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30 best customer service books to read in 2023

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It’s no secret that we’re living in a time of unprecedented customer service. 

With automation and AI on the rise, businesses are finding new ways to make interactions with customers as fun, engaging, and efficient as possible. As we welcome new approaches to service design, there are plenty of new books coming into print on how to create the best experience possible.

The next time you’re looking for a good read, consider picking up one of these customer service books.

Best customer service books of all time

1. The Experience Maker by Dan Gingiss

the experience maker book

Customer service training books are plentiful but they vary in quality. 

Most of them are heavy on theory and full of jargon that only customer service reps can appreciate. 

The Experience Maker is different. 

According to the author, the times of competing with price are over. We are in the day and age of competing with customer service. 

In this book, the customer experience coach, Dan Gingiss, tackles the challenge of creating customer loyalty in the digital age. 

You get concrete examples and actionable steps that any business can take to create such exceptional customer experiences that customers will be dying to share them with others. 

2. The Best Service is No Service by Bill Price and David Jaffe

best service is no service book

User experience is essential for the success of any business, especially when customer service is involved.

This means thinking about the customer experience at every touchpoint and ensuring that customers’ needs are always being met in a timely and efficient manner.

Bill Price and David Jaffe state that if customers get a great self-service platform, customer support agents do not need to contact them, which ends up saving money for the company and headaches for the customer. 

Amazon is a great example of a company that excels at providing great customer experiences without delivering customer service — customers can generally do all the purchasing with no assistance. 

Businesses with an edge always consider improving their user experience by providing more detailed product or service information. 

The book has 7 pillars: 

  1. Eliminate dumb contacts
  2. Create engaging self-service
  3. Be proactive
  4. Make it easy to contact your company
  5. Own the actions across the company
  6. Listen and act
  7. Deliver great service experiences

3. Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It by Jill Griffin

customer loyalty book

Here you get practical knowledge on how you can create loyal, satisfied clients through strategies like understanding their needs and wants as well as giving them what they demand.

And don’t forget! Customer Loyalty is an oldie that has been disrupting the industry since 1995! 

Jill Griffin translates customer and employee loyalty into tangible revenue growth by dissecting the customer’s needs and ways to approach them to capture and transform them into loyal customers.

4. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

the thank you economy book

Saying ‘Thank you’ is important but this is not what this book is about. 

In The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk argues that businesses need to start focusing on building personal relationships with their customers. In the past, companies used to advertise by word of mouth but nowadays things are more complicated. 

He cites companies like Zappos and Airbnb that have built their entire business models around providing excellent customer service. Vaynerchuk also discusses the importance of social media in building relationships with customers. 

He argues that businesses need to be active on platforms like Twitter and Facebook to create a connection with their customers. 

By providing excellent customer service to customers online, businesses can build strong relationships that will last for years to come. 

5. What Customers Crave by Nicholas Webb

what customers crave book

If you want a book that explains how to build a successful business and get it into Fortune 500, you won’t find it in What Customers Crave by Nicholas Webb. 

However, if you’re looking for an entertaining and humorous take on the world of customer service, this book is for you. 

Part self-help guide, part business parable, Webb’s book is full of zany stories and sage advice. For example, he recommends that businesses “satisfy the customer’s real craving, not just their stated need.” In other words, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to customer service. 

With its mix of humor and insight, What Customers Crave is a must-read for anyone who deals with customers on a daily basis.

6. The Cult of the Customer by Shep Hyken

the cult of the customer book

Are you a fan of ridiculously terrible customer service? If so, Shep Hyken’s book The Cult of the Customer is a must-read! Hyken takes an in-depth look at some of the world’s most unresponsive and incompetent businesses and doesn’t hold back in his criticism. 

This book details cases such as call center workers who refuse to help customers to companies like Disney, acknowledging employees by smiling when they walk by; Hyken shows that bad customer service is alive and well but gives blueprints on how to change that. 

Above everything else, The Cult of the Customer is an entertaining and often funny read. If you enjoy books that can give you a good laugh and make you shake your head in disbelief — this is the one for you.

7. Ignore Your Customers by Micah Solomon

ignore your customers book

Ignore Your Customers, and They’ll Go Away by Micah Solomon provides a wealth of insight on the best approaches to your customers. This is definitely one of the best books on customer service.

The author considers diversity as a plus when recruiting new team members — something every 21st-century  business should consider.

