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Recommended Business Books

customer experience, customer service, leadership, strategy

Business books that should be on everyone's shelf

One of the hallmarks of successful business people is that they read – a lot.  And they don’t restrict themselves to just a single topic or genre.

Here are some that we think should be on every business bookshelf. Some old, some new, but all worth your time.  Shaun Belding’s books are in here too, but not just because he’s the CEO of The Belding Group of Companies and gets special treatment — they’re really great reads!  Happy reading – and if there are others  that you think should be on this list, please let us know!

(Just so you are aware, we do get a small commission on any books ordered here!)

The Journey to WOW: the path to outstanding customer experience and loyalty | Shaun Belding

A powerful look at creating customer loyalty and an organizational culture obsessed with customer experience.

Is it a good read? Amazon and GoodReads reviews for The Journey to WOW answer that question in a big way.  Readers love the often humorous parable format, the surprising “ah-ha” moments, the lens for seeing hidden flaws in a company, and the clear path to fixing them.  

Punk CX | Adrian Swinscoe

If you are involved in customer experience (cx), this is a book you absolutely have to read. Using the wonderful analogy of the rise of punk rock in the ’70s, Adrian takes an intelligent, witty and no-holds-barred look at the growing institutionalization of  CX.

Punk CX forces readers to think – then re-think – then ponder – then question everything  they believe about CX.

Would You Do That To Your Mother?: The “Make Mom Proud” Standard For How To Treat Your Customers | Jeanne Bliss

The title says it all. Jeanne Bliss, a pioneer in customer experience with her Chief Customer Officer books, hits right to the heart of customer service. What could be a better guiding principle than “Make Mom Proud?”

Jeanne identifies a five-step plan for identifying current behaviours, and action plans for aligning to a Make Mom Proud philosophy. There is a huge amount of practical advice in this book for people at every level.

Getting Service Right: Overcoming the Hidden Obstacles to Outstanding Customer Service | Jeff Toister

This book tackles, quite literally, everything that is important when it comes to customer service. In addition to the core elements of customer service, Jeff shines a light on some of the common mistakes people make when trying tto deliver outstanding customer service.

This is an enjoyable and enlightening read filled with fantastic insights.

Win at Work: navigate the nasties, get things done and get ahead | Shaun Belding

A workplace can be tough to navigate sometimes – bad bosses, cranky customers, crazy coworkers, horrible employees and a myriad of other challenges.  This book is a guide for dealing with them, and introduces inspiration and insight into what it takes to be successful — at work, with people and in life.

How to Win Friends & Influence People | Dale Carnegie

This is the classic among classics, and everyone on the planet needs to read it. There is a reason that it has been ranked as the seventh most influential book in American history by the Library of Congress.

Although the examples have been updated over the years, the concepts and principles of connecting with other people are as sound and solid as they were the day they were written.

The Convenience Revolution: How to Deliver a Customer Service Experience that Disrupts the Competition and Creates Fierce Loyalty | Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken hits another home run with The Convenience Revolution. The bottom line is How easy are you to do business with?

Less friction and more convenience equals greater success, and Shep demonstrates this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Shep  connects the dots, and shares six powerful strategies on how to succeed.

Hooked On Customers: The Five Habits of Legendary Customer-Centric Companies | Robert G. Thompson

Bob Thompson’s Hooked on Customers drives home the critical importance of leadership, persistence and commitment in creating a customer-centric organization.

The book features real-life examples with real-life results, and manages to find that perfect sweet-spot between books that are theory-focused and books that are ‘how-to’ -focused.

A great read, with a lot of great insights.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable | Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni’s leadership fables are legendary, and The Five Dysfunctions of a team is his masterpiece.

The Five Dysfunctions illustrates why teams lose cohesiveness, and what it takes to pull them back together. It is a must read for everyone in a management position.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing | Daniel Pink

Dan Pink is a master of aggregating research  to identify the things that make us tick. When is his followup to his hit – Drive, and the book doesn’t disappoint.

When identifies the importance of timing in our success, and lays down the facts to take away the guesswork.

You’ve Got 8 Seconds | Paul Hellman

You want to get people’s attention. You want to stand out in people’s minds. The problem is that, in today’s short-attention-span world, you only have 8 seconds to do it.

Paul Hellman tells us what works and what doesn’t in a simple, easy-to-follow format based on three strategies of FOCUS. VARIETY & PRESENCE. This is a awesome read for just about anybody in any job.

Give and Take | Adam Grant

Skill, attitude, hard work, focus, planning, strategy – these are all important. But Adam Grant’s Give and Take shows how real success comes from the strength of personal relationships.

Want to get to the top? You don’t do it by climbing over other people – you do it by helping them get there with you.

Eliyahu Goldratt The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement | Eliyahu Goldratt

One of the most famous business books of them all. Written in the business parable format of The Journey to WOW and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (above), Eliyahu Goldratt introduces the Theory of Constraints in process improvement. 

This book is 30 years old, but still holds up as one of the best business books you’ll find.