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10 Books To Read To Master Customer Service

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

Customer service, like any other skill, takes time and work to master. Part of mastering the skill of customer service is, of course, practice. Alongside lots of practice, it’s important to develop a healthy understanding of what customer service is as a skill and how to successfully improve your customer service.

We reached out to leading experts in the customer service industry to get their recommendations of the best books for learning customer service.

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#1 The Nordstrom Way

My must-read customer service book is The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company by Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy. Not only is it a fun little history of Nordstrom, it's an examination of how to do customer service exceptionally well, and how to run a great sales team. More than anything, it's an affirmation that spending money to make your customers happy, rather than cutting costs and nickle-and-diming your customers, reaps incredible benefits not only to your brand, but to your bottom line.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Kim Stiens from Ranavain

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#2 Be Our Guest

One book that absolutely changed how I look at customer service and designing a great customer experience is Be Our Guest, by the Disney Institute. It breaks down Disney's philosophy, principles, and practices through real customer and staff examples. I highly recommend the book for anyone delivering anything for someone.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Jeffrey Kelly from AssetLab

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#3 What Customers Crave

One of the key takeaways from this book is the idea that humans find deep meaning in the act of serving. Great customer service is just that: service, not support.

Support is a reactive, where service is proactive. When that perspective permeates the entire company (from marketing to engineering to product to customer success), it puts the focus on the customer and helps the team get behind a common mission. Not only does this benefit the customer, but it also benefits the business because that act of service is where employees find deep meaning in their roles.

Another reason I like this book is that it emphasizes that you can't be good at everything and that you must choose strategically. Once you start understanding this concept, the decision on where to be good should be driven by deep insight into who your customers are and what they need operationally. Rather than build a product/service that people will buy(product first/customer second), it's better to understand your customer and build the product/service that serves them the most (customer-first/product second).

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Chris Hull from Proof

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#4 Never Lose a Customer Again

I LOVE the book Never Lose a Customer Again. It takes the conversation beyond customer service to the customer experience.

The model the author presents shows the entire customer journey and points out the missed opportunities to both attract (that costs more money) and retain great customers. As a small business owner, it clarified why I've been successful by putting my philosophy into words. For those struggling to get repeat business or are not retaining their clients a year later (which she points out is commonly the case), it helps you to deduce where in the cycle the problem exists and what to do about it.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Sarah McVanel from Greatness Magnified

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#5 Setting the Table

The book is full of practical tips to help make everyone feel like they are getting excellent service at a 5-star restaurant. It's great for those on the front lines as well as those leading those on the front lines.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Jonathan Wasserstrum from SquareFoot

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#6 Message Me

The old service model of delight-at-all-costs is out and a new model of low-effort,low-friction service powered by mobile phones and social media is here to stay. Phone trees and email are dead. Social messaging and automated, AI-powered bots supported by seasoned social agents are in. Yet only a handful of customer service leaders are embracing this future.

Social messaging and artificial intelligence (AI) are ready and waiting for customer service leaders to use in the race to serve customers faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before.

Message Me is part roadmap and part toolbox for customer service leaders who want to adapt to the changing service landscape shaped by social media, automation, and smartphones. Conversocial CEO Joshua March draws on his years of experience in the social customer service space to provide case studies, clear recommendations, practical examples and a valuable framework that customer service leaders can start using immediately.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Eamon Levesque from North 6th Agency

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#7 Nudge

Nudge is all about how you can influence your customers’ decisions and help them get the most out of your product. The book explores the psychology behind the decisions we make, how we’re lead to make mistakes in our judgment and how you can lead someone to make the right choice.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Caleb Backe fromΒ Maple Holistics

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#8 How To Win Friends and Influence People

Almost every time I give a lecture related to any customer service topic I find myself quoting something from Dale Carnegie’s classic, β€œHow To Win Friends and Influence People”. To me, this book is the essential customer tool, after all, customer service is best summed up as dealing with people.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β JP Jones from Paige1media

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#9 Getting Things Done

No one ever said customer service was easy, and with that in mind, this book helps you navigate through your tasks by managing your time and yourself properly. The idea is to encourage a stress-free environment because productivity is so much cleaner that way.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Caleb Backe fromΒ Maple Holistics

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#10 The Thank You Economy

We all know that customer service is important, but how important? Gary argues that it’s the most important. In his book, he argues that the best way to grow a loyal customer base is by out caring your competition. The Thank You Economy is filled with great tips on how you can show your customer you care, and is, therefore, a must-read.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors:Β Caleb Backe fromΒ Maple Holistics

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