There are dozens, even thousands of books written and published by support-minded folks on customer service, strategy, customer loyalty, persuasive speaking, comprehensive writing, team and time management and so on. It can take a lifetime to read them all. For the sake of your time and mental health, here is a must-read (or worth-to-read) list of books to make most out of your reading time.
#1 How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Communication skills are vital for a service agent, and this is indeed the world's first self-help book and undoubtedly helped many people build and improve their positive and fruitful relationships with people in all areas of life. Easy-to-read and easy-to-follow advice will be useful for anyone in a customer service role.
Carnegie’s insights seem to be timeless, they were valuable in 1937 and nowadays too. Language serves the same purposes, and people want the same things they have always wanted. Techniques offered by the author aren’t duplicitous, they encourage you as a reader to develop the genuine interest in you interlocutors, be honest and ethical. After reading this book, you will find easy to apply some ideas not only in your job but also in personal life.
#2 Getting Things Done by David Allen
Multitasking, pressure, and stress are haunting for a customer support specialist every day. After reading this book, you will be able to organize your time and tasks, as well as get (almost) everything done on time. You may find the writing “dry” in the middle and too “flowery” ending. Thus, it is clear and offers lots of examples. Mind, you are not perfect, and the amount of work is infinite. The author helps you to understand that you’ll never get it all done and give tips on how to put everything in its place, and don’t torture yourself about things you are not doing.
The essence of this book can be described as a method for collecting everything you have to do in your life, break it down into actionable steps, setting up a specific order for these steps, and go to town on them. Read a book, apply tips, and enjoy the transformative experience of your daily routine.
#3 How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark
In the digital age full of information flow, it is essential for a support service agent to write clearly and concisely. In this book, Roy Peter Clark explains how to apply measures of quick writing and set your writing on a higher level. Along with describing all hows and whys of short writing, each chapter ends with a sum up and tips on how to use it in practice.
You doubt that this book will be useful for the day-to-day customer service job? However, you will agree that the skill of writing short is critical for email and live chat support when you need to get a lot of explanations into small spaces. With this book, you will learn the art of concise and comprehensive.
#4 Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service by John A. Goodman
The author of this book is a highly regarded customer experience expert, so either you have experience in support service or just starting your career, John A. Goodman first-hand guidance will be interesting for you. Inside Customer Experience 3.0 explained an innovative customer experience framework along with the step-by-step guide on its implementation.
Let’s give a little background here: you will read about building flawless service and setting honest customer expectations, learn how to set priorities based on clients feedbacks and how to apply it strategy upgrade. Besides, the author shows how to use CRM and helpdesk for collecting data and delivering customer satisfaction. In a few words, Customer Experience 3.0 teaches you how to utilize available tools to delight your customers.
#5 The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon
Even the title of the book says that this is a must-read for service folks of various support lines. Proving solid research, the authors present the approach to reducing customer effort as a way to drive loyalty. There you will find many tips dedicated to customer service, using customer effort score (CES) as transactional relationship data measurement (even if you already measure the overall relationship data via net promoter score (NPS).) Besides, the book offers a counter-argument to “delighting” customer, overviews the changing customer nature and expectations and, therefore, suggests some tricks on how you need to react in plain language.
#6 The Customer Support Handbook: How to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience for Your Brand by Sarah Hatter
Generally, when people hear “customer service,” they think about cubicle farm of a call center or employees who don’t stop typing in live chats where the help is the last thing customer will receive. Sarah Hatter wants to remind the support managers that what they are doing for a living is a vital part of product or service development and many customer support specialists consider this book as an excellent reference book.
After reading it, you will have upgraded arsenal of skills and know the tricks of the best customer support. To be specific, this book offers samples of replies to difficult questions (words and phrases to use in emails are thoroughly explained), tips on language and tone to apply in social media messages, and pieces of advice to handle angry customers. Almost everything you can think of about customer support covered in this book.
#7 Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Somebody may say that this book is another business memoirs. Everyone has a right to a personal opinion. Either way, Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh has a lot of exciting things to say about business development. So, in Delivering Happiness, the author shares the lessons learned from his lifetime: the intermediate goals (to get a dream job, to find the right spouse, to earn a lot of money, etc.) and the ultimate goal is to be happy. And that very happiness comes from your work and personal life in equal parts.
In brief, the book tells how Tony Hsieh created unique Zappos culture based on his happiness. The described framework has four parts: 1) perceived control, 2) perceived progress, 3) connectedness, and 4) vision, meaning, high purpose. Got interested? Go ahead and read this book.
What Book Will You Choose?
IN conclusion, there are many books for customer support specialists, and they offer additional, extended tips, twists, and guidance on providing support, earn loyalty and profits. Hence, these shortlist aims to cover the essential requirements and deliver a cohesive picture of what an outstanding service should be. Once you pick up any of these books, you will learn something valuable and worth to share with a colleague or friend.