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Books About Customer Experience: 9 Best Reads for CX Professionals

Shawn Phillips Shawn Phillips 11/20/2023
Do B2B Better

When it comes to understanding customer satisfaction, books on customer experience management are essential tools. They provide insights into how to keep customers happy and loyal.

Did you know, according to a Walker study, by the end of 2020, customer experience overtook price and product as the key brand differentiator?

These books can help you create remarkable experiences for your business to thrive by teaching you how to create unforgettable experiences for your customers.

Dive into these treasures of knowledge and see your customer satisfaction soar.

1. Do B2B Better

Heart of the Customer's very own book about CX: Do B2B Better - Drive Growth Through Game-Changing Customer Experience

Complete title: Do B2B Better: Drive Growth Through Game-Changing Customer Experience

Author: Jim Tincher

Key Ideas

Indeed, Heart of the Customer wrote its very own book on B2B customer experience (CX). This book challenges B2B (business-to-business) and B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) organizations to redefine their customer experience strategy, positioning CX as an integral part of business operations rather than an afterthought. This book prepares businesses with the skills to consider their B2B customers as valuable partners. It suggests fulfilling their specific needs to attain guaranteed customer experience satisfaction.

The heart of the book revolves around a potent tool — the CX Loyalty Flywheel model — encouraging businesses to foster a customer-centric approach to maximize loyalty. Tincher, through hundreds of interviews with established CX leaders, illustrates the practical application of this model by chronicling successful CX strategies adopted by prominent companies like Dow, Hagerty, and UKG. It emphasizes understanding client needs to enhance product or service offerings. This helps develop offerings that result in superior customer experiences.

Satisfied clients lead to repeat business, fostering company growth.

The book underscores the significance of every customer touchpoint in shaping customer experience and change management. Be it during a:

  • Transaction
  • Inquiry
  • Complaint handling

Why Read It?

Every astute business leader recognizes the indispensable value of customer loyalty for business prosperity. Do B2B Better delves deep into the unique realm of maintaining customer loyalty when your customers are businesses, not individual consumers.

Unveiling the uncomfortable truth, Tincher highlights how B2B organizations typically trail behind B2C entities in providing outstanding customer experience, largely due to the additional intricacies involved in catering to business clients. So if you aspire to use great customer experiences and feedback for business success, this book is an excellent resource.

2. Uncommon Service

Complete title: Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business

Authors: Frances Frei, Anne Morriss

Key Ideas

Customer-Centric Approach: Emphasizes the need to place customers at the center of business operations for a competitive edge.

Trade-Offs and Choices: Businesses must make strategic choices about excelling in specific service dimensions while meeting acceptable levels in others.

Service Culture: Building a culture of service excellence is crucial, with alignment throughout the organization.

Leadership’s Role: Effective leadership is essential in fostering a positive customer experience and customer-centric culture.

Employee Empowerment: Empowering employees to make decisions and take ownership of customer interactions is vital.

Continuous Improvement: Ongoing measurement and improvement of service quality using customer feedback and data are necessary.

The book illustrates ten principles with real-world examples and case studies from various industries.

Why Read It?

Firstly, the book provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and implementing amazing customer-centric strategies. It delves into the critical components of delivering exceptional service and offers practical insights on how to prioritize and excel in key service dimensions, such as customization, convenience, price, and quality. For a customer experience practitioner, this book serves as a guide to making strategic trade-offs and choices that align with their organization’s goals and resources, ultimately helping them create a more compelling and competitive customer experience.

Secondly, Uncommon Service offers a wealth of real-world case studies from various industries, showcasing successful implementations of customer-centric approaches. These case studies provide concrete examples of how businesses have transformed their operations and achieved exceptional service levels, making it easier for customer experience professionals to draw inspiration and adapt similar strategies to their own organizations. Additionally, the book emphasizes the importance of building a culture of service excellence and employee empowerment, which are vital elements in the toolkit of any customer experience professional seeking to improve their company’s customer satisfaction and loyalty.

