Is your bookshelf begging for some enlightening CX literature? Ready for some compelling reads that will amp up your customer experience game? Listen in as we journey through the world of CX books that will satiate your curiosity and boost your knowledge of customer experience strategy, design, and measurement. From the classics like "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping" by Paco Underhill and "Chief Customer Officer 2.0" by Jeanne Bliss to newer gems like "A Diamond in the Rough" by Steven Van Belleghem, we've got a treasure trove of insights to excavate.
But we aren't just listing books here. Jeannie Walters shares the invaluable nuggets of wisdom that she's gleaned from each book and how they can be applied to your organization. Whether you're a seasoned CX professional or just starting out on your CX journey, you're sure to find a book recommendation that will resonate with you. So tune in, and let's turn knowledge into power, inspiration, and intentional action that can catapult your customer experience strategy to unparalleled heights. Bottom line - It's time to elevate your CX game!
"Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping" by Paco Underhill
"Chief Customer Officer 2.0" by Jeanne Bliss
"Outside In" by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine [Correction]
"Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh
"A Diamond in the Rough" by Steven Van Belleghem
"Empathy in Action" by Tony Bates and Dr Natalie Petouhoff
"The Digital-First Customer Experience" by Joe Wheeler
"Employalty" by Joe Mull
Experience Investigators Learning Center -- experienceinvestigators.com
Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker and founder of Experience Investigators, a strategic consulting firm helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experiences. Ready, Set, Action. One, two, three, four.Jeannie Walters:
I'm Jeannie Walters. You're out there listening and if you are a CX leader, that means that you are probably, like me, incredibly curious and a lifelong learner. We've got a great question that will support your goals. Hi, Jeannie. I'm interested in learning more about books on customer experience. Could you please recommend a few? I'm particularly interested in books that focus on customer experience strategy, design and measurement. Thank you! That's right. Today's episode is particularly exciting for our bookworm listeners. Oh reading's the best. I love books. Books are the best! And, let's face it in the CX world, who isn't hungry for a little more knowledge? So we're diving into the page-turning world of customer experience literature. I mean, who needs fiction when you can read about real-life heroes transforming customer experiences? Am I right?MC:
100% correct.Jeannie Walters:
So I really kind of had to put some thought to this question, because there are so many remarkable books out there and I'm lucky enough to know so many of the authors, that I struggled with how do I include some and not others. So please know that the list I'm about to give you is based on the basics, where I think you might be. But there are so many extraordinary books out there and I know I'm leaving some off of this list. Keep reading, keep searching, because it's just a wonderful world out there of really thoughtful books about customer experience, employee experience, customer service design, all of these amazing things. But I thought, today, I would cover a couple of the classics. Now, not everybody will agree with me on these, that these are the classics to turn to, but I'll explain a little bit about my thinking and then I'm also going to share a few of the more recent ones that I have really been enjoying and I have gotten a lot out of. Again, I know I'm leaving a lot off this list and, dare I say, there will be another CX book that I hope you'll read coming next year. That's all I can say at this point, but as we move forward, feel free to grab a pen and notepad, or just come back to this episode when you're ready to really move through your reading list. After all, in the world of customer experience, knowledge isn't just power. It's inspiration for you, it's ideas, it's intention, so that you can actually turn your mission into strong results for your organization. So let's go ahead and dive in. So, while there are so many great books out there on CX, I'm going to talk about these in two categories the classics and the newer ones that I've been enjoying. The classics I'm going to start with one that is so overused on my book shelf I can't even explain it. I'm not even sure what year this came out. One of the things that really led me into this field and led me to understand what we're really talking about is the book "T he Science of Shopping". The paperback that I have in my hands the copyright is nineteen ninty-nine. It's by Paco Underhill. This is a fascinating book that reveals the science of shopping and how customers behave in different environments. It's full of practical tips and examples on how to design better stores, websites and products that appeal to customer's subconscious needs and desires. Now, this was very early in the internet phase, so if you're looking for a digital book, this is not your book, but I will say there are points about how people behave, especially in retail environments, that I still See and use in the work that we do. One that I love is the butt brush effect, and this is where, if people feel like they might actually brush against another shopper, they will not go down that aisle. That's why things like wide isles are so important and uncluttered areas. So it's things like that, he and his team, it's very much based on anthropology. It's just a fascinating read. If you've never read it, I totally encourage you to do that. The other thing I'm gonna say before moving forward is think about your goals, think about what you want to learn, because there is so much out there that if you feel good about you know understanding what customer experience is, then there are plenty of books that you don't have to read because you got it. If you want to get more into the execution of strategy and things like that, that's kind of where I'm going with these recommendations. But if you have specific needs or specific goals, go ahead and, you know, leave me another voicemail. Or maybe a listener who's hearing this episode, ask a question specifically about different topics. Most likely, I have read some books on it. So here we go. Another absolute classic is "Chief Customer Officer" 2.0 by Jeanne Bliss. So of course, Jeanne Bliss wrote the original Chief Customer Officer, but then this is the updated version from several years ago now. That is really still a must read for anyone who wants to lead a customer centric organization. So there's a framework and a roadmap for really creating a customer- focused culture, aligning your teams and driving customer loyalty and growth. Jeanne was one of the original chief customer officers at Land's End. She continues to be a thought leader and mentor and friend. So I'm happy to say that. But this is just a classic book for anyone who wants to really look at leadership. Another one is "O Out" by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine. This is really a comprehensive guide for kind of looking at things from that customer's perspective, really understanding things like customer journey mapping and kind of the forester approach and improving your customer experiences across all touch points. So that's always a great one to look at as well. I know both of those books "Chief Customer Officer 2. 