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Customer service recomended book list:

Here are the books that I've genuinely found both useful and inspiring. I've included links to the Amazon bookshops in the UK and the US if you would like to buy them. I've chosen Amazon because they provide good service and you get a substantial discount from retail prices which can't be bad. Also, if you order by starting on one of my links I get a small commission which will motivate me to continue improving this site!

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Raving FansRaving Fans Ken Blanchard.
This book is great. It's inspirational and leaves you feeling good about customer service as well as having some good concrete ideas. That's possibly because one of the authors has actually sucessfully implemented the advice given. It's always good news when a business book is written by someone who can "walk the talk".

The style you'll love or hate: The book is written as a parable, much like the One Minute Manager which was a bestseller. While I didn't really get on with the style of The One Minute Manager I find that it actually works in this book and helps get the message across. In fact I like this book so much I got additional copies for customer service staff in my department.

Short, simple, cheap, full of good ideas and highly recomended.
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The Customer Service Planner Martin Christopher.
This is a short and easy to read book. It has a brief theoretical review combined with a lot of good practical suggestions and self audit questions. It's less inspirational but more practical than "Raving Fans". The self audit sections are especially useful. Highly recomended as a source of quck wins as well as a start for strategic customer service planning.
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Auditing Your Customer Service J.W. Leppard, L. Molyneux
Still readable, but with more detail and checklists, by asking the questions "what is customer service?" and "why is it important?" this book works through the strategies, techniques, problems and solutions that are involved in achieving good customer service. The topics it covers include: benchmarking; quality control; customer segmentation; data collection; servicing; and communication. With frameworks to test your position now, the book shows you how to implement and sustain new strategies. The author has also published "How to Sell a Service", (1986).
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Services Marketing Valerie Zeithaml, Mary Jo Bitner
I think this book is great. Valarie Zeithaml really has a good grip on the customer service business and she has pulled together a lot of very powerful modelas and ideas in this book. This book is great for MBAs or those surrounded by them as it takes a more academic view than most while still remaining highly readable. It's one of those books that I take on long journeys, there are a lot of ideas and concepts to assimilate but once you're into it you start to apply the theory to your particualr situation.
The text makes explicit the difference between the marketing of goods and the marketing of services and replaces the traditional "4Ps" which really only works for product marketing with the much more sophisticated Gaps Model of Service Quality. Topics covered include: service quality; measuring service quality; links between marketing and other disciplines; and transforming a product firm into a service firm. The book focuses on customer expectations and perceptions, including customer-based pricing and value-pricing strategies to reflect the way to incorporate the customer into all decisions. Chapters discuss international services marketing and six case studies end the book.
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