Each year I read 40-50 books and peruse 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, a colleague or a friend in business, look no further. Books are the perfect gift. Here are my Top Ten picks for 2022.
1. The Frictionless Organization: Deliver Great Customer Experiences with Less Effort by Bill Price and David Jaffe. I’m a big fan of creating an easy, convenient and frictionless experience. I even wrote a book about this very topic in 2018 (The Convenience Revolution). If anyone is qualified to write about this topic, it’s the person who was Amazon’s first global vice president of customer service. To me, Amazon is the poster child for convenience and low/no friction. (Two-word review: Eliminate friction.)
2. The Metal Economy: Six Strategies for Transforming 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 heightened expectations, they are literally rewriting the rules of business, specifically 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 Annette Franz. No decisions should ever be made without first thinking of the customer and the impact the decision has on him/her/them. This book focuses a lot on people, both your customers and employees. Principle Three is a favorite and is about putting customers first … and putting employees more first. (Six-word review: Ten principles to drive customer value.)
4. From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 Principles for Turning Customers and Employees into Lifelong Fans by Joe Picoult. Don’t just create a satisfying customer experience. Create memorable ones! Picoult shows you how to turn your customers into brand ambassadors who sing your praises to their 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 Drumm. Whether we know it or not, we have a “playlist” of words in our heads. It comes from our past experiences, and sometimes it can hold us back from reaching our potential as a leader. Drumm coaches billionaire CEOs, politicians and Fortune 100 executives, transforming their leadership capabilities by changing the songs and words that subconsciously hold them back. (Six-word review: The rhythm is gonna get you!)
6. The Culture Playbook: 60 Highly Effective Actions to Help Your Group Succeed by Daniel Coyle. While this book is about any culture you’re trying to create inside your organization, I found it particularly helpful for companies that want to be customer-focused. What’s happening on the inside is felt on the outside by the consumer. Creating the right culture is important to customers and employees. This book will get you on the right track. (Eight-word review: The right culture is more important than ever!)
7. Employees First: Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the Heart of Your Organization by Donna Cutting. I’m a big Donna Cutting fan. This latest book veers from her customer service strategies into employee strategies. If you’re struggling to get and keep employees, get this book today. (Seven-word review: Employees, not customers, are your top priority.)
8. The Hawke Method: The Three Principles of Marketing that Made Over 3,000 Brands Soar by Erik Huberman. The author’s client list includes some of the biggest brands on the planet. He breaks his model into three areas: awareness, nurturing and trust. Expanding on this “Marketing Tripod,” he 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 most iconic brands in the world such as Amazon, Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase. He knows the “secret sauce” that fuels the success of these brands (and others) is their obsession with their customers, and he shares eight “Hallmarks” that will help you emulate that success. (Fourteen-word review: Learn from a guy on the inside of the biggest brands on the planet.)
10. Do B2B Better: Drive Growth through a Game-Changing Customer Experience by Jim Tincher. Customer experience is not just for consumer-focused companies. Businesses that sell to other businesses can’t just make their customers happy. They must also build trust and confidence. Deliver the right B2B customer experience, and you begin to bulletproof your organization from competition. (Seven-word review: Customer experience is not just for B2C.)
There you have it. These are my ten picks for the year. If you need even more suggestions, here’s a link to last year’s list. And, I would be given if I did not mention my latest book. If you want to learn more about my customer service philosophy, concepts and practical applications, check out I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again. So, head over to your favorite bookstore or click on the links provided and start your holiday shopping today.