15 Best Customer Service Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Customer Service BooksUpdated: December 06, 2021

You found our list of the best customer service books.

Customer service books are guides that teach managers and employees how to treat clients. These works cover topics such as training, problem-solving, and creating a culture that prioritizes experience. The purpose of these books is to help companies attract and keep customers and to develop stellar reputations. The goal of these works is to increase the bottom line and longevity of organizations while also improving the experience of clients and employees.

These works are a subset of business books and are similar to customer success books, customer experience books and books on sales.

This post contains:

  • sales and customer service books
  • books on customer care
  • customer service books for employees
  • books on customer service skills
  • customer service books for managers

Here we go!

List of customer service books

Here is a list of new and bestselling books about providing excellent customer service.

1. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Delivering Happiness

Zappos’ approach to customer service made the company into an ecommerce giant. In Delivering Happiness, founder Tony Hsieh shares his philosophies on customer service and running a business. His words of wisdom include tips such as “make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department.” Part of the reason that Zappos became so successful was that leadership sought out not only to appease customers, but also to create an engaging, enjoyable environment for employees. Often, managers lecture staff to treat clients well without taking any measures to ensure team members are also happy and supported. This book shows that staff satisfaction is an important component of customer service, because team members that are taken care of take better care of customers.

Notable Quote: “Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.”

Read Delivering Happiness.

2. The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi

the effortless experience book cover

The Effortless Experience is a guide for how to create convenient and frictionless experiences for customers. The authors reject the notion that the key to gaining and keeping customers is a “wow” factor, and instead suggest that ease and reliability are the most important considerations for consumers. The book shows what customers really expect and want from a transaction, and outlines the four basic pillars of customer loyalty that ensure return visits. Though many customer service books claim to enter the mind of a customer, this work shows the truest empathy and regard for the patron’s experience, and uncovers the most basic truth of the industry: customers do not necessarily want bells and whistles, they want services that make life easier.

Notable Quote: “You need to give your customers fewer reasons to be disloyal, and the best way to make that happen is to reduce customer effort.”

Read The Effortless Experience.

3. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by The Disney Institute and Theodore Kinni

be our guest book cover

Be Our Guest is one of the top books on customer care. This work dissects the Disney magic that helps to transform the company’s theme parks into “the happiest place on Earth.” The book advocates for designing company procedures with guests in mind, and uses features of Disney parks as examples. For instance, Disney employs a parking system that sorts guests into lots by arrival time, making it easy for tram drivers to deliver guests to the correct location at the end of the day, and thus, eliminating the frustration of remembering the lot and finding the car for tired parents or travelers. By anticipating guests’ feelings and needs, Disney exceeds the normal standards to customer service and leaves strong impacts on visitors. Be Our Guest serves as inspiration for companies that want to raise the bar and not only satisfy, but impress customers.

Notable Quote: “In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future. —Walt Disney”

Read Be Our Guest.

4. Raving Fans: Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

raving fans book cover

Raving Fans is one of the best sales and customer service books. The book’s central message is that satisfying customer’s expectations is the bare minimum for good business. To dominate the market and excel long term, companies must turn buyers into believers. These dedicated clients will not only remain loyal to the brand and continue to buy, but also may turn into the organizations’ most effective marketers. Fans love to talk about their passions, and business’ raving fans are likely to spread word of mouth that attracts other customers. Raving Fans lays out steps and techniques to turn average customers into advocates for the brand and to earn lifetime loyalty from the target audience.

Notable Quote: “Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”

Read Raving Fans.

5. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture by Robert Spector and breAnne O. Reeves

the nordstrom way book cover

Nordstrom is a company that believes in providing exceptional service, and this commitment to customers has helped the business thrive for over a century. This book explores Nordstrom’s customer-centric culture by interviewing company executives and outlining the ideals that drive the company’s business decisions. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence outlines the company’s core values and suggests ways to apply them to other industries. The book is full of stories that demonstrate a customer-first mentality, and sets a clear standard for leaders looking to duplicate the company’s success with customers and staff. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence serves as the ultimate role model for business culture.

Notable Quote: “Don’t reinvent the wheel. Focus on winning one customer at a time. Be honest and sincere. Do what’s right. There’s nothing magical about this.’ That’s been my guiding principle. To make it work, you have to live it every day. Make it your mind-set.”

Read The Nordstrom Way.

