Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, once said: “There is only one boss. The customer- and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” We agree. For this reason, customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction is paramount in the business game. Customers purchase from companies they like and trust. Check the facts: 74% of Millenials will switch to a different retailer if they receive poor customer service, more than 50% of Americans have cancelled a purchase because of bad service, and 86% of customers say an emotional connection with a customer service agent would make them continue to do business with the company.
Customer service is essential for building brand loyalty and connection. Consumers want an experience, just as much as a product. But customer service isn’t always as simple as smiles and patience (though these are important!). Below we cover five useful books for outstanding customer service. Raise the business bar this 2020 and add these five books to your reading list for excellent customer service.
1) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (link)
You can’t box up happiness, but with this book, you sure can deliver it! Tony Hsieh shares his story of Zappos which clocked over 1 billion dollars of gross merchandise sales. Following his tale of service powered business, readers learn long-term and enduring service ideas that create strong company culture and inspire creative solutions. It’s an easy ready with great takeaways such as: “if someone asked you to recite your corporate values or mission statement without looking it up, could you? People wonder how Zappos employees somehow remember all 10 Core Values by heart. To me, it’s simple… it’s easy when your company’s core values are ones that apply not just to work, but life.” [pg 149].
2) Amaze Every Customer Every Time: 52 Tools for Delivering the Most Amazing Customer Service on the Planet by Shep Hyken (link)
Shep Hyken claims he is a customer experience expert, and this book concretes that acclaim. Using Ace Hardware as an extended case study, Shep explores five tactical areas of customer ‘amazement’: leadership, culture, one-on-one interactions, competitive edge, and community. Shep provides useful, practical tools for improving customer satisfaction.
3) The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Background for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi (link)
Following the grand success of The Challenge Sale, Dixon and Co. build theory and practicalities around customer service. The authors argue against over the top demonstrations of service. The book suggests “loyalty is driven by how well a company delivers on its basic promises and solves day-to-day problems, not on how spectacular its service experience might be. Most customers don’t want to be “wowed”; they want an effortless experience. And they are far more likely to punish you for bad service than to reward you for good service.” An original response from established professionals, this book is an excellent tool for improving customer service across the business.
4) Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by The Disney Institute and Theodore Kinni (link)
Moving in the opposite direction to our previous listing, Kinni and Disney argue that exceeding expectations build customer loyalty and love. They use Disney’s cornerstone of amazing audiences to write a concise expose on improving customer service.
5) Chief Customer Officer 2.0.: How to Build Your Customer Driven-Growth Engine by Jeanne Bliss (link)
Jeanne Bliss provides a comprehensive framework for delivering excellent customer service. This step-by-step plan transforms any business from ti’s current output to a more consumer-orientated business approach. The effects will be transformational for profit margins and sales.
There you have it! Bring in your 2020 with customer service know-how and transform the way your business works with its audience.