Best Customer Experience Books of 2018 and What to Look Out for in 2019

By Ricardo Saltz Gulko

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2018 was a great year for some really thoughtful, engaging  books about Customer Experience! As you can see from my list below, topics include some Design Thinking, Technology, Innovation and Organization Change as Marketing.

All of the books listed are a great read, all deeply related to customer experience, customer success, and subscription models and services.

Despite the size of the list, don’t be fooled–I really only included what I would consider my best readings. If you are someone who cares about Customer Experience, Customer Success and Top Quality of Services and Design, then add these to your queue.

And now, without further adieu, here are the best books that I read during 2018. Please note, the order indicates no preference or ranking.

·     This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See an amazing value and book as always by  Seth Godin.

This book is connecting the dots for us all also in customer experience. Here, Seth speaks about marketers, who don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems. Their tactics rely on empathy, connection, and emotional labor instead of attention-stealing ads and spammy email funnels.

·     Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company’s Future – and What to Do About It, by Tien Tzuo.

The subscription model in business is not anymore just for cloud solutions, associations and magazines. It’s a model any business can adopt to stay ahead and competitive. It’s good for both the organizations constant evolving and changing environment as for the customer.

·     Next Is Now: 5 Steps for Embracing Change―Building a Business that Thrives into the Future, by Lior Arussy. 

The old business model of adapting to change for continued success is  dead. Change is the new normal. There are no more periods of stability and predictability. There is only change.

·     The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide with Work That Wows and Jobs That Last by Tom Peters.

Peters, in this book offers brilliantly simple, actionable guidelines for success that any business leader can immediately implement. He provides a roadmap for your organization and for you as an individual to thrive amidst the tech tsunami, and he has a lot of fun doing it.

·     Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies by the always smart, generous and charming Denise Lee Yohn.

In companies like Southwest, Starbucks, and Google,  have done something differently that’s put their organizations at the top of “the most admired companies,” “best brands,” and “great workplaces” lists. They don’t often talk about that “something” specifically in terms of brand-culture fusion, but, Denise Lee Yohn reveals, aligning and integrating their brands and cultures is precisely how they’ve achieved their successes.

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

When you make it easier for customers to do business with you, they will reward you with their money, their loyalty, and their referrals. There’s a reason they call it a convenience store – because it’s convenient!

Best #CustomerExperience Books of 2018 and What to Look Out for in 2019 #CX #customersuccess #designthinking #design #csuite #marketing #brand #branding #custexp #CXM #leadership #strategy #experiencedesign @thefocusgroupuk #cxchat #services #design @cxpa

·     The Laws of Brand Storytelling: Win―and Keep―Your Customers’ Hearts and Minds by  Ekaterina Walter  and Jessica Gioglio.

The Laws of Brand Storytelling―the definitive quick-reading rulebook for how to use the power of storytelling to win over customers’ hearts, minds, and long-term loyalty

·       Customer What? : The honest and practical guide to customer experience by Ian Golding.

Part practice handbook, part novel, part therapy, Customer What? is divided into four sections – each contains an overview of what needs doing; a set of practical activities and approaches to help you do it; and a story or two to illuminate your path.

·     The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems  by Michael LewrickPatrick Link, and Larry Leifer.

This book presents a radical shift in perspective to transform your organization to become more innovative. The Design Thinking Playbook is an actionable guide to the future of business. By stepping back and questioning the current mindset, the faults of the status quo stand out in stark relief—and this guide gives you the tools and frameworks you need to kick off a digital transformation.

·     Bring Your Human to Work: 10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World by Erica Keswin.

The secret to business success? Get REAL and be HUMAN! As human beings, we are built to connect and form relationships. So, it should be no surprise that relationships must also translate into the workplace, where we spend most of our time! Companies that recognize this will retain the most productive, creative, and loyal employees, and invariably seize the competitive edge.

Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business, by Tiffani Bova.

Do you know the best way to drive your company’s growth? If not, it’s time to boost your Growth IQ. Trying to find the one right move that will improve your business’s performance can feel overwhelming. But, as you’ll discover in Growth IQ, there are just ten simple–but easily misunderstood–paths to growth, and every successful growth strategy can be boiled down to picking the right combination and sequence of these paths for your current context.

·     Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences by Karen Jaw-Madson.