6. The Cult of the Customer: Create an Amazing Customer Experience That Turns Satisfied Customers Into Customer Evangelists by Shep Hyken

The cult of the customer book cover

The Cult of the Customer hinges on the idea that customers are the main determinant of whether or not a business succeeds and sustains. Without customers, a business cannot exist, nevertheless thrive. Embracing this philosophy, Shep Hyken teaches entrepreneurs how to serve their own interests by creating amazing experiences for customers. The book identifies factors that lead to customer “amazement,” such as responding to problems with competency, quickness, and compassion, and seeking out opportunities to provide better than average service. The desired end result from these actions is resounding praise and continued patronage. The Cult of the Customer is a playbook for making employees committed to providing good service and thus making clients committed to the company.

Notable Quote: “Evangelists are special people who go out of their way to tell the world just how great you and your company are. They are exactly the kinds of advocates you want your organization’s culture to create.”

Read The Cult of the Customer.

7. The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service by Jeff Toister

the service culture handbook book cover

The Service Culture Handbook is one of the best customer service books for managers looking for ways to motivate employees. The book explains how to create hospitality mindsets, habits of excellence, and environments that celebrate great service. While many customer service books focus on actions and best practices, this guide drills the importance of creating an atmosphere where spectacular customer care becomes second nature. To achieve this end, the book analyzes companies with reputations for great service and identifies the factors that make these efforts successful. The Service Culture Handbook is a masterclass in giving employees a mission instead of giving them a lecture.

Notable Quote: “A hero moment occurs any time an employee, a team, or an entire company rises to the occasion to provide customers with outstanding service. Hero moments aren’t limited to over-the-top actions. They include everyday service encounters as well.”

Read The Service Culture Handbook.

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

the customer rules book cover

The Customer Rules is one of the best customer service books for employees. This handy guide lays out essential commandments for great service, such as “be a wordsmith– language matters,” and “treat every customer like a regular.” The book presents foolproof concepts that make it easy to interact with and impress clients. The Customer Rules breaks the practice of client care down into simple guidelines and golden rules. By following these philosophies, team members can figure out the best course of action in every situation, and strive always to make a positive impression on the client.

Notable Quote: “Your customers hold you to a high standard. If you want to achieve true excellence, raise that bar even higher for yourself, your colleagues, and everyone around you.”

Read ​​The Customer Rules.

9. Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine by Jeanne Bliss

Chief customer officer 2.0 book cover

Chief Customer Officer 2.0 provides a top-down approach to encouraging outstanding customer service. The book begins by clarifying the role of the Chief Customer Officer, or CCO, and goes on to give leadership advice about establishing, managing, and nurturing the company’s service efforts and culture. Chapters identify the core competencies CCO’s should possess, for instance honoring and managing customers as assets. While many books on customer service focus on employees or middle management, Chief Customer Officer 2.0 presents customer service from the executive standpoint, and suggests ways to balance empathy and servitude with business sense, big-picture thinking, and a regard for the organization’s bottom line.

Notable Quote: “A Chief Customer Officer is successful when he or she can simplify how the organization works together to achieve customer-driven growth, engage the leadership team, and connect the work to a return on investment.”

Read Chief Customer Officer 2.0, and for similar guides, check out this list of CEO books.

10. Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away): The Simple Playbook for Delivering the Ultimate Customer Service Experience by Micah Solomon

ignore your customers book cover

Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away) is one of the best new customer service books. Micah Solomon is a renowned customer service consultant with decades of experience. Throughout this study, Solomon analyzes companies with phenomenal customer service reputations and track records such as Amazon, Zappos, and the Ritz-Carlton. The book emphasizes the importance of consistency, and the fact that assisting clients is an ongoing act. The quality of support often slips as companies grow bigger and expand their clientele. However, this book drives home the point that it is just as important to remain personable and helpful on the enterprise level. Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away) provides a practical toolkit for scaling customer service alongside growth, and employing more sustainable client care practices.

Notable Quote: “The secret, in other words, is to never stop believing in the importance of the individual customer and the importance of every individual interaction, no matter how many customers your organization has grown to serve….there’s just one customer: the one who’s being served right now.”

Read Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away).

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

 

the customer service survival kit book coverThe Customer Service Survival Kit is one of the most useful books on customer service skills. Responding to complaints and calming down customers is one of the most critical capabilities for service professionals. This guide teaches readers how to communicate with clients and quickly defuse tension in tough situations and offers a practical toolkit for crises. The book does not merely list off phrases to use in challenging situations, but also explores the psychology behind customer’s frustration to better help representatives diagnose the underlying issues and respond with more efficiency and empathy. The Customer Service Survival Kit covers a variety of scenarios, from delivering bad news to handling social media complaints. The book also shows that these tough situations are more than obstacles to endure, but also opportunities to fulfill needs in an important and memorable way.

