What customer service books are on your reading (or re-reading) list? Whether it’s an listening to an audio-book, getting out your trusty kindle, or (my preferred way) curling up with an actual hard or soft-cover book, there is nothing like reading to give you ideas, boost your creativity, increase your knowledge and regenerate your enthusiasm for the topic at hand. Of course, the topic I prefer to focus on is customer service. Here are 7 of my favorite customer service books to inspire you (and those people on your gift list) to take the experience you provide to a whole new level.
Donna’s 7 Favorite Customer Service Books
1. 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red-Carpet for Your Customers: Easy-to-Implement Ideas for Inspiring Loyalty, Getting New Customers and Leaving a Last Impression. by Donna Cutting (yours truly) Ha! Brazen to put your customer service book at the top of the list? Maybe. However, I’ve spent so much time with the stories and examples in this book, I can’t help but love them and I’ll bet you will too. There’s the server I met at the Inn at Biltmore that blew me away with her compassionate story; the cinema chain who has an engaged workforce looking for and delivering “celebrated service;” the hospital workers who found a way to comfort those in the ER waiting ro0m; or any one of the numerous examples from hospitality, senior living, real estate, small business, trades and more! Each of the 501 examples is designed to inspire you to take them, make them your own, and add the WOW-Factor to your customer service.
2. The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red-Carpet Customer Service. by… um… me again!! Shameless, I know. This book started with the premise, “What would it be like if we treated customers as if they were Hollywood stars?” It was a question that kept me up at night and I delved into the research with relish. First, I interviewed people who served celebrities. Private jet companies, celebrity wranglers, concierge companies, etc. What did it take to deliver that high level of service to people who expected only the best? Then I found organizations that served every day people in a manner that could be called “star treatment!” Their examples are the heart of the book and you’ll enjoy the heartwarming stories and practical strategies for providing stellar customer that earns you raving fans.
3. Amaze Every Customer Every Time: 52 Tools for Delivering the Most Amazing Customer Service on the Planet by Shep Hyken. The other day, I was in Ace Hardware, munching on a handful of popcorn while my husband and I purchased holiday lights. (There was a popcorn machine in the hardware store!!) At one point, we were searching for an item and it seemed as though every associate in a rest vest was on a mission to help us find it! (One finally did!) “WOW, I thought, that’s service!” Then I remembered that my friend Shep Hyken wrote about Ace Hardware in his customer service book. Shep uses Ace Hardware as his main case study for an organization that has operationalized stellar service, and I can see why. Shep knows that delivering amazing service is a significant competitive advantage and what I love about this book is that he includes sections on leadership, culture, one-on-one service and more. Amaze Every Customer Service Time is broken up into 52 easy-to-read chapters and it’s a book I highly recommend to those wanting to understand how to operationalize the service experience.
4. Hello! and Every Little Thing that Matters: Impactful Ideas for Treating Your Customers Right by Kate Edwards. I loved this book so much I wrote a blurb for the back of it. Kate Edwards understands the link between service and sales. In “Hello! and Every Little Thing that Matters,” she has given us a manual filled with the actionable steps and tiny details that create a world-class customer experience. Every leader of a service organization should buy this book. What I love about this customer service book is that Kate focuses on all the details that make your interactions with customers a positive experience. It’s like a customer service training handbook, but way more fun to read.
5. Care Packages for Your Customers by Barbara Glanz. One of my all-time favorite customer service books is this one by my friend Barbara Glanz. Way back when I was only thinking about taking my message on to the speaking circuit, I was devouring Barbara’s “Care Package” series. She and I share a love for ACTIONABLE ideas related to our common mission of spreading joy, kindness and caring throughout the world via employee engagement, customer service and day-to-day interactions. In this book, she provides an idea a week to enhance customer service. Barbara is also famous for her “Johnny the Bagger” story and you will find it within the pages of Care Packages for Your Customers. However, it’s packed with so much more and with all of Barbara’s books, it’s so easy and fun to read!
6. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer. Customers have more choices and louder voices than ever before. When people aren’t happy with the service you deliver, they speak up and often on social media or online review sites. Jay’s well-researched book, goes deep into how to handle the “haters” and, in some cases, turn them into happy customers. Public customer feedback is a fact of life these days and as such, this is one of those customer service books that you should not only read, but keep on your shelf as a reference. Personally, I listened to the audio book, which I really enjoyed because Baer has a terrific reading style and sense of humor. However, I then purchased a hard copy so I could have one on hand…just in case.
7. Be Your Customers Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines by Adam Toporek. Ok, I haven’t read this customer service book yet. It’s on my shelf in the pile of to-read. However, I’ve met Adam and follow him on social media and I can tell you with great certainty that he is a kindred spirit! This book is written specifically for the person interacting with that customer. He provides tips for understanding why customers behave as they do, handling difficult situations, resolving problems, making positive first and last impressions and more. I’ve flipped through the book and can’t wait to really dive in. The Vancouver Business Journal wrote this about Adam’s book: The value in this book lies in explaining and exploring the human side of managing transactions that result in satisfaction for both parties. The chapters are practical, concise and action-friendly.” What do you think? Shall we read it together? So, there you have it. My 7 favorite customer service books, including my own. Comment below and let me know if you’ve read any of them, and what did you think? Did I miss anything? What are your favorite customer service books? I’d love to hear from you.
Donna Cutting is the author of 2 customer service books (see above) and the Founder and CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. She, and her team of customer service experts, provide tools and training to help leaders engage their teams to deliver world class customer service. She has spoken in 45 of the 50 United States and her experience as a stage actress lends to her being part customer service speaker and part funny motivational speaker. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for even more tips to help you build a service culture and treat your customers like stars!