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Customer experience books can provide insights on how to build a successful, consumer centric business. As the marketplace becomes increasingly digital, there is a push by bricks and mortar stores to navigate both in-store and online customer journeys simultaneously.

Here are some great customer experience books that help you develop a competition-beating CX strategy.

12 Best Customer Experience Books Shortlist

Here are my top recommendations for the best customer experience books.

  1. The Cult Of The Customer by Shep Hyken
  2. The Customer Of The Future by Blake Morgan
  3. More Is More by Blake Morgan
  4. Customer Understanding by Annette Franz
  5. The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick Delisi
  6. The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore
  7. Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
  8. Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach
  9. The Nordstrom Way by Robert Spector and BreAnne O. Reeves
  10. The Power Of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  11. The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences by Matt Watkinson
  12. Winning At Social Customer Care by Dan Gingiss

1. The Cult of the Customer by Shep Hyken

Photo Of The Cult Of The Customer Book Cover
Learn how to transform customers into brand evangelists.

Summary:
Shep Hyken’s book outlines examples of real-world companies that have implemented a customer experience that creates, you guessed it, cults around their brand. Not in a scary way, he’s quick to point out, but in one that harks back to the word’s Latin roots meaning “care and tending”. Hyken gives examples of what he calls “Amazement”— a positive commerce interaction that leaves people star-struck.

What You'll Learn:
The five phases of the customer journey, strategies for exceeding customer expectations, and how to transform satisfied customers into loyal advocates.

Why You Should Read It:
Its goal is to create interactions that are so positive that they generate word-of-mouth advertising from the recipient.

Quote From The Book:
"Satisfying your customers is not enough. Satisfied customers are not loyal customers. Satisfactory is a rating. Loyalty is an emotion. Connect with your customers on an emotional level to move them beyond being 'just satisfied.'"

About The Author:
Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author.

2. The Customer of the Future by Blake Morgan

Photo Of The Customer of the Future Book Cover
10 strategies for a customer-experience-focused company strategy.

Summary:
Blake Morgan discusses the changing landscape of customer expectations and how companies need to adapt to stay relevant. “Customer of the Future” outlines ten ways you can prepare for future buyer mentalities before they arise.

What You'll Learn:
Read and analyze case studies of customer service innovators like Netflix, Apple, Sephora, and Spotify, and learn how to apply these lessons to your own customer experience strategy.

Why You Should Read It:
Morgan offers a forward-thinking approach to understanding and meeting the demands of tomorrow's customers.

About The Author:
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author. She specializes in helping businesses enhance their customer experience through innovative strategies.

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3. More Is More by Blake Morgan

Photo Of More Is More Book, a customer experience book
Practical advice for applying more energy, focus, and resources to CX.

Summary:
In this book, Morgan dives deeper into how businesses can create exceptional customer experiences. This book outlines how to go the extra mile. It shows how important it is to examine the invisible toxins that are hurting your customer experience, and gives advice on how to improve it.

What You'll Learn:
The D.O.M.O.R.E. framework for customer experience excellence, including designing special offerings, modernizing with technology, and obsessing over customer feedback.

Why You Should Read It:
It provides actionable strategies for businesses looking to elevate their customer experience to the highest level.

About The Author:
As noted above, Blake Morgan is a renowned customer experience expert, and "More Is More" further cements her reputation in the field. Connect with her on her social media:

4. Customer Understanding by Annette Franz

Customer Understanding, a customer experience book
Leverage surveys and data, personas, and journey mapping to build a customer-centric business.

Summary:
This book is a guide on how to put the customer at the center of everything. Customers should be central in meeting conversations, decision-making processes, design and every other facet of the business.

What You'll Learn:
Franz breaks down the process of customer journey mapping and provides insights for exciting and dynamic ways to identify and offer solutions to the challenges they face.

Why You Should Read It:
It offers practical advice and methodologies for any business looking to deepen their understanding of their customers and improve their customer experience.

Quote From The Book:
"It’s all about the customer. If you don’t have any customers, then you have no business. But you won’t have customers if you don’t have employees to build things and service things. So, really, it’s all about the people."