Topics you could expect from the book include:

  • Defaulting to yes when dealing with customers (“automatic positivity”)
  • Defining customer service culture 
  • Talent management
  • Creating ‘wow’ experiences when and when not
  • Customer experience ranging from hair salons to clinics
  • Avoiding robotic customer service
  • How digital life has changed customer expectations
  • Making the most of customers’ social connections
  • How to keep the organization from driving off the “cliff of dissatisfaction.”

8. Be Amazing Or Go Home: Seven Customer Service Habits that Create Confidence with Everyone by Shep Hyken

be amazing or go home book

If you are a sports fan, you have heard the phrase ‘go big or go home’ — but Shep gives us the customer service version of it. 

Overall, Be Amazing Or Go Home is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn how to be an outstanding customer service representative. So if you’re looking to take your customer service skills to the next level, pick up a copy of this book — you won’t be disappointed. 

It provides simple practices that help you make a difference such as: 

  • Showing up ready to amaze
  • Being proactive
  • Craving feedback
  • Taking responsibility
  • Embracing authenticity
  • Focusing on excellence
  • Turning misery into magic

9. Getting Service Right: Overcoming the Hidden Obstacles to Outstanding Customer Service by Jeff Toister

getting service right book

You might think you’re a pro in customer service. Still, you might be doing a few things that are secretly hindering your representatives from providing outstanding service. 

The book brings up some fascinating points about why customer service often falls short and what we can do to change that. Some of the reasons why your customer service representative might not be doing a great job, according to the book, are: 

  • Company cultures that discourage excellent customer service 
  • Employees caught between following policy or serving the customer 
  • Cost reduction efforts that actually increase the cost of service
  • Poor products and services that make it impossible to satisfy customers 
  • Bad habits that make it difficult to listen to customers’ needs

10. The Customer Support Handbook: How to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience for Your Brand by Sarah Hatter

the customer support handbook

The Customer Support Handbook is a must-read for anyone who wants to be on the front lines of customer service. 

Sarah Hatter provides an inside look into what it takes to be a successful customer support representative, from handling difficult customers to diffusing anger. 

She also offers helpful tips for creating a positive customer experience, such as staying calm under pressure and showing empathy. 

With its mix of humor and practical advice, The Customer Support Handbook is sure to help anyone who wants to step up their customer service skills.

11. Be Our Guest by The Disney Institute

be our guest book

In Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, The Disney Institute shares the secrets of customer service that have made Disney a world-renowned leader in the hospitality industry. 

From its early days as an unknown start-up to its current status as a global powerhouse, Disney has always valued exceptional customer service. 

The book gives an inside look at Disney and how it manages to delight its guests consistently and offers helpful tips on how businesses of all sizes can improve customer service.

With its mix of history, insights, and practical advice, Be Our Guest will leave readers feeling like they’ve just had a magical experience.

Customer service is crucial in any successful company, and learning from those who have been doing it well for years will help you improve your CX. 

12. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer

hug your haters book

In Hug Your Haters, Jay Baer provides a helpful guide on how to deal with customer complaints. 

Based on research involving over 2,000 customer complaints, the book tells you quite a few useful things:

  • How, where, and why people complain (by demographic and by channel)
  • How and when consumers expect a response when they complain
  • The advocacy impact of answering (or ignoring) a customer
  • Differences in complaint type and expectations by industry

He advocates for a proactive approach, reaching out to customers who have had a negative experience and addressing their concerns head-on. 

While it may not be pleasant, this strategy can help build trust and loyalty among your customer base. 

You can turn even the most unhappy customer into a loyal fan by showing that you’re willing to listen to feedback and address problems. So next time you’re faced with a complaint, remember Jay Baer’s advice: embrace it and hug your haters.

13. The Service Culture Handbook by Jeff Toister

the service culture handbook

In The Service Culture Handbook, Jeff Toister provides a step-by-step guide to creating a customer-focused culture in your business. 

Toister starts by busting some myths about customer service, such as the idea that you need to be a people person to be a great customer service representative. 

He then outlines the key steps to creating a service culture, including setting clear expectations, hiring for attitude, and training for skills. 

Throughout the book, Toister gives real-life examples and sage advice from top customer service leaders to illustrate his points. 

The result is a comprehensive and insightful guide that will leave you with everything you need to know how to create a world-class customer service organization.

14. The 10 Golden Rules of Customer Service: The Story of the $6,000 Egg by Todd Duncan and Deb Duncan

the 10 golden rules of customer service book

In his book The 10 Golden Rules of Customer Service: The Story of the $6,000 Egg, Todd Duncan explores the importance of providing excellent customer service. 

He tells the story of his experience placing an order at a restaurant and being refused because of company policies. He was extremely unhappy with the service he received, stating that on average, every customer brings yearly around 6,000 dollars and that customer satisfaction should be above company policies.