Notable Quote: “I love worst case scenarios. Why? Because they hold the key to creating truly incredible service.”

Read The Customer Service Survival Kit.

12. The Big Book of Customer Service Training Games by Peggy Carlaw and Vasudha Deming

the big book of customer service training games book cover

The Big Book of Customer Service Training Games is a collection of exercises meant to improve employees’ customer service skills. The activities within this anthology aim to challenge team members to reimagine and think deeper about service, communicate standards clearly, and deliver extraordinary experiences that meet and exceed customer expectations. The layout is easy to reference and includes a table of contents that helps leaders select appropriate activities at a glance. Each game clearly lists the time, supplies, objectives, and steps. The Big Book of Customer Service Training Games is a handy tool for managers looking for a book that moves beyond theory into practice.

Notable Quote: “In this activity, participants work together to create a mission statement for their department. This is an ideal activity for injecting a new level of enthusiamsm into the department and bringing a new sense of meaning to work.”

Read The Big Book of Customer Service Training Games, and check out more training and development books.

13. Be Amazing or Go Home: Seven Customer Service Habits That Create Confidence with Everyone by Shep Hyken

be amazing or go home book cover

Be Amazing or Go Home is one of the best books on customer service skills for employees. The book lays out traits that make employees exemplary teammates and customer advocates. For instance, being proactive, seeking feedback, taking accountability, and acting authentically. The book is full of tricks and tips to gain confidence and earn respect in interactions with clients and peers. Be Amazing or Go Home offers goals to strive towards and steps to reach those results, and is a pep talk and playbook all in one.

Notable Quote: “Amazing people make others feel appreciated. They know the power of an authentic “thank you.” They know how recognizing and expressing appreciation makes others feel good.”

Read Be Amazing or Go Home.

14. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

The thank you economy book cover

In The Thank You Economy, renowned entrepreneur and marking expert Gary Vaynerchuk explains how social media inspired a renaissance for individualized customer attention. The internet gives customers the ability to instantly express opinions, and smart marketers and leaders do not ignore that input. Rather, the best companies communicate in ways that make customers feel heard and valued. The Thank You Economy lays out techniques to leverage online platforms to express gratitude for customers and use the power of authentic interactions to gain more fans. Vaynerchuk draws on his own experience as an early adopter of social media customer service, and also shares case studies of companies that exemplify this culture of client appreciation.

Notable Quote: “Every interaction matters. Every relationship has value.”

Read The Thank You Economy.

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

Hug your haters book cover

Hug Your Haters offers a crash course to effectively dealing with negative criticism. The book distinguishes between different types of complaints and complaint-makers, explores the reasons customers lash out, and describes appropriate responses to grievances. In the era of the internet, criticizing companies is often a public act. The book shows readers how to respond authentically yet professionally to public criticism, such as social media callouts, by providing attentive follow-up to the aggrieved party and assuring the audience of your quality and commitment. Hug Your Haters is a customer service first aid kit for modern times, and is a must-read for organizations concerned with reputation management.

Notable Quote: “The most dangerous customers aren’t your haters; they are the “meh” in the middle, the dissatisfied customers who don’t take the time to complain.”

Read Hug Your Haters.

Final Thoughts

While many folks treat customer service like an instinct or common sense, it is actually a skill that needs developing. Even the most naturally calming, empathetic, and helpful representatives can find ways to better serve clients. Customer service books teach professionals of all levels how to diffuse frustration, anticipate clients’ needs, problem solve, and understand the client mindset.

These works can also help employers create company cultures that empower and encourage employees to give better service. Customer service is a skill that tracks across most areas of business, and these references can help organizations upgrade their overall customer approach across departments.

For more reading recommendations, check out this list of product design books and this list of books on organizational behavior.

FAQ: Customer service books

Here are answers to common questions about customer service books.

What are customer service books?

Customer service books are guides that teach professionals how to treat clients. These works cover topics like winning repeat business, diffusing issues, and anticipating customer needs. The guiding philosophies behind this genre is that customer service is a craft that is just as much about attitude as action.

What are some good books on customer service?

Some good books on customer service include The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, and Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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