My Top Ten Business Books for 2018Image © Shep Hyken
It’s that holiday time of year again, and you’re trying to select a gift for the boss or a coworker. You want to make it personal, but at the same time, you want to keep it professional. The answer is simple. Get them a book. You probably know something about their interests. And even if you don’t, any book that would make them or your company more successful will be seen as appropriate and thoughtful – especially if you inscribe it with a personal message.
Each year I read about 40 books. I peruse dozens of others. I’ll admit I have a bias toward books that focus on customer service and CX, but you’ll still find a few more general business books in this roundup. What gets a book on this list is simple. It holds my interest and gives me an actionable idea that I (or my clients) can use. So, let’s get to it. Here are my top 10 picks for the year:
- Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days by Joey Coleman – The title says it all. I’ve seen Coleman present speeches and workshops on this topic. I asked him when he would “bottle up the magic” and put it in a book. Well, he’s given us an amazing gift with this book. He shares his formula for ensuring your customers love that they chose to do business with you. This may be one of the most important books you’ll read.
- 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 no longer just for newspapers and magazines. It’s a model all businesses must consider to stay relevant and profitable in the very near future. It’s good for both the business and the customer. For businesses, it means recurring revenue. For customers it means convenience – and customers love convenience!
- Would You Do That to Your Mother?: The “Make Mom Proud” Standard for How to Treat Your Customers by Jeanne Bliss – When I was sent the galley copy of this book, I thought, “Darn, why didn’t I think of this?” When it comes to customer service, it’s often common sense that dictates what to do. Think about it. Would you make your mother stand in a checkout line for 10 minutes? Would you put your mother on hold for 45 minutes? Would you wait a week to respond to her email? I could go on and on with these types of questions. Customer experience expert Bliss shows you through numerous case studies how businesses, big and small, do right through the “Make Mom Proud” standard.
- Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin – The best marketing comes from customers talking about how great you are. But you can’t just hope that they will leave a comment on a social channel or tell their friends, you must have a strategy to make that happen. That’s exactly what this book provides. In addition to many interesting and entertaining case studies, there is plenty of research that backs up what the authors teach. One of the best marketing books I’ve read.
- Iconic: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain, and Regain the Ultimate Level of Distinction by Scott McKain – The concept behind being an iconic organization is not only to be better than your competition, but also to be different. This is not just for big brands. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in. If you want more success, you must stand out. You must be iconic.
- It’s All About CEX: The Essential Guide to Customer and Employee Experience by Jason Bradshaw – Bradshaw is an executive in charge of customer experience for a major brand. He was tasked with the responsibility of improving his company’s ratings, and that’s exactly what he did. He shares his experience and shows you how your organization can do the same. The premise is simple. Before you can deliver a good customer experience (CX), you must deliver a good employee experience (EX). What’s happening on the inside of a company is felt on the outside by the customer.
- Crisis Ready by Melissa Agnes – The question is not if your organization will ever have a crisis, it’s when. And, when it happens, will you be ready? You can’t plan for it. You must be ready … crisis ready. This isn’t a book about management. Managing a crisis means the crisis has already happened. This book is about being prepared. It’s the guide you need to be ready for when all goes wrong.
- Growth IQ: Get Smarter about the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business by Tiffani Bova – Starting with customer experience and ending with unconventional strategies, Bova shares 10 growth secrets and uses case studies from 30 different companies, many of which you will recognize, to teach you how to use this information to help your business.
- Crave: You Can Enhance Employee Motivation in Ten Minutes by Friday by Gregg Lederman – When you give your employees what they crave, good things will happen. Lederman shows you how to invest just 10 minutes each week to become a better leader, giving your employees what they crave most, and helping your company achieve more employee engagement.
- Legacy in The Making: Building a Long-Term Brand to Stand Out in a Short-Term World by Mark Miller and Lucas Conley – While I was in the process of creating this list, I received this book from the publisher’s PR firm. I was immediately attracted by the unique design, both the shape and the interior design. They say, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but in this case, you can. The actual book practices what the authors preach. And the lessons within won’t disappoint either. This book will help you stand out, think differently and showcase your organization’s uniqueness as you build your legacy for today, not just the future.
BONUS BOOK: The Convenience Revolution: How to Deliver a Customer Service Experience that Disrupts the Competition and Creates Fierce Loyalty by Shep Hyken – How could I not include my own book in this list? Whether you’re trying to out-service your competition or disrupt an entire industry, reducing friction and being more convenient is your best strategy. It’s simple: Customers will pay for convenience. And, they will do more business with the people and companies that make their life more convenient.