Welcome to our Customer Experience Best Books of 2019 – 2020 Yearly List.
I read this last year around 65-80 books. Here are the best books of 2019-2020. I’ve included the top 17 books that discuss topics such as Customer Experience, Employee Experience – Design, Analytics, Leadership, Innovation, Operations Experience and Real Innovation. You will also find a short list below of new books and some from our previous lists, that offer great added value– all related to customers.
- Pink Goldfish: As we all are imperfect humans, Stan Phelps and David Rendall talk about “our” companies’ imperfections as a competitive advantage. I found this book simply amazing because they are able to make the unthinkable actually made thinkable. Daniel Pink, author of “When and Drive,” said the following about this book on the back cover “Don’t hide the weird and the wacky parts of your organization. Use them to stand out from the crowd. Forget about strengths (or set them to the side for a minute). Leverage your weaknesses into the unique qualities that sets you apart. These are the core messages of this smart book” Great added value in this book and in Stan Phelps entire collection of his 9 books and counting. Here is a recent picture of Stan Phelps visiting us in Munich during 2019 summer with me. He is the first author in one of our lists which have 2 books in top 17.
*Stan Phelps visiting us in Munich, Germany, doing our best impersonation of Gene Simmons.
- Designing Experiences: In an increasingly experience-driven economy, companies that deliver great experiences thrive, and those that do not, die. Yet many organizations face difficulties implementing a vision of delivering experiences beyond the provision of goods and services. Because experience design concepts and approaches are spread across multiple, often disconnected disciplines, there is no book that succinctly explains to students and aspiring professionals how to design them…until now By J. Robert Rossman Ph.D. and Mathew D. Duerden Ph.D. and the amazing B. Joseph Pine II.
- Igniting Customer Connections: Igniting Customer Connections explores how organizations of all sizes can build powerful and profitable customer relationships in today’s increasingly complex, fast-paced, and fragmented marketplace. Written by the president of one of the world’s largest marketing firms, the book provides expert insights about connecting with customers effectively across all channels and over time. The central premise is a refreshingly different, evidence-based approach called Return On Experience and Engagement, or ROE2, which delivers a new way to inspire and measure customer connections—and improve business results by Andy Frawley.
- Design For Strengths: This guide will unlock your personal potential, and that of your team and your business. By exploring the intersection of Design Thinking and strengths-finding, innovation expert John K. Coyle demonstrates what most high achievers intuitively know–that each one of us possesses a unique combination of strengths, talents, skills and capabilities to achieve breakthrough performance–but may need a code to unlock them. Design for Strengths delivers the process, John K. Coyle.
- The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by Scott Galloway. This is a great book, which speaks about strategy, leadership, market share value and how to gain customer understanding and power of manipulation by using the four organizational “giants” as examples. For all that’s been written about “the Four” over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott. It is a great read.
- Trailblazer: by Marc Benioff, and Monica Langley. I loved this book, since Marc is using his business success to change important things, not all in the name of revenue generation but purely for his community and people. “Trailblazer is an urgent and compelling book for anyone in business who yearns to fulfill a higher mission in the world. Marc’s powerful and poignant stories of leadership remind each of us what we can achieve when we abandon “business as usual” and make our values the driving force of our work.”—Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, author and philanthropist.
- The Experience Economy, With a New Preface by the Authors: Competing for Customer Time, Attention, and Money by the super stars of customer experience Mr. Joe Pine and Mr. Jim Gimore .
- Friction: By Roger Dooley, points out all the things businesses do that only hurt their daily cause. By reading this book, your life will change since you will, from now forward, see in your everyday life all our business and life frictions.
- Culture by Design: – Culture has become the hottest word in today’s organizational lexicon. From boardrooms to locker rooms, everyone’s talking about the critical link between culture and extraordinary team performance. Yet, as clear as that link may be, understanding what culture is, and what to do about it, has always been so murky… until now. In this game-changing book, David Friedman cuts through the fog and provides a simple, clear, and practical roadmap for building a high-performing culture in any organization by David J. Friedman.
- EDGE: Value-Driven Digital Transformation. By Jim Highsmith, Linda Luu, David Robinson. This book is a great, unique read with a lot of value for people that love technology and solutions. Edge is related to the Agile Operating Model that will help companies to execute their digital transformation
- Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, by Marty Cagan. This book does a terrific job answering the aforementioned question. If you’re asking yourself, “How do today’s most successful tech companies―Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla―design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world?” you’ll find this book to be a great inspirational thoughtful read that’s worth looking into.