Organizational culture isn’t just a hot topic–it’s an untapped asset and potential liability for all businesses. And yet, for all its potential to make or break, few know how to manage cultures with proficiency. Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences provides the much-needed “how-to” with Design of Work Experience (DOWE). Tapping into human-centered design, interdisciplinary innovation concepts, and other research, this leading edge approach partners employees and their employers in unprecedented ways to co-create solutions and differentiating experiences that are customized, relevant, and profoundly impactful to the organizations for which they are intended–all while building employee engagement, learning agility, and capability.

·     Digital Transformation: Build Your Organization’s Future for the Innovation Age by Lindsay Herbert.

One book for the entire journey: How to digitally transform your organization innovation in the face of major external change is critical for any organization’s success, but attempting to do so often leads to more questions than actions: Where do you start? How do you get the right resources? How should work be implemented? What data should you measure?

·     The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett.

*(Book released on 04 December 2018) *Jeffrey Hayzlett’s book is the unique one on my list. I haven’t read it yet, since it JUST came out; however, I read previous books of Hayzlett’s and his books were always  pragmatic and executable while always keeping top quality.  When I receive my copy, I will write in details about it. (It’s not profit over people that will make your business successful―it’s when you combine people and profits that you become A HERO LEADER. The Hero Factor discusses the importance of a strong company culture as the backbone of any successful business.

·     Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change  – by Beth Comstock.

Confronting change is incredibly hard, both organizationally and personally. People become resistant. They are afraid. Yet the pace of change in our world will never be slower than it is right now, says Beth Comstock, the former Vice Chair and head of marketing and innovation at GE.  Imagine It Forward is an inspiring, fresh, candid, and deeply personal book about how to grapple with the challenges to changwe face every day. It is a different kind of narrative, a big picture book that combines Comstock’s personal story in leading change with vital lessons on overcoming the inevitable roadblocks.

·     Data Driven: Harnessing Data and AI to Reinvent Customer Engagement by Tom Chavez, Chris O’Hara, Vivek Vaidya.

The indispensable guide to data-powered marketing from the team behind the data management platform that helps fuel Salesforce―the #1 customer relationship management ( #CRM) company in the world. A tectonic shift in the practice of marketing is underway. Digital technology, social media, and e-commerce have radically changed the way consumers access information, order products, and shop for services. Using the latest technologies―cloud, mobile, social, internet of things (#IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI)―we have more data about consumers and their needs, wants, and affinities than ever before.

·     Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn by Anne Janzer.

Subscription Marketing offers creative marketing strategies for sustaining the customer relationships that build long-term success. This book is a practical guide for marketers, start-up executives, customer success management professionals, and executives of establishing businesses adopting or transitioning to a s

·     The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results– by Tracy Maylett and Matthew Wride.

Ever notice how companies with the best service also have the happiest employees? That’s no accident. Do you want to build a strong, successful organization? Start by ignoring your customers. Really. Instead, focus first on creating a better employee experience, or EX. Your employees interact with customers, make them smile, and carry your brand message from the warehouse to the front lines. If your employees are having a great experience, so will your customers.

·     ICONIC: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain, and Regain the Highest Level of Distinction by  Scott McKain.

Scott explains how to move beyond being distinctive and to take your brand and business to the next level, to become iconic by knowing your customer and audience and providing the Ultimate Customer Experience every time. What if merely “standing out” from your competition isn’t enough to take your brand and business to the highest level? How do you become an iconic organization or leader?

International books:

·       By Paolo Fabrizio,   “Vendere con il servizio clienti‘ is the Manual for managers that want to increase sales and retention through customer service.

The book includes assessment tests in each chapter that help the reader put what they learned into practice.  (Book in Italian)

Books to Watch out for in 2019

·     Transform Customer Experience: How to Achieve Customer Success and Create Exceptional CX  – March 2019 by Isabella Villani.

Unlocking Creativity: How to Solve Any Problem and Make the Best Decisions  January 2019 by Michael A. Roberto. 

Shameless plug! Please be on the lookout for my book slated for 2019. The book will be about CX and RealInnovation. Subscribeorconnect with us to stay informed!

Best CustomerExperience Books of 2018, which are worth to read! #CX #customersuccess #designthinking #design #csuite #marketing #brand #branding #custexp #CXM #leadership #strategy #experiencedesign @thefocusgroupuk #cxchat #services #design @cxpa


Here you can also find our last year best customer experience books list  and our articles. All here. Also feel free to subscribe to stay informed about our articles, and Ricardo Saltz Gulko  book, which is finally coming in 2019. Please let us know if you liked the  new list. 

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Author: Ricardo Saltz Gulko - MBA, PMP, ITIL, CCXP Customer Experience & Success, Professional Services, Chief of Innovation & Transformation, Global Speaker & Strategist