I am frequently asked for recommendations on how to follow up on a training presentation or a speaking engagement. This book club reading list is a great place to start.
Start a Customer Service Book Club
Whether you’re an MSP owner, own a different type of technology business, a CIO, an HR manager, or another type of manager or supervisor, one of the best things you can do is start a customer service book club to read and discuss books oriented around people skills.
Especially discuss how the books you’re reading related to the customer service experience for your end-users. Additionally, discuss what your customers expect, how customer happiness is directly related to how well you solve their problems, and how customer satisfaction is directly related to good customer service experiences.
Many of the books on the list below are about caring for others and yourself. People who take good care of themselves are better able to care for others. They’re also better able to work well with others, even when relationships are difficult. When customers feel well cared for by providers who are knowledgeable in their products and services, they’re more likely to promote your company or department via word of mouth.
Effective customer service comes from the combination of high-quality technical knowledge with mastery of people skills. The books in this list provide plenty of opportunities to go deep in discussing how people think and feel. So, even though some of the titles below aren’t directly related to great customer service, they are directly related to how you can build great relationships with customers and coworkers.
Tools for Book Clubs
At the end of the chapters in The Compassionate Geek, you’ll find discussion points and to-do lists. Additionally, this link will take you to a page with more discussion topics and recommended videos from my YouTube channel. Additionally, browse through the videos to find topics relevant to issues you may be dealing with in your business or your department.
Book Club Books
It makes sense to start with my book The Compassionate Geek since your staff has just spent time with me learning the five principles and other concepts from the book.
You’ll find additional ideas for conducting a book club on this page of my website.
The books on this list are books I either used in preparing my speeches and seminars or which have influenced my thinking. Some of these books are directly related to customer service, while others are oriented around personal growth and development. As you read these books, you’ll notice where many of the ideas I talk and write about come from.
- The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master Human Relations Skills to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service by Don R. Crawley
- The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success by Don R. Crawley
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
- Don’t Believe Everything You Think by Thomas N. Kida (This is one of my favorite books because it challenges old thought patterns using logic, reason, and data.)
- Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a Champion by Peter N. Carroll, Yogi Roth, Kristoffer A. Garin
- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman (This is the book that started the Emotional Intelligence movement.)
- Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman
- Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers in the Workplace, 2nd Edition, by Ron Zemke, Claire Raines, and Bob Filipczak
- Power Phrases, by Meryl Runion (This book is the source of one of my favorites quotations, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean when you say it.”)
- One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Mauer, PhD. (This short book is life-changing and career-changing in its simple lessons of continual reflection and self-improvement.)
- 8 Minute Meditation Expanded: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life by Viktor Davich
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (Have a tissue ready.)
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (This is Dale Carnegie’s timeless 1936 masterpiece on personal growth and development by gaining a plain language understanding of human nature.)
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor N. Frankl (This is Dr. Frankl’s profound book inspired by his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War Two. It’s life-changing in its lessons.)
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (Dr. Stephen Covey’s landmark 1989 book describing seven behaviors that differentiate top performers from the rest of us.)
- First Things First by Stephen Covey
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (This is Napoleon Hills’ 1937 classic, the result of more than 20 years studying some of the most financially successful people of his era.)
Additionally, look for works by Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Sheryl Sandberg, Langston Hughes, and Simon Sinek.
Check out Bill Gates reading recommendations at gatesnotes.com/Books, the Oprah Book Club, and the New York Times Best Sellers at nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/. If you have other book clubs or reading lists you like, please leave a comment below with a link.
Want to go even deeper? Do a search on “reading lists” or “book club reading list”.
Obviously, there are many additional books which are well worth reading related to customer service, interpersonal communication, personal growth, and professional development. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, it’s merely a starting point.
Let’s Connect Socially
Got an idea for a book to add the list? Did I forget to include one? Do you disagree with any of the recommendations? Got a question or a comment about something you read?
Leave me a comment on social media. Just search on @doncrawley and you’ll find me.
The key is to read.
Whether you’re in a book club or not, read much and read often. Especially read authors who are different from you and with whom you disagree.
Full disclosure: I get a small commission when you purchase books using the above links.
Want more? Check out our on-demand customer service training for IT professionals, based on my books The Compassionate Geek and The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success.
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