The best books on customer service and customer experience

Who am I?

I am a New York Times #1 bestselling author of more than 10 customer experience and leadership books. When I am not reading and writing, I help leaders and entrepreneurs drive employee engagement, customer loyalty, and referrals. 


I wrote...

The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

By Joseph A. Michelli,

Book cover of The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

What is my book about?

When it comes to refined service and exquisite hospitality, one name stands high above the rest: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. With ceaseless attention to every luxurious detail, the company has set the bar for creating memorable customer experiences in world-class settings. Now, for the first time, the leadership secrets behind the company's extraordinary success are revealed.

The books I picked & why

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The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money

By B Joseph Pine II, James H Gilmore,

Book cover of The Experience Economy: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money

Why this book?

Economists Gilmore and Pine, trace economic value through the agrarian, industrial and service age and pioneer thinking on the importance of “staging” experiences. This book created a tectonic shift from transactional “customer service” to emotionally engaging “customer experiences.” In a world where customer satisfaction is table stakes, The Experience Economy shows readers how to drive emotional engagement and repeat business.


The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

By Mark Sanborn,

Book cover of The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

Why this book?

If only my mail carrier were like Fred… but that’s the point. All of us can “up our game” when it comes to caring for and about others. Mark Sanborn crafted a highly accessible and engaging book that shows how everyone can “be a Fred.” The line between ordinary and extraordinary is less about resources and more about focus and effort.


Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

By Howard Schultz,

Book cover of Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

Why this book?

From a poor kid whose dad used to drive a diaper delivery truck to one of the premier global leaders in the last 50 years, Howard Schultz tells the story of Starbucks meteoric rise as only Howard can. This book inspired me to work with Howard and write two books about Starbucks - a company that he carefully stewarded to become synonymous with coffee and affordable luxury. A blend of storytelling and leadership insights, Pour Your Heart Into It, shows the importance of leadership passion couple with social compassion.


Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

By Chip Conley,

Book cover of Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

Why this book?

I wish I had written this book. Chip Conley takes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and applies it to employees and customers. Sharing lessons from hotel leadership, Chip demonstrates how managers and frontline workers should prioritize primary needs of those they serve while stretching to address higher level belonging and self-expression needs. With precision and clarity, Chip Conley offers a template for assessing the wants, needs, and desires of others


Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

By Tony Hsieh,

Book cover of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Why this book?

In 2020, the world lost a special and rare visionary, Tony Hsieh. I was fortunate to work with Tony and write about his company - Zappos. You can gain a vibrant sense of Tony’s wisdom and character when you read Delivering Happiness. A serial entrepreneur since childhood, Tony Hsieh became a billionaire in his 30’s and donated hundreds of millions of dollars back into his community. Delivering Happiness is a playful, story-rich, exploration into how Tony created a quirky human-centric business that drives engagement and loyalty from both employees and customers.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in self-actualization, leadership, and success in life?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about self-actualization, leadership, and success in life.

Self-Actualization Explore 105 books about self-actualization
Leadership Explore 58 books about leadership
Success In Life Explore 131 books about success in life

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Designing Brand Identity, Good to Great, and The Brand Gap if you like this list.