The Ultimate Guide to Customer Success Books


We often get asked for recommendations on Customer Success books to read and so we decided there would be value in assembling all the books we’ve enjoyed, or been recommended by members of this community, into a single place.

This post will be updated on a regular basis with any new books that we hear good things about, so if you’ve read a great one recently, please do let us know in the comments below.

And please also let us know how we can make this post even more valuable? What other information could we include about each book below that would help you find your next great read? We’d love to hear your ideas!

[The books below are listed in alphabetical order. Links contain an Amazon affiliate code and all monies earned will support the running costs of this free community]

A Gift: Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong

by Janelle Barlow (Author),‎ Claus Møller (Author)

Using numerous real-life examples, Janelle Barlow and Claus Møller show precisely how to handle complaints to bring benefit to your organization and satisfaction to your customer—even when you have to say no. The second edition features a new chapter on receiving and responding to Internet complaints; a new chapter on how to deal with and take advantage of complaints that are directed at you personally; and, turning the tables, a section on how you can complain constructively and effectively.

Badass: Making Users Awesome

by Kathy Sierra  (Author)

Do the enduring successful products and services share common attributes? Can we learn by studying them? Can we reverse-engineer “sustainable success”? Not exactly. Badass: Making Users Awesome is a course in how to create a context in which users can become more skillful, and, most importantly, to stay motivated to keep moving forward. Everything our users experience is part of that context, and even the smallest improvements can have a dramatic impact.

Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine

by Jeanne Bliss (Author)

Chief Customer Officer 2.0 will get you into action quickly with a united leadership team and will shift your business intent to earning the right to growth by improving customers’ lives. Jeanne Bliss fearlessly shares her tools and leadership ‘recipe cards’ for leading and enabling your business transformation. And she provides practical guidance on how to embed the five competencies into how your company develops products, goes to market, enables and rewards people, and conducts annual planning.

Competing for Customers: Why Delivering Business Outcomes is Critical in the Customer First Revolution

by Jeb Dasteel  (Author),‎ Amir Hartman  (Author),‎ Craig LeGrande  (Author)

To survive—and thrive—in today’s economy, where customers are constantly reevaluating their purchases and looking at options never available before, you need to deliver business outcomes, not features and functionality. Delivering customer success means radically changing the way you engage with customers—from sales to marketing, to engineering and support. This book gives you a complete framework for doing just that. Step by step, you’ll learn how to make sure your customers are achieving business outcomes from your offerings…now, next year, and for years to come.

Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service

by John A. Goodman  (Author)

With developments like smartphones, social media, mobile connectivity, big data, and speech analytics, businesses have more opportunities to enhance the customer experience than ever before. Not only that…customers expect more. Unfortunately, many companies fail to take advantage of and properly manage the tools that now exist, delivering a series of frustrating, disjointed transactions that drive people away. Customer Experience 3.0 provides firsthand guidance on what works, what doesn’t–and the revenue and word-of-mouth payoff of getting it right.

Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

by Nick Mehta (Author),‎ Dan Steinman  (Author),‎ Lincoln Murphy (Author),‎ Maria Martinez (Foreword)

The subscription business model is hot—from software to music to movies to diet programs—investors and public markets want businesses that create recurring payments from unlimited customers. The old sales and marketing methods can handle attracting new customers for growth, however, only in the last five years as a discipline emerged that views growth in relation to retention, not just sales. Customer Success is the first-of-its-kind resource for business leaders who need best-in-class guidance for developing a recurring revenue business.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

by Tony Hsieh  (Author)

In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, DELIVERING HAPPINESS shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

by Travis Bradberry  (Author),‎ Jean Greaves (Author),‎ Patrick M. Lencioni  (Foreword)

By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential.

Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win

by Jocko Willink  (Author),‎ Leif Babin  (Author)

Since it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required reading for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment.

Farm Don’t Hunt: The Definitive Guide to Customer Success 

by Guy Nirpaz  (Author),‎ Fernando Pizarro  (Author)

Many business leaders have heard of Customer Success but few understand what it really means to run their business from the Customer Success standpoint. Even fewer have the experience to build the Customer Success function and optimize its performance. As a pioneer in the field of Customer Success, Guy Nirpaz is acknowledged as one of the earliest proponents of this business realignment. In “Farm Don’t Hunt” Guy breaks down the intellectual underpinnings of Customer Success as a theory and quickly moves to providing pragmatic, actionable advice for orienting your business around this new model.

From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

by Aaron Ross  (Author),‎ Jason Lemkin  (Author)

From Impossible to Inevitable details the hypergrowth playbook of companies like the record-breaking Zenefits (which skyrocketed from $1 million to $100 million in two years), (the fastest growing multibillion-dollar software company), and EchoSign—aka Adobe Document Services—(which catapulted from $0 to $144 million in seven years). Whether you have a $1 billion or a $100,000 business, you can use the same insights as these notable companies to learn what it really takes to break your own revenue records.

Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

by Harley Manning  (Author),‎ Kerry Bodine  (Author),‎ Josh Bernoff  (Introduction)

Based on fourteen years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, Outside In offers a complete roadmap to attaining the experience advantage. It starts with the concept of the Customer Experience Ecosystem—proof that the roots of customer experience problems lie not just with customer-facing employees like your sales staff, but with behind-the-scenes employees like accountants, lawyers, and programmers, as well as the policies, processes, and technologies that all your employees use every day. Identifying and solving these problems has the potential to dramatically increase sales and decrease costs.

Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of

by Aaron Ross  (Author),‎ Marylou Tyler  (Author)

Discover the outbound sales process that, in just a few years, helped add $100 million in recurring revenue to, almost doubling their enterprise growth… with zero cold calls. This is NOT another book about how to cold call or close deals. This is an entirely new kind of sales bible for CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales VPs to help you build a sales machine.  What does it take for your sales team to generate as many highly-qualified new leads as you want, create predictable revenue, and meet your financial goals without your constant focus and attention?

The Customer Support Handbook: How to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience for Your Brand

by Sarah Hatter (Author),‎ Jeff Vincent (Contributor),‎ Jason Rehmus  (Contributor),‎ Shervin Talieh (Contributor),‎ Spencer Fry (Contributor),‎ Laura Gluhanich (Contributor),‎ Rich White (Contributor)

How do you hire the best support team? What’s the best use of social media for support and service? Should we apologize for the inconvenience? The web’s leading experts are ready to share our answers and experience with everyone, plus share stories and radical advice for building your own exceptional customer experience. In The Customer Support Handbook, leaders in customer support bring their stories of brand failures, triumphs and best practices for support on the web. Finally, all you need to create your own amazing support team in one handy-dandy manual.

The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

by Matthew Dixon  (Author),‎ Nick Toman  (Author),‎ Rick DeLisi  (Author)

The Effortless Experience takes readers on a fascinating journey deep inside the customer experience to reveal what really makes customers loyal—and disloyal. The authors lay out the four key pillars of a low-effort customer experience, along the way delivering robust data, shocking insights, and profiles of companies that are already using the principles revealed by CEB’s research, with great results. And they include many tools and templates you can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn, and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the “dazzle factor” fails to deliver.

The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue 

by Robbie Kellman Baxter  (Author)

Written by an expert consultant, this groundbreaking book will show you how to turn ordinary customers into members for life. Learn how to: turn digital subscriptions into forever sales, Build an online community your customers will love, and much more. Most importantly, you’ll discover what works, and what doesn’t, from some of the key players in the new membership economy. It’s not about ownership; it’s about access, options, and freedom. When you join forces with your customers, membership has its rewards―for you, your company, and your continued success.

The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences

by Matt Watkinson  (Author)

Create a great customer experience whoever you are. Customers are powerful. They have a loud voice, a wealth of choice and their expectations are higher than ever. This book covers ten principles you can use to make real-world improvements to your customers’ experiences, whatever your business does and whoever you are.

For managers, leaders and those starting a new business, the book shows that making improvements customers will appreciate doesn’t need to be complicated or cost a fortune.

The Thank You Economy

by Gary Vaynerchuk  (Author)

The Thank You Economy is about something big, something greater than any single revolutionary platform. It isn’t some abstract concept or wacky business strategy—it’s real, and every one of us is doing business in it every day, whether we choose to recognize it or not. It’s the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline.

The Trusted Advisor

by David H. Maister  (Author),‎ Charles H. Green  (Author),‎ Robert M. Galford (Author)

In today’s fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge. But technical mastery of one’s discipline is not enough, assert world-renowned professional advisors David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford. The key to professional success, they argue, is the ability to earn the trust and confidence of clients. To demonstrate the paramount importance of trust, the authors use anecdotes, experiences, and examples — successes and mistakes, their own and others’ — to great effect.

Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy

by Dev Patnaik  (Author)

Wired to Care is a compelling tale of the power that people have to see the world through each other’s eyes, told with a passion for the possibilities that lie ahead if leaders learn to stop worrying about their own problems and start caring about the world around them. As Patnaik notes, in addition to its considerable economic benefits, increasing empathy for the people you serve can have a personal impact, as well: It just might help you to have a better day at work.

That’s it folks!

What are we missing? Which of these books have you enjoyed the most? Who do you think would most enjoy/benefit from each of these books? Help us add some color commentary to this post by sharing your comments below…!

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