0" and "Inside Out are often recommended as good starting points if you are studying for your CCXP, your Certified Customer Experience Professional certification. Now the other one I'm going to throw in here as a classic. It's still classic, but I will be honest, it breaks my heart a little bit to recommend this one, and this is "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh. And that's because, of course, the late Tony Hsieh, who ended up with a kind of sad chapter at the end of his life, but you know, he really did have some innovative and inspiring ideas around how to build Zappos and at the time of when he wrote this book, Zappos was really becoming one of the most successful online retailers ever by focusing on how do we provide the best possible service we can for customers and how do we make sure that we're focused on employee happiness. So this really focuses on creating a unique brand identity, empowering employees and really just how do you over- deliver for your customers with every interaction. Again, it breaks my heart a little bit because some of that has not held up, but I believe that it's still a good place to start. So those are some classics. I would recommend that should be, in my opinion, in every CX library. Some of the newer books that I've been really enjoying are really timely for where we are in the evolution of customer experience. They also are just a nice kind of refresh on what's working now with some of those classic concepts and frameworks that were covered in the classic books I mentioned. One of the ones that I've been enjoying a lot lately is "A Diamond in the Rough" by Steven Van Belleghem. Ah, diamond in the rough. Now, this is really a book that looks to the future, that explores how technology and humanization and sustainability can create a new kind of customer relationships. So we really need to look at how to build a culture. We need to, in Steven's words, radiate optimism, positivity and energy. You all know by now that I am an optimist, and so I think that's part of why this appealed to me so much, because this is really about how to build a customer-focused company culture and it's a culture where management and staff, everybody understands how to really make that customer feel valued. So I think that it's really a powerful book and it's also kind of a fun book. There are highlights and fun graphics throughout it. So if you get a chance, pick up that book. One of the other newer ones that I've enjoyed is "Empathy in Action" by Tony Bates and Dr Natalie Petouhoff. Natalie, I hope I said that right. This is a practical book that really shows how empathy can transform your CX strategy and results. So it talks about a methodology for developing empathy skills, applying them to different customer segments and scenarios and measuring their impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. So I really think that if there's one thing that should drive what we do as CX leaders, it should be empathy. Right? So this you know, when we talk about empathy, that's tied in with trust and loyalty and everything else. So this is really about scaling the idea of empathy with customer experience. It's a powerful book. I recommend that one, too. Another one I would recommend is "The Digital- First Customer Experience" by Joe Wheeler. If you don't know Joe, he is always working on research and finding things and he's well connected and he's just got one of those brains that never stops. So what he's done is take really the world's leading brands, who are digital-f irst, and broken that down into seven design strategies. So this one is really, you know, obviously focused on digital. But we live in a digital-f irst world. So we have to really understand how do we engage with customers, how do we make sure that we're not, you know, having a misstep in this world that is digital-f irst. So in this book he kind of goes over challenges that organizations face, as well as a lot of great case studies that you can definitely learn from. He mentions some brands I'm sure you've heard of Spotify, Starbucks, et cetera, but then there are some obscure brands, too, that you might get a lot of inspiration from. So those are the books that I would recommend today. However, I want to give one other little shout- out, because when we talk about customer experience, when we talk about building customer cultures, customer- centric or customer- first cultures, we cannot forget the importance of employee experience as well. And so there's a book that I've been reading currently, right now, "Employalty" by Joe Mull, and it's really, you know, focused on employee retention, how do we keep employees. But, when you dig into it, you see that it's really about revealing secrets for creating loyal employees who do great work and stay at your company, and, as a CX leader, we know that engaged employees deliver better customer experiences. Joe's book is based on research and experience with working with some top companies, and he talks about becoming a destination workplace instead of a departure organization for your employees. So if you are exploring employee experience, I would encourage Joe's book as well. So, whoo, I love this question and I just gave you maybe a year's worth of reading. So one thing I encourage you to do again is to think about your goals. What are you trying to learn? What do you need to know? And that could guide you a little bit. The other thing I've done sometimes when I've been struggling to keep up with all the content that's out there is I actually assign myself some reading time, and sometimes what that means is I read a chapter in the beginning and then I go. Well, I know most of this in the beginning, so I'm going to skip ahead. That's okay, because with business books, the whole idea is to give you information that you can put into action. So seek out the right information so that you can put into effect the right actions. So I love books that are out there. Again, I'm sure I skipped so many good ones. So, if you have specific questions, please feel free to reach out or leave me another voicemail. Hey, that's why we're here. So, thanks again for joining me. Happy reading everybody, and if you have ideas for books that maybe we overlooked, feel free to leave me a voicemail there too, and let me know what you would recommend for somebody who is building their customer experience library. Knowledge is power, and that's why we're here to empower leaders like you To Create Fewer Ruined Days For Customers™. I can't wait to hear your next question. Don't forget anybody can leave me a voicemail. We have a new, easy- to- remember URL, which is askjeannie. vip. So, don't forget that you can leave me a voicemail at any time and I will answer it on this Experience Action podcast. I can't wait to hear what we discuss next week. Thanks for all the work you do. See you soon! To learn more about our strategic approach to experience, check out free resources at experienceinvestigators. com, where you can sign up for our newsletter, our Year of CX program and more. And, please follow me, Jeannie Walters, on LinkedIn.