3. Thinking, Fast and Slow


Complete title: Thinking, Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman

Key Ideas

There are two systems that drive human thinking. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and prone to biases and errors. It operates effortlessly, making quick judgments and decisions based on heuristics.

System 2, on the other hand, is slow, deliberate, and analytical. It requires conscious effort and critical thinking to make reasoned choices. Kahneman delves into the various cognitive biases that influence decision-making. He also introduces the concept of prospect theory, which explains how people evaluate potential gains and losses.

Why Read It?

It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of human thought and decision-making. This means your customer’s decision-making.

It provides valuable insights into everyday decision challenges, from financial decisions to personal relationships.

This book equips readers with a better understanding of their own thought processes and offers tools to make more rational and informed decisions, making it a compelling read for anyone seeking to enhance their decision-making skills.

4. How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer

Complete title: How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer: Using Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change

Authors: Jim Tincher, Nicole Newton

Key Ideas

If you’re seeking to navigate the maze of customer journey mapping, Jim Tincher and Nicole Newton’s How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? is your ultimate guide. Penned by the founder of Heart of the Customer, this book has etched its place in the top tier of CX literature since its 2019 debut.

Tincher and Newton highlight the vital role of journey mapping in understanding what customers expect, yet warn that a majority of maps fail to spur customer-centric transformation. Through expert insights, in-depth research, and illuminating case studies, this book guides you on effectively creating and utilizing journey maps.

Its updated edition, born from the pandemic’s reshaping of business-customer interactions, features a special chapter on journey mapping software tools. Equip yourself with the knowledge to devise actionable journey maps that enhance customer experience, fortify loyalty, and deliver substantial ROI with this compelling read.

This book emphasizes comprehending your enterprise from the perspective of a client. It’s akin to stepping into your client’s shoes. This is essential to understand their experience while engaging with your services or products.

Why Read It?

Consider reading this book if you aim to enhance your business from your customer’s perspective. It provides strategies to identify and mitigate aspects that could be causing dissatisfaction.

Perusing this book can provide a new lens to perceive your current business climate – through your cult of the customer’s experiences. This insight can help you understand their preferences and grievances.

If your goal is to increase customer satisfaction and retention, this book offers:

  • Practical advice
  • Guidance
  • Insightful tips

If you’re interested in how simplifying processes for your customers can boost your business’s success, this book is an excellent resource.

5. The Power of Moments

Complete title: The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

Author: Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Key Ideas

Explores the idea that specific moments in our lives have a profound and lasting impact.

The book identifies four elements that make moments extraordinary: elevation (intense experiences), insight (transformative moments), pride (achievements), and connection (meaningful relationships).

By understanding and creating such moments, organizations can improve customer experiences.

The book inspires readers to seize the opportunity to create powerful moments in their personal and professional lives.

Why Read It?

It is a compelling read for anyone interested in harnessing the potential of exceptional experiences. It unveils the secrets behind what makes certain moments unforgettable and impactful by delving into the science and psychology of these moments.

The book equips readers with the knowledge and tools to intentionally create meaningful, transformative experiences in their personal and professional lives. Whether you aim to strengthen relationships, improve customer interactions, or elevate your own life, this book offers valuable insights and practical guidance to help you achieve extraordinary impact through carefully crafted moments.

Read more here: CX + EX (Employee Experience) = Great Experiences | Heart of the Customer

6. Outside In

Complete title: Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

Authors: Harley Manning, Kerry Bodine

Key Ideas:

Outside In emphasizes the importance of shifting an organization’s focus from internal processes to customer experience.

It advocates for adopting a customer-centric approach to business operations. The book explores strategies to understand customer needs, improve products and services, and build lasting relationships.

It delves into practical methods for designing exceptional customer experiences and highlights real-world success stories of companies that have embraced this outside-in mindset to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Why Read It?

Outside In provides valuable insights into adopting a customer-centric approach, helping businesses better understand and meet customer needs.

The book offers practical strategies and methodologies for designing and implementing exceptional customer experiences.

It showcases real-world success stories, illustrating how companies have transformed their operations and achieved significant growth by embracing a customer-first mindset.