About The Author:
Annette Franz is a recognized customer experience consultant and speaker, with a focus on helping businesses understand and act on customer feedback.

5. The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi

The Effortless Experience, a customer experience book
Create an effortless experience for customers that makes it easy for them to keep coming back.

Summary:
This book is aimed at customer service leaders. It serves to remind them that the core of customer satisfaction is delivering on basic promises and solving the day-to-day problems of customers.

What You'll Learn:
Strategies for minimizing customer effort, insights into customer service interactions, and practical steps for creating a low-effort customer experience.

Why You Should Read It:
Most customers don’t need to be wowed; they just want products and services to work as promised. Make the customer experience an effortless experience to decrease churn, improve customer service, and reduce excess costs.

Quote From The Book:
"The role of customer service is to mitigate disloyalty by reducing customer effort."

About The Authors:
Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Delisi are experts in customer service and experience, associated with the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), now Gartner. Connect with them on their public accounts:

6. The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore

The Experience Economy Book
Learn to manage in a way that prioritizes a strong customer-centric strategy.

Summary:
This seminal work argues that businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that the memory itself becomes the product—the "experience." Pine and Gilmore explain how to design and deliver these experiences in a way that creates added value for the customer and differentiates the business.

What You'll Learn:
The shift from a service-based economy to an experience-based economy, the principles of designing memorable customer experiences, and examples of companies that excel in the Experience Economy.

Why You Should Read It:
It’s a foundational text for understanding the modern economy’s emphasis on experience over goods and services, offering insights into creating value through experiences.

About The Authors:
Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore are co-founders of Strategic Horizons LLP, a consultancy specializing in experience design. They are thought leaders in the field of customer experience. Connect with them on:

7. Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer

Hug Haters, a customer experience book
Pointed (and often funny) case studies explore why praise is overrated compared to the opportunity a complaint provides.

Summary:
Baer details what he calls “The Science of Complains”, outlining that negativity is everywhere, backlash is inevitable, and none of it really matters so long as you understand the rules of the game.

What You'll Learn:
Ways to turn negative feedback into positive outcomes, strategies for engaging with customers across different platforms, and insights into the value of customer complaints.

Why You Should Read It:
Hug Your Haters teaches customer response teams how to deal with negative feedback and transform complaints into a positive influence.

Quote From The Book:
"Customer service is the new marketing. It’s not about ad impressions, it’s about impressions of empathy."

About The Author:
Jay Baer is a New York Times best-selling author and marketing and customer experience expert, keynote speaker, and author.

8. Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach

Mapping Experiences, a customer experience book
Understand how and where business goals and customer perceptions cross paths.

Summary:
Kalbach teaches managers and teams how to turn any feedback they are given into actionable insight for experience improvement.  He uses a tool called the “alignment diagram” to help teams make this happen. This tool assists in creating visual maps of existing customer experience to better pinpoint disconnects between what customers expect and what they are actually receiving. 

What You'll Learn:
The process of creating experience maps, the importance of these maps in understanding the customer journey, and how they can be used to improve customer interaction and satisfaction.

Why You Should Read It:
It's an invaluable resource for designers, strategists, and anyone interested in improving customer experiences through a structured, visual approach.

About The Author:
Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in customer experience, information architecture, and UX design.

9. The Nordstrom Way by Robert Spector and BreAnne O. Reeves

The Nordstrom Way, a customer experience book
See how employee experience directly correlates to customer experience and learn how to harness this knowledge for good.

Summary:
This book is a case study on how an employee-centric experience translated to a customer-centric experience, championing a service-oriented culture from top to bottom. Interviews from senior Nordstrom executives punctuate this in-depth examination with relevant and engaging anecdotes of success. 

What You'll Learn:
Nordstrom's strategies for delivering top-notch customer service, building employee engagement, and fostering a culture that puts the customer first.

Why You Should Read It:
It's a case study of excellence in customer service, offering lessons that can be applied in various industries.

