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