Reading Outside In equips individuals and organizations with the knowledge and tools to gain a competitive edge by prioritizing customer experience.

7. Winning on Purpose

Complete title: Winning on Purpose: The Unbeatable Strategy of Loving Customers

Author: Fred Reichheld

Key Ideas

Customer-Centric Strategy: Winning on Purpose underscores the importance of a customer-centric strategy, where businesses prioritize loving and understanding their customers above all else.

Embracing Vulnerability: The book encourages organizations to embrace vulnerability by admitting their mistakes and actively seeking feedback from customers.

Cultivating Customer Loyalty: It emphasizes the role of building deep, emotional connections with customers to foster loyalty and advocacy.

Long-Term Perspective: The book advocates for a long-term perspective that prioritizes customer relationships and values over short-term profits.

Why Read It?

You will gain valuable insights into transforming your business with a customer-centric approach, aligning your strategies and operations to prioritize customer needs and preferences.

Discover the power of vulnerability and humility, learning how to embrace criticism and customer feedback as opportunities for growth and improvement and find guidance on building deep, emotional connections with customers, fostering long-term loyalty, and turning satisfied customers into enthusiastic advocates for your brand.

In Winning on Purpose, you will learn the principles of sustainable success, where genuine customer relationships take precedence over short-term profits, laying the foundation for enduring business prosperity and growth.

8. CX Book of Knowledge

Complete title: CX Book of Knowledge, from the CXPA

Author: Various

Key Ideas:

The CX Book of Knowledge serves as a comprehensive guide to customer experience professionals.

It covers fundamental CX principles, customer journey mapping, data-driven decision-making, CX design and innovation, employee engagement, omni-channel experiences, and continuous improvement.

CX Book of Knowledge emphasizes the importance of understanding and meeting customer needs, using data to inform CX strategies, empowering employees, and adapting to evolving customer preferences.

Why Read It?

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of CX fundamentals, including the principles, strategies, and methodologies essential for delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Learn practical techniques for creating and optimizing customer journey maps, enabling you to visualize and improve the end-to-end customer experience effectively.

Plus, discover data-driven insights and strategies for leveraging customer feedback and metrics to inform CX decision-making and drive measurable improvements.

By accessing valuable expertise from a collective of CX professionals, this book offers diverse perspectives and real-world examples to enhance your CX knowledge and effectiveness in your role.

9. The First 90 Days

Complete title: The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter

Author: Michael Watkins

Key Ideas

Transition Framework: The book presents a structured framework for approaching new roles, emphasizing the importance of initial planning, building relationships, and achieving early wins.

Different Transitions: It acknowledges that different career transitions, such as promotions, lateral moves, or new leadership roles, require tailored strategies and approaches.

Rapid Learning: Watkins underscores the significance of rapid learning, adaptation, and understanding organizational culture to accelerate one’s effectiveness during the critical initial 90 days in a new role.

Why Read It?

As a CX leader, your first few months are your most critical – just like onboarding for your customers! This book gives great tips on how to be successful, such as clarifying objects and knowing your stakeholders.

You will gain a structured framework for navigating career transitions effectively, whether it’s a promotion or a new leadership role, and discover techniques for rapid learning and understanding organizational culture, allowing you to hit the ground running in your new role.

In the book, you’ll find actionable advice for achieving early wins, building crucial relationships, and positioning yourself for long-term success during the critical initial 90 days in any new position.

Final Thoughts

In today’s competitive business landscape, fostering a positive company culture and ensuring a favorable perception among clients is paramount to achieving long-term success.

Just as we prioritize maintaining a positive reputation with friends, it is equally crucial to project a positive image to our valued clients.

Heart of the Customer is here to support your organization in this endeavor.

With our expertise in understanding client needs, enhancing customer experiences, and aligning company culture with customer expectations, we are confident in our ability to create positive customer experiences and empower your business for sustained growth.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and experience the transformative impact we can make on your customer relationships.

Together, let’s forge lasting connections and create a legacy of excellence in the hearts of your customers.

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