You get to learn about the golden rules companies should follow to provide excellent customer service and prevent unwanted outcomes.

Duncan’s book is an essential read for any business owner or manager who wants to ensure that their customers are always satisfied. 

15. Digital Customer Service: Transforming Customer Experience for an On-Screen World by Rick DeLisi and Dan Michaeli

digital customer service book

In their best-selling book Digital Customer Service, Rick DeLisi and Dan Michaeli explore the ways that digital customer service can help businesses thrive in today’s competitive landscape. 

By providing insights, case studies, and actionable strategies, the authors show how businesses can use digital technologies to create a more seamless and personalized customer experience. 

From adopting AI-powered chatbots to using data analytics to improve self-service options, the book offers a wealth of practical advice for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve. 

With its mix of humor and hard-hitting advice, “Digital Customer Service” is sure to be one of the best customer service books of 2022.

16. The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell

the customer rules book

In The Customer Rules, Lee Cockerell shares his secrets for delivering customer service that will exceed expectations. 

Whether you’re running a customer support desk or managing a team of customer service representatives, this is one of those customer support books that are full of helpful tips and tricks. 

From the importance of setting clear expectations to the value of always putting the customer first, The Customer Rules is an enjoyable read and a valuable resource. 

Among the main rules for excellent customer retention are: 

  • Rule #1: Customer Service Is Not a Department
  • Rule #3: Great Service Follows the Laws of Gravity
  • Rule #5: Ask Yourself, “What Would Mom Do?”
  • Rule #19: Be a Copycat
  • Rule #25. Treat Every Customer Like a Regular
  • Rule #39: Don’t Try Too Hard

17. The Convenience Revolution by Shep Hyken

the convenience revolution book

“There’s a reason they call it a convenience store — because it’s convenient!” Shep Hyken 

If you’re looking for a book that will revolutionize your understanding of customer service, look no further than The Convenience Revolution

This is one of the top customer service books of the year and it offers a fresh approach to delighting customers and keeping them coming back for more. 

By understanding the concept of convenience, you can create an experience that is truly enjoyable for your customers. 

Whether it’s making it easy for customers to find what they need or providing them with top-notch service, this book will show you how to take your customer service to the next level by making things easy and convenient. Isn’t that convenient?

So if you’re ready to make a difference in your business, pick up a copy of The Convenience Revolution today. You won’t be disappointed.

18. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

delivering happiness book

Delivering Happiness is one of the best selling customer service books of all time. 

In it, Tony Hsieh argues that the key to a successful business is delivering happiness to your customers. He urges businesses to know the whys of customer service and focus on their mission and purpose rather than simply making money.

It may seem like pie-in-the-sky thinking, but Hsieh’s argument is based on his own experience as the CEO of Zappos, an online shoe retailer that was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion.

Hsieh details the blueprints that made Zappos so successful, like their philosophy of allocating marketing money to customer experience and allowing word-of-mouth to be the marketing itself.

But as Hsieh shows, it is possible to make money and make people happy at the same time.

19. Be Your Customer’s Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines by Adam Toporek

be your customer's hero book

In this essential guide, Adam Toporek provides readers with powerful techniques for delivering world-class customer service. 

From learning how to build rapport with customers to handling difficult customer service situations, this book contains valuable insights that will help you take your career as a Customer Service Representative to new levels.

This book is perfect for front-line employees who take pride in their work and want to offer top-notch customer service. It offers tips, guidelines, and insight so you can handle any interaction with a smile on your face! 

So if you’re looking for a customer service excellence book to help you deliver amazing results, Be Your Customer’s Hero is a must-read.

20. Secret Service: Hidden Systems That Deliver Unforgettable Customer Service by John R. DiJulius III

secret service customer service book

In this book, Secret Service, John R. DiJulius III explores the hidden systems that make excellent customer service. 

The book is chock-full of client service books, but it’s more than just a list of resources.  DiJulius presents what he calls the Customer Experience Cycle and starts deconstructing what it means and how to do each part of the cycle right. 

It is based on the author’s experience in the customer service industry to provide readers with a behind-the-curtains look at what it takes to deliver exceptional service. He shares insider tips, insights, and stories that will leave readers feeling motivated and inspired to improve their own customer service offerings. 

Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or front-line staff member, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in delivering outstanding customer service.

21. The Simple Truths of Service by Barbara Glanz and Ken Blanchard

simple truths of service book

This little book of short stories reminds readers that service is an activity of the heart. 

Barbara Glanz and Ken Blanchard were inspired to write this short collection by the outstanding impact of one grocery store employee. 

