Every year I read 40-50 books and flip through dozens more. While most of my reading focuses on customer service and customer experience (CX), I occasionally stray into leadership, marketing, and other business topics. So if you’re struggling to find a gift for your boss, colleague or business acquaintance, look no further. Books are the perfect gift. Here are my top ten picks for 2022.
1. The smooth organization: Deliver great customer experiences with less effort by Bill Price and David Jaffe. I’m a big fan of creating a simple, convenient and frictionless experience. I even wrote a book on this very subject in 2018 (The convenience revolution). If anyone is qualified to write on this subject, it’s the person who was Amazon’s first global vice president of customer service. For me, Amazon is the poster child for convenience and low/no friction. (Two-word check: eliminate friction.)
2. The Metal Economy: Six strategies to transform your business to thrive in the me-centric consumer revolution by Joel Bines. Our customers are smart when it comes to customer service. With their increased expectations, they are literally rewriting the rules of the business, especially the customer experience. (Eleven-word review: The customer thinks, “It’s all about me,” and it should be.)
3. Built to Win: Designing a customer-centric culture that drives value for your business by Annett Franz. No decision should ever be made without first thinking about the customer and the impact of the decision on him/her. This book is very people-focused, both your customers and your employees. Principle Three is a favorite and revolves around putting customers first… and putting people first more First. (Six Word Review: Ten Principles for Increasing Customer Value.)
4. From impressed to obsessed: 12 principles to turn customers and employees into lifelong fans by Joe Picoult. Don’t just create a satisfying customer experience. Create unforgettable! Picoult shows you how to turn your customers into brand ambassadors who will praise your friends, colleagues and family members. (Nine-Word Review: You Can Do More Than Just Impress Your Customers.)
5. The Leader’s Playlist: Unleash the power of music and neuroscience to transform your leadership and your life by Susan Drum. Whether we know it or not, we have a “playlist” of words in our heads. It comes from our past experiences and can sometimes keep us from fulfilling our potential as leaders. Drumm trains billionaire CEOs, politicians and Fortune 100 executives and transforms their leadership skills by changing the songs and words that unconsciously hold them back. (Six Word Review: The Rhythm Will Get You!)
6. The Culture Playbook: 60 High-Impact Actions to Help Your Group Succeed by Daniel Coyle. While this book is about any culture you’re trying to create within your organization, I’ve found it particularly helpful for organizations that want to be customer-centric. What happens inside, the consumer feels on the outside. Creating the right culture is important for customers and employees. This book will get you on the right path. (Eight word review: The right culture is more important than ever!)
7. People First: Inspire, engage and focus on the heart of your business by Donna Cutting. I’m a big fan of Donna Cutting. This latest book transitions from their customer service strategies to employee strategies. If you’re struggling to attract and retain employees, get this book today. (Seven-word review: Employees, not customers, are your top priority.)
8th. The Hawke Method: The three principles of marketing that powered over 3,000 brands by Eric Huberman. The author’s client list includes some of the biggest brands in the world. He divides his model into three areas: awareness, nurturing, and trust. He extends this “marketing tripod” and explains what you need to know to launch a successful marketing campaign. (Six-word review: Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated.)
9. Blueprint for customer obsession by BA Marbue Brown. The author has worked for some of the world’s most famous brands such as Amazon, Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase. He knows the “secret recipe” that drives the success of these brands (and others) is their obsession with their customers, and he shares eight “trademarks” that will help you emulate that success. (Fourteen-Word Review: Learn from an Insider of the World’s Biggest Brands.)
10 Make B2B better: Drive growth through a breakthrough customer experience by Jim Tincher. Customer experience isn’t just for consumer-centric companies. Companies that sell to other companies can not only make their customers happy. You also need to build trust and confidence. Deliver the right B2B customer experience and you begin to bulletproof your business against the competition. (Seven-word review: Customer experience isn’t just for B2C.)
There you have it. These are my ten tips for the year. If you still need more suggestions, here is a link to last year’s list. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my latest book. If you want to learn more about my customer service philosophy, concepts and practical applications, stop by I’ll be back: How to keep customers coming back. So go to your favorite bookstore or click on the links provided and start your holiday shopping today.