About The Author:
Robert Spector is a bestselling author and speaker on customer service. BreAnne O. Reeves works with companies to implement effective customer service strategies. Connect with them on their profiles:

10. The Power Of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Power of Moments, a customer experience book
Learn how to make moments that matter by tuning into the inner experience of what makes something memorable.

Summary:
"The Power of Moments" explores why certain brief experiences have a profound impact on us and how we can create such extraordinary moments in our lives and work. It emphasizes four key elements that make moments memorable: elevation, insight, pride, and connection, offering insights into how we remember experiences and how to create meaningful ones.

What You'll Learn:
You'll learn the importance of elevation, insight, pride, and connection in creating memorable moments. The book provides insights into why we cherish certain memories, the impact of uncertainty on our aliveness, and how brief encounters can lead to lasting connections.

Why You Should Read It:
This book is a guide to consciously creating moments that matter in various aspects of life, from education and management to personal relationships. It challenges the idea of leaving significant experiences to chance and instead teaches us to be authors of rich experiences.

Quote From The Book:
"While human lives are endlessly variable, our most memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride, and connection."

About The Author:
Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Dan Heath is a senior fellow at Duke University's CASE center. Together, they have authored several New York Times bestselling books. For more details, find them on:

11. The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences by Matt Watkinson

The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences Book
Great experiences are the goal, and these ten principles will get your company there.

Summary:
This book outlines 10 principles that make for a great customer experience—from the goal of satisfying higher objectives to the importance of putting customers in control. Watkinson blends human psychology with business strategy for a holistic CX approach packed with example-led and actionable insights.

What You'll Learn:
You'll gain insights into ten foundational principles that guide the creation of memorable and impactful customer experiences, which can be applied regardless of the nature of your business.

Why You Should Read It:
For those looking to elevate their business's customer service levels and ensure customer satisfaction, this book offers accessible, effective strategies. It's particularly valuable for leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs focused on building strong customer relationships.

Quote From The Book:
"Businesses and governments are obsessed with setting metrics... First of all because such metrics can almost always be gamed. But also because they often translate badly into subjective experience."

About The Author:
Matt Watkinson is a celebrated author, speaker, and consultant known for his expertise in customer experience and business strategy. His work has been recognized internationally, and he serves as the CEO of Methodical, a consultancy firm. Learn about Matt Watkinson and his work at his personal website​​.

12. Winning At Social Customer Care by Dan Gingiss

Winning at Social Customer Care Book Cover
Explore Gingiss’ 8 steps to winning at customer care with a focus on CX through social media.

Summary:
Gingiss focuses on the role that social media plays in modern customer service. Additionally, he walks businesses through selecting the best digital platforms for reaching their customers when new apps seem to pop up so regularly.

What You'll Learn:
Insights into navigating social media’s role in customer experience, developing a social customer care philosophy, finding the right technology, and integrating social customer care with your business to effectively engage customers.

Why You Should Read It:
This book does a deep dive on crisis management and proactive customer service when negative feedback is always just a Tweet or hashtag away. Readers will also be treated to real-life examples of brands that excel online, including tips on how to mimic their strategy.

Quote From The Book:
“This is the kind of book that you don’t read once; you read it forever.” - Jay Baer

About The Author:
Dan Gingiss, CEO of The Experience Maker, LLC, is a customer experience speaker and consultant, having worked with leading brands to optimize their customer service and social media engagement.

For further details, you can check out Dan Gingiss’s book on his website​.

Conclusion

Customer experience books aren’t able to solve every company issue but they do provide food for thought and some amazing suggestions for getting on the right track. A good CX Lead should endeavour to expose themselves to the ideas, suggestions, and stories of other customer service experts. 

Not every idea will work in a particular circumstance but, the more you read, the more you can strategize on how to win more customers for your business. For a more modern approach, check this out: Types Of Customer Experience Management Software

Learning from others is a great way to change things up according to your own experiences. If you want more suggestions and support without buying every new business book on Amazon, take a look at sites such as The CX Lead, which has a great blog and lots of opportunities to learn from others. 

You can also sign up for The CX Lead newsletter to get updates, articles, and other support in the world of CX.