To Johnny, being of service was a no-brainer. Living with Down Syndrome forced Johnny to think creatively and become an advocate for creating good experiences. And this is the mindset he brought to his job at the grocery store. Each interaction was unique. Each connection he made with customers was an opportunity to make life a little more fun. 

Here’s a bit of a spoiler…The simple truth of service is “You can’t threaten, reward or coerce people to care,” great customer service comes from the heart. 

And the stories go on from there. You’ll meet all kinds of people working in customer service whose support is meaningful, important, and transformative.

This book is a perfect gift for managers, team leads, agents, and more. The truths found in the book have been used in weekly team meetings, to train new hires, and to introduce a new perspective to innovating service teams. 

22. Customer Service Wolf – Comics from the Retail Wilderness by Anna Baretson

customer service wolf book

Who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh every now and then?

Well, the Customer Service Wolf comic strip has been making customer service professionals chuckle between shifts since May 2014. Anna Barnetson, the Australian author and illustrator behind this series, breaks with her typical work to tell the tale of the Customer Service Wolf. 

Working in a bookstore, the customer service wolf has seen it all. Grumpy skunks, messy rabbit window-shoppers, and owls looking for a sneaky discount. As you follow the main character on his shift, readers get a peek into the world of customer service  from behind the shelf. 

This book has over 4.53 stars on Goodreads and over 100 reviews filled with rave reviews from loyal readers. Who is this book for? Librarians, call center agents, retail professionals – truly anyone with a customer-facing career. 

The bottom line is, customer service is a unique job to have. Having this book ready for your agents to read can help bring your team together or break the tension after a difficult interaction.

23. The Way You Make Me Feel: 20 Lessons in Customer Service by Donnovan Simon

the way you make me feel book

This is the secret weapon your onboarding staff has been waiting for. 

The Way You Make Me Feel is a collection of customer service interactions. With each story, the reader investigates the root emotions that drive both customers and agents up a wall. But the story doesn’t stop there. In 140 pages, Donnovan Simon lays out the 20 lessons in customer service that he has learned after over 25 years in leadership roles. 

Upper management might want to share this recommendation with ambitious team leads or QA specialists. The value added for these leaders in customer service will be in the insights gleaned from Simon and the other contributing authors. 

Your leadership on the ground surely can’t prepare for every situation but with this book, your team can lead with the confidence of a seasoned professional in customer service.

24. The Customer Service Survival Kit: What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations by Richard S. Gallagher

the customer service survival kit book

Customer service attracts people with a heart for service and a mind for problem-solving. But as Richard Gallagher, the author of The Customer Service Survival Kit, says “the worst customer situations demand more of front-line employees than good intentions and the right attitude.”

The Customer Service Survival Kit is an incredibly actionable read. This book presents common  – and uncommon – scenarios that agents run into and provides the reader with direct tools and techniques to excel in any customer service interaction. 

With this book, Richard Gallagher creates a resource for CS professionals who want to master the delicate art of communication. After reading this survival kit and completing the exercises Gallagher designed, you’ll come out more equipped than ever to kick-butt at your call center. 

These are some of the things you’ll learn: 

  1. How to safely deliver bad news
  2. To lean into criticism
  3. The secret to helping people feel heard
  4. How to become immune to intimidation
  5. To avoid triggering phrases that can make bad situations worse

25. The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer

the culture map book

Call centers are incredibly diverse places to work and leaders of customer service teams have the challenging task of uniting teams, managing performance, and communicating effectively across cultures. This challenge isn’t only for leadership! Agents, who speak to customers from all backgrounds, need to know how to deal with cultural differences too!

In comes The Culture Map. Whether you work at the headquarters or in a call center abroad, to be successful in international business, you need to know how to identify cultural differences and communicate in a way that reaches customers from every country. 

Erin Meyer, the author of The Culture Map, uses her international anecdotes and expertise to walk the reader through confusing and at times hilariously misunderstood multicultural interactions. She lays out the cultural reasons behind multicultural miscommunications. 

In this case we recommend anyone serving global customers or directing culturally diverse teams to get this book. With The Culture Map at your side, multicultural service interactions can be approached with an informed perspective, communication that the foreign customer can relate to, and increased empathy from the agent. 

Read this customer story to learn how Kaizo provided stability to Marley Spoon’s support teams as they expanded into new international markets!

26. Do B2B Better: Drive Growth Through Game-Changing Customer Experience by Jim Tincher

do b2b better book

Are you providing customer care to the B2B marketplace? Do you have an ambitious agent on your team? Get them this book. 

