The best books on customer service and customer experience

The Books I Picked & Why

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

By B Joseph Pine II, James H Gilmore

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.


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

By Mark Sanborn

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.


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

By Howard Schultz

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.


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Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow

By Chip Conley

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


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

By Tony Hsieh

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.


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