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Best books to step up your customer service game in 2015

Last updated March 4, 2024

2014 was a whirlwind of a year—social media is omnipresent, live chat is the new standard of on-demand support, and new innovations in mobile have taken the customer service world by storm. Needless to say, new changes are often accompanied by a flurry of writers attempting to tackle these topics and help businesses keep up with the evolving industry. Not all books are created equal, so we’ve searched far and wide to bring you the best customer service books from the past year that will elevate your customer experience to new heights in 2015.

The Customer Manifesto: How Business Has Failed Customers And What It Takes To Earn Lasting Loyalty
by Pamela Herrmann
“Nothing personal, it’s just business.” We hear the age-old saying all the time, and Hermann believes it couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to today’s economy. Hermann, a customer acquisition and retention expert, talks in her customer service book about how business is personal and companies should connect with their customers to create an exceptional experience, every time. Eighty percent of businesses believe they are providing “superior” customer service, yet only eight percent of their customers agree. Why is there such a disconnect? Herrmann explores the gap between business practices and customer expectations, and provides actionable advice to revamp your customer service. While this list of material focuses somewhat heavily on the retail industry, the message is universal: don’t be part of the clueless 80 percent.

Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service
by John A. Goodman
Improving the customer experience should be the goal for every business, but more often than not, it gets overshadowed by the normal lost of things like ROI, sales goals, and earnings. In this book, Goodman takes you through his framework of providing the most invigorating customer experience, showing businesses how to use the proper tools—social media, CRM systems—to provide a seamless experience and improve customer satisfaction while still free to keep in line with your business’ overall financial goals.

7 Tenets of Taxi Terry: How Every Employee Can Create and Deliver the Ultimate Customer Experience
by Scott McKain
Inspired by the true story of Scott McKain’s encounter with Taxi Terry, 7 Tenets of Taxi Terry is a tribute to the joyful cab driver and his commitment to providing stellar customer service. The story of Taxi Terry revolves around the driver’s inspiring personal philosophy on how to treat customers. Mantras like “Delivering what helps the customer helps you” and “Act creatively and consistently” help illustrate the ways in which everyone can deliver a positive customer experience.

Igniting Customer Connections: Fire Up Your Company’s Growth By Multiplying Customer Experience & Engagement
by Andrew Frawley
We’ve all heard of ROI, but what about ROE2? No, that isn’t the name of some new droid invention—ROE2 actually stands for “Return on Experience and Engagement.” In this book, Frawley explains that traditional methods of measuring success, like ROI, aren’t as relevant as they used to be. Nowadays, making powerful connections with your customers requires a positive customer experience and high levels of engagement. Igniting Customer Connections aims to reformulate how we think about building customer relationships and explores a new, unconventional approach to winning customers. Plus, it’s available as an audiobook, in case you’ve been looking for a way to spice up your morning commute.

The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi
A favorite book among Zendesk staff, The Effortless Experience dispels the idea that good customer service involves constantly exceeding expectations and pulling out all the stops—the “dazzle factor,” as the authors call it. In reality, customer loyalty is driven by how efficiently a brand solves problems and minimizes unnecessary customer interactions. For truly loyal customers, it’s not about being “wowed” by grand gestures or expensive perks often not worth the price—it’s about being given a low-effort experience where the speed and efficacy of problem resolution are valued above all else.

Honorable Mention:

Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business
by Mikkel Svane and Carlye Adler
Horn tooting isn’t really our style, but we genuinely think that Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane’s new book Startupland is a worthy read for anyone interested in startups, entrepreneurship, management, or what it takes to make it in the customer service industry. The book, written in Mikkel’s candid voice, follows the three founders and their wobbly path to success: the arguments, the long hours, the failures and almost-failures, and the eventual rise of Zendesk into the global business it is today. Startupland isn’t the first customer service book of its kind by any means, but does provide a refreshing take on the ups and downs of creating a company.

Agree? Disagree? If you’ve got other book suggestions, share them with us on Twitter using #custservbooks

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