Jim Tincher is an expert in customer experience and his book, Do B2B Better: Drive Growth Through Game-Changing Customer Experience, provides a much-needed look into the way we approach B2B customers. Discover what makes business buyers fall in love with your products and how top performers set themselves apart from the competition. In this book, readers will get a look at interviews with CX leaders and learn how to use the CX Loyalty Flywheel Model to deliver exceptional experiences. 

Of course, middle and upper leadership in customer support can most definitely learn from this book. However, at Kaizo, we’re dedicated to empowering agents and their choice to continue a career in customer service. Agents who understand company objectives and department KPIs are more motivated to exceed their personal best. 

So the next time you run into an agent with incredible service skills and a mind for improving systems – consider giving them Do B2B Better. Who knows, maybe they’ll join the ranks of agents who’ve skyrocketed to upper-level positions in customer support!

27. The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World by Jamil Zaki

the war for kindness book

In this ever-changing world, kindness can create a powerful impact. 

Empathy has quickly become a powerful QA metric in the customer service industry. The need for empathetic service skills is strikingly clear to agents. But how to execute this change? The rules are being formed as we speak. 

Introducing empathy as a QA metric may excite some agents but it may also be met with resistance by others. Bring your team together with Jamil Zaki’s The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World. 

This book is not directly about customer service but its lessons will give even your most cynical and overworked agents a reason to hope for better days. 

Zaki is on a mission to address the Empathy Crisis. In this book, he shares insights from his research which proves that empathy can be taught. Zaki calls on professionals and individuals everywhere to challenge their empathy deficits. 

The War on Kindness moves from antidote to antidote to show the reader why everyone and anyone can make a difference in this struggle. At the end of the day, providing personalized care is about connecting with your customers. If you’ve ever ended a shift thinking “why bother” maybe it’s time to see what Zaki has to say.

28. Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards by Yu-kai Chou

actionable gamification book

Gamification is the latest craze for those interested in workplace motivation and customer service skill training. 

In Actionable Gamification, Yu-kai Chou makes an evidence-based case for gamification. After 12 years of conducting research on the topic, Chou is here to tell the world about gamification and how its integration into our everyday routines can make a huge impact on personal motivation. 

This book is for executives looking to wrap their minds around gamification in the workplace, ambitious agents, and managers who are looking for a way to rally their teams.

If you’re looking for a reputable source of information about gamification, here it is. Zaki has a list of accolades including being named the top Gamification Guru of the year by the World Gamification Congress of Europe and being featured in Forbes magazine, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and many more. 

Let’s get those teams motivated again! Pick up Zaki’s Actionable Gamification and see what this solution can do for your teams’ performance. 

29. The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets by Micah Solomon

the heart of hospitality book

If there was ever a pioneer in the effort to deliver memorable customer service it would be the hospitality industry. 

Micah Soloman, who also wrote Ignore Your Customers seen above, is a top keynote speaker and consultant on customer service issues, the customer experience, and company culture. In The Heart of Hospitality, Solomon looks to his contacts for insider information about how hospitality has changed – if not built –  the game of customer care. 

This book is star studded with major industry leaders like president and COO Herve Humler of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Danny Meyer from the Union Square Hospitality Group, and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef at Craft.

If you want to hear from the best, you’ve found it. Solomon weaves his interviews together to create an inspirational and instructional story about why hospitality matters in customer service. 

30. The Million Dollar Greeting: Today’s Best Practices for Profit, Customer Retention, and a Happy Workplace by Dan Sachs and Janet Scott

the million dollar greeting book

Forbes has been talking about the link between customer satisfaction and employee experience and it seems like the customer service industry is catching on! 

The Million Dollar Greeting is a fantastic read that connects the dots between profit, customer retention and employee satisfaction. This holistic approach to business success is capturing the imagination of managers and front-line employees. But a nice idea needs action behind it. 

Dan Sachs and Janet Scott share expert interviews and compelling case studies that reveal today’s best practices in holistic customer service. The Million Dollar Greeting guides readers through the how to’s on:

  1. Customer and employee loyalty 
  2. Maintaining high profits 
  3. Creating sustainable operations 
  4. Bringing about a positive work culture in businesses of all sizes 

This book is for anyone in your department who wants to see a change in the way customer support is done – from the inside and out.

Wrapping up

We hope you enjoyed this compendium of the best customer service books of the year. We constantly research and look to write content that adds value to you and your team.

If you’re looking for more golden nuggets on how to provide excellent customer service, you’ve come to the right place. Our blog is full of client service insights and resources that will help you keep your customers happy. 

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