5 Must-Read Customer Experience Books Recommended By Leaders Like Jeff Bezos And Richard Branson – Forbes

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I’m an avid reader, picking up a book almost weekly. I may read 40 books a year, if not more. I love discovering new information or reading an author’s unique perspective. I not only want to learn something new, I also want the author’s words to make me think differently.

One of my most enjoyable columns to write is when I share my favorite books I’ve read throughout the year – and I’ll do that in December, just in time for the holidays. That said, today I want to share another list of books. The list focuses on customer service and CX, but these aren’t my recommendations. These recommendations are from prominent business leaders, some of whom you will recognize.

By the way, the idea from this article came after I received an email from Lior Grossman, the founder of BookAuthority. I’d never heard of BookAuthority, but upon learning about it, I thought that readers of Forbes are likely to read other business books as well – and would also like to know what some of the most successful business leaders are reading.

The site was started by gathering book recommendations from 150 of the most successful people in the world, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Jim Collins and other business luminaries. Grossman explained that about half of the recommendations from top business minds such as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and other high-profile leaders were obtained through extensive online research of social media channels like Twitter, blogs, podcasts and other public resources. The rest came from leaders that BookAuthority approached directly.

With that in mind, I looked through the list of business leaders (quite impressive) and the books that they recommended. So, if customer experience is important to you, and I know it is, then you may find the following recommendations worthy of your time:

  1. Recommendation by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon: The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen – This is modern classic, and according to the editors at Amazon, one of the most influential business books ever written. While the focus is on innovation, and the author suggests abandoning traditional business practices, one traditional practice that stays in play is customer service. Yet, customer service and experience alone won’t keep you bulletproof from disrupters inside and outside of your industry. (source)
  2. Recommendation by Ev Williams, Co-Founder of Twitter and Medium:  Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh – This happens to be one of my favorite books as well. I love what Tony Hsieh did at Zappos. He created a culture that resonated with both the customers and employees. He made his company culture a priority, and his brilliance led to extraordinary results for his company. (source)
  3. Recommendation by Richard Branson, Founder and CEO of Virgin Group: In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules by Stacy Perman – In-N-Out Burger is an awesome company. It is a rock star in the quick-serve/fast-food industry. I read this book several years ago to learn how the company competes and wins in one of the most competitive industries in the world. The author shares the secrets to its success, which focuses on the culture and simple business model. (source)
  4. Recommended by Danielle Morrill, Co-Founder and CEO of Mattermark: The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson  The interesting thesis behind this book is that salespeople should not only build relationships with customers, but also challenge the customers’ beliefs with new insights and knowledge. (source)
  5. Recommended by Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo and leading marketing blogger: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin – I’m a huge Seth Godin fan. Anything Seth puts out I read. While this may seem like a marketing book (because it is), customer service and experience is marketing. The concept of permission marketing is to create enough trust with your customers for them to want you to market to them. That comes from the customer’s experience before, during and after the sale. (source)

According to BookAuthority, “Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year, Mark Cuban reads three hours every day, Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read 24 books in a year and Warren Buffet spends 80 percent of his day reading!” For these ultra-successful billionaires, reading is a habit. Will reading books make you a billionaire? Probably not, but it will make you richer in another way. You’ll expand your mind and discover new ideas and insights. And the knowledge you gain, put into practice, can contribute to your future success.

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