No matter how great you think your service is, there’s no refuting the fact that to stay in business, you need to constantly up your game. And one of the best ways to improve is by reading up on the topic.
While the internet is a treasure trove of resources, we’d like to share with 7 books that should be read at least once if you’re in a customer-facing role.
Let’s jump right in.
1) Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business
The authors, Frei and Morriss make a counterintuitive, but compelling argument that to be successful, businesses need to quit trying to be perfect, but instead, excel in the business function their customers value the most, and accept that, you’ll need to make some tradeoffs in other areas in the process. They uncover four basic truths about customer service, that companies must understand, in order to boost productivity, profitability, and gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
2) The Cult of the Customer: Create an Amazing Customer Experience That Turns Satisfied Customers Into Customer Evangelists
In this book, Shep Hyke explains how customer loyalty starts from within your company—your internal customers—your employees. If employees are not treated well, there won’t be any customer loyalty. He discusses 5 distinct cultural phases- uncertainty, alignment, experience, ownership, and amazement, and shows how to design a strategy that leads your customers and employees through these 5 phases. He explains every aspect clearly without leaving anything to question.
3) The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: The Handbook For Becoming the “Nordstrom” of Your Industry
Nordstrom has always been synonymous with legendary customer service for over a century, and this book does a wonderful job of explaining how you can do the same by going above and beyond in delighting customers. What this book stresses over and over again is that management needs to trust their employees and give them the freedom to make their own decisions when it comes to serving customers. While most relevant to retail, this book has ideas that can be extrapolated to businesses in any industry.
4) Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers
All brands, from your regular mom & pop stores to the Walmarts of the world have their own set of haters. These haters can be broadly categorized into two sets; folks who just want solutions to their problem at hand and resort to normal media such as phone calls or emails to the service desk for issue resolution – and folks who want more than just a solution to their problem and hence seek out an audience with whom to share their grievance, usually on social media. This book is a wonderful compilation of how to handle both sets of haters supported by real-life research and examples to make for an engaging read
5) The Thank You Economy
Gary Vaynerchuk describes eloquently three key pillars to building strong customer relationships in this book where he speaks about the importance of companies embracing as well as adapting to social media patterns to improve customer retention and the need to distinctly manage traditional and online media channels.
6) Strategic Customer Service
In his book, leading customer care consultant John Goodman explores ways to leverage the incredible power of customer service to increase word of mouth marketing for your brand as well as customer loyalty. Drawing on over 30 years of his experience researching global brands such as 3M, Coke, GE, FedEx, etc., he makes a compelling case on the importance of aligning customer service with the corporate strategy to stand out amongst the hundreds of competitors vying for your customer’s attention.
7) Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit
Leonardo Inghelliri and Micah Solomon reveal the secrets behind providing customer service so superior, that it guarantees customer loyalty and there by word of mouth promotion for your brand. Their anticipatory customer service approach, first developed at the Ritz Carlton and then successfully proven across various other corporate houses across industry domains is a hallmark for making your customers less sensitive to price competition and more tolerant of any small issues. This book will have you want to implement their tested methodologies in your organization as soon as possible.
We hope you find these books helpful. Let us know if you agree with my picks, and add your own list in the comments!
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