Without question, customer service is a vital component of managing a successful organization. It is directly linked to other factors that contribute to a healthy bottom line, benchmarks such as customer loyalty, brand recognition, brand promotion, customer retention, as well as the acquisition of new clients. This is why the best customer service outsourcing companies always keep their employees updated on the latest trends and news on how to deliver excellent customer service. Knowing what books to read and which authors to follow can give you valuable insights that you’d otherwise have to learn the hard way.
We’ve compiled 8 customer service books that will get you up to speed on what you should know in the industry right now.
1. Who’s Your Gladys? How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer Into Your Biggest Fan by Marilyn Suttle & Lori Jo Vest
The first question that comes to mind when you see the title is, “Gladys who?” She’s supposed to be that demanding person who pushes your front-line service representative’s buttons, that one client who requires a high degree of skill to manage. In other words, an utterly difficult person to deal with. The challenge of every organization is not only to satisfy their Gladys, but to turn them into loyal customers. The book proves that if other companies can do it, so can you. Filled with real-life case studies on how to avoid creating difficult customers and how to turn them to your brand champions, this book will inspire you to improve your company’s customer service ethos and be better at dealing with your Gladys.
2. The Hidden Power of Your Customers by Becky Carroll
When a company talks about assets, the first types that come to mind are the tangible ones as real estate or company cars. Author Becky Carroll shows us that your current customer base should be treated as one of your business’ most valuable asset, too. The book gives you practical tools that will help you grow this asset. It tells us the four keys that will help you unleash the hidden power of your customers through useful steps, customer service stories and real life examples that will inspire you to come up with a strategy will keep your customers loyal to your brand.
3. Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It by Jill Griffin
Author Jill Griffin has been lauded as customer service guru and loyalty leader by readers who have rave reviews on this book. Written in an easy style but packed with information that even industry professionals will find useful, it gives a good overview of the essentials of how to develop and maintain customer loyalty. She also says that you should recognize that customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are two different benchmarks, and tells us what and how exactly to measure customer satisfaction itself.
4. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization by Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon
Their concept of the anticipatory customer service approach was first developed at the Ritz-Carlton, which is today considered to be the gold standard in exceptional customer service within the service industry. The same concept was also applied to Micah Solomon’s entertainment and technology company Oasis, which has proven to be a winning example that has been directed to their own business to much success. They define the true meaning of what “customer relationship really is. Luxury brands like Bulgari have applied the principles outline in this book, and the techniques have elevated their brands to what we know today.
5. Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: How to Make Them Love You, Keep You Coming Back, and Tell Everyone They Know by Jeffrey Gitomer
The title is quite a mouthful, but it’s an accurate description of what the book is all about. Written by nationally syndicated columnist and sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer, he believes “customer loyalty is the measure of your present and future success.” The book outlines his formula for creating truly loyal customers who will turn into your best brand ambassadors.
6. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Tony Hsieh is the widely admired CEO of the online shoe retailer Zappos. The book outlines his path to success by candidly sharing what he learned along the way, and the takeaways he got from mistakes he’s committed and the formulas that worked. He outlines many of the unique best practices he applied that helped make Zappos an unprecedented internet success: the importance of their company’s core values, how he prioritizes company culture, and his belief that getting the right company culture is the key to ultimate success.
7. The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company by Joseph A Michelli
Luxurious service and exquisite hospitality are the trademarks of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The are renowned as the frontrunners when it comes to delivering exceptional customer service in their field, and this book shows us what it takes to creating a customer experience that is nothing short of legendary. This is an exclusive, all-access tour behind the scenes, revealing their award-winning Leadership center training facilities and the key principles that define what truly exceptional customer service is.
8. The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary by Joseph A. Michelli
Who hasn’t heard of Starbucks? If you’re a coffee drinker, you have no doubt been a recipient of its exception customer service philosophy. As one of Fortune magazine’s most admired companies in the world, it’s stock has risen to 5,000 percent since 1992, and that is directly attributable to its unique approach to customer service. Written by the same author who wrote the bestselling book, The New Gold Standard (see no. 7), it gives us step-by-step strategies of how Starbucks has come to become the coffee giant it has come to be known today.
These are some of the most talked about customer service books. They are sure to give you invaluable insight on the subject and inspire you to apply some of the best-practices in your own organizations.