- The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation (Management on the Cutting Edge) by Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan R. Copulsky and Garth R. Andrus. What a book!!!! This really drives home the message that in customer experience design, humans come first. You’ll learn why an organization’s response to digital disruption should focus on people and processes and not necessarily on technology. Digital technologies are disrupting organizations of every size and shape, leaving managers scrambling to find a technology fix that will help their organizations compete.
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- Yellow Goldfish: Nine Ways to Increase Happiness in Business to Drive Growth, Productivity, and Prosperity, by Stan Phelps and Rosaria Cirillo Louwman. Yellow Goldfish discusses the benefits of a business that does a little extra to contribute to the happiness of its customers, employees, or society. Based on 300 case studies. It’s very good reading, and has several useful business cases and insights.
Stan Phelps and Rosaria Cirillo Louwman in her house garden in Koog aan de Zaan June 2019 in The Netherlands.
- The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies Are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done. This is an outstanding book exploring practical cases of Agile, from methodology to a philosophy in Microsoft, Ikea, Apple, and so many others. Truly, a really great read by Mr. Stephen Denning.
- The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book is a mix of both personal and professional experiences. Definitely an amazing read.
- Artificial Intelligence in Practice: How 50 Successful Companies Used Artificial Intelligence to Solve Problems, by Bernard Marr. If you’re still having doubts about why, and what is AI, please read this book. In one way or another Bernard explain the huge impact of AI on all of our present and future experiences.
- Leading With Happiness: How the Best Leaders Put Happiness First to Create Phenomenal Business Results and a Better World, by Alexander Kjerulf. Very good book and interesting approach adopted by Alexander. “Every leader should read it and learn how to promote happiness for employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and even the leader, him- or herself.”
Extra Books Suggestions that are Worth Reading– all Related to Experiences and Innovation from last year’s list:
- 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! An amazing Book from an amazing author.
- The Hero Factor: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures. 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, by Jeffrey Hayzlett. Last year when I first announced this book I had not read it yet. Now, one year later, I can assure you that this is a great read that will stick with you.
- Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences provides the much-needed “how-to” with Design of Work Experience (DOWE). 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. This is an evergreen kind of book–one that you always can return to again and again. An amazing read authored by Karen Jaw-Madson.
- Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet, by Ron Kaufman. This one book is what I often call evergreen or eternal, because I always return to it. A top quality book that I highly recommended. Stayed tuned to Kaufman–he’ll have a new book out soon based in a recent commentary he wrote.
- Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. A relatively old book that is worth a read. This is simply an outstanding practical book for innovative leaders and offers a transformative pathway for testing new ideas, working in both startups and large organizations. It relatively old but it’s messaging transcends time., By John Zeratsky, Jake Knapp and Braden Kowitz.
- Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies by Denise Lee Yohn. Another excellent book from Denise. Learn how to unleash the power of brand-culture fusion to achieve sustainable competitive advantage and new growth.
My last 5 articles about Simplification and Simplicity, what I often call during my talks, the Doubled “S” related to Customer Experience – Real Innovation, Enterprise Technology, and Design.
- Creating a Simple and Simplified (Doubled “S”) Experience Culture: What needs to change first?
- Why Customer Experience & Tech are about Less than More? Stop Counterintuitive Design & Cut the Waste
- How do enterprise technology companies simplify their products services and experiences? Part II
- Customer Experience Simplicity in Technology: How Quality & Design Impact the Bottom Line
- The One Element Of Product & Tech Design That Kills Customer Experience
My guest article on Jeanne Bliss (Customer Bliss) blog, focusing on the vital importance of Simplicity in Customer Experience Design, and the first time I was mention in Forbes by the Chief of Amazement Officer Shep Hyken.
- How To Outperform The Stock Market By 679% y Shep Hyken via @forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2019/04/07/how-to-outperform-the-stock-market-by-679/#4ed2b9fc4d3a
- The Importance of Simplicity in Customer Experience https://www.customerbliss.com/simplicity-customer-experience/
We hope you enjoyed our list of top readings, and as we progress, we will add some more books, real innovative articles and books.
At my end of the year list, only includes the best readings, and I can confidently recommend it. Subscribe and stay in touch. Have Fun with your work, books and lives!