“Customer service is not a department. It’s everyone’s job.”
Great customer service doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes planning, implementation and commitment not just from business owners and leaders, but the entire team. Not striving for it could be costly for your field service business. A customer service study by Conversion Research found that that 54% of millennials say they stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service. 52% baby boomers and of Gen Xers felt the same way.
How would you say your field service team’s customer service stacks up? Lackluster, ordinary or exceptional? Whether you need to do a big customer service overhaul or just need to inspire or reinvigorate your leaders, technicians or staff on the importance of creating happy customers, here are 8 great customer service books we recommend.
Let’s start with our picks for field service business owners and leaders:
1. The Service Culture Handbook by Jeff Toister
A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service
Published just this year, this book is an easy and engaging read that outlines to leaders how they can build and sustain a company culture that’s ultra-focused on its customers. Drawing on examples from the world’s most successful companies, The Service Culture Handbook is full of actionable insights and even offers practical tools and worksheets to help you apply each concept in the book to your own teams and processes.
“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.” ― Jeff Toister
2. The Customer Service Revolution by John R. DiJulius III
Overthrow Conventional Business, Inspire Employees and Change the World
Author John DiJulius, owner of DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with big brands like Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Lexus and The Ritz-Carlton, shares his customer-service know-how and shows you how to create such a stellar customer experience that what you charge for your product or services becomes irrelevant―business will just flock to you. If you believe it’s time to invest in customer service, pick up The Customer Service Revolution. John is so passionate about customer service, he purposely capitalizes “Customer.”
“What employees experience, Customers will. The best marketing is happy, engaged employees. Your Customers will never be any happier than your employees.” ― John Dijulius
3. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence
by Robert Spector & Patrick D. McCarthy
The Handbook for Becoming the “Nordstrom” of Your Industry
When people are thinking exceptional customer service, Nordstrom almost always comes to mind first. With this book, you can tap into Nordstrom’s set of principles that made it a leader in the retail industry and beyond. Written by Nordstrom’s Customer Service consultant, Robert Spector, and the company’s top-performing salesperson of all time, Patrick McCarthy, The Nordstrom Way is a great guidebook on not only delivering great customer service, but how to hire, train, inspire and reward your employees to build happy customers.
“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.” ― Robert Spector
4. Chief Customer Officer 2.0 by Jeanne Bliss
How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine
Author Jeanne Bliss pioneered the role of CCO (Chief Customer Officer), a role she had during her 20-year career at some of the top corporations in the world, including Microsoft, Coldwell Banker and Lands’ End. Chief Customer Officer 2.0 follows two of Jeanne’s best-selling books, which also focus on customer service and customer loyalty. This book will give you the 5-part framework she uses to coach C-Suite and Chief Customer Officers that you can implement at your company, no matter how big or small.
“Earn the right to business growth by embracing employees and customers and delivering an experience they want to have again and tell others about.” ― Jeanne Bliss
Now here are some books that would be great for your whole team:
5. The Customer Rules by Lee Cockerell
The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service
Lee Cockerell has had a successful, long-standing career in hospitality, holding executive positions at Walt Disney World, Hilton Hotels and Marriott. The Customer Rules comes with easy-to-digest chapters and plenty of nuggets of wisdom, which are proven to work for corporations like Ford Motors as much as small businesses like your mom-and-pop shop or new start-up. Lee will tell you how to best shape your company policies and procedures and build your front line staff who have the most interaction with customers day in and day out.
“It has been our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warm of hospitality.”― Lee Cockerell
6. Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers
This was named one the top 3 books on business strategy by Business Magazine last year. It provides specific advice on how you can deal with complainers, which Jay breaks out as either offstage haters (those who complain via legacy mediums like phone or email) and onstage haters (those who complain on social media, online review sites, etc) because as he points out in the book, your approach towards each group should be different because they have different motivations. Hug Your Haters is great because it comes with real examples from companies that will inspire your team to respond to customers with more agility and compassion as well.
“Haters are not your problem. . . . Ignoring them is. Not responding is a response. A response that says “I don’t care about you.” Answering complaints increases customer advocacy. Not answering complaints decreases customer advocacy.” ― Joy Baer
7. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose
Here’s a book that’s on every top customer service books list. Written by the visionary CEO of the online clothing and shoe store, Zappos, Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness, is a great and inspiring read for all, whether you’re leading your business, working the front lines or supporting staff. In the book, Tony goes through the various business lessons he’s learned throughout his life and his creative strategies to having the best corporate culture–one is paying his new employees $2,000 to quit. In short, he uses happiness as a framework for success.
“We must never lose our sense of urgency in making improvements. We must never settle for “good enough,” because good is the enemy of great.” ― Tony Hsiesh
8. Delight Your Customers by Steve Curtin
7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary
Steve Curtin is an authority on customer service and hospitality, holding various customer service, sales and operation positions during his 20-year career at Marriott International. He was part of the team at Marriott that implemented training that led to huge improvements in the company’s employee and customer satisfaction scores. In Delight Your Customers, he outlines his 3 elements to exceptional service experiences and the various behaviors guaranteed to create happy customers.
““Most people don’t choose to deliver poor customer service. They just don’t choose to deliver exceptional customer service. Most employees are content to simply occupy a customer service role and execute job functions, blissfully unaware of the opportunities they forfeit daily.” ― Steve Curtin
What are your customer service goals? Have any books you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments!
Last modified: August 22, 2017