Ever heard of Tim Ferriss? I hope you did. If not, then you should check out the book he got famous for, The 4-Hour Workweek.

Tim is publishing another massive piece of work you'll want to read next. It's called Tools of Titan.

If you are not into books, and that's fine, you might want to try his podcast. Which leads us—finally—to the point of the article.

When you listen to Tim's podcast, there is this one specific question he loves asking. And we are adapting this question for this blog post.

The question is “what book have you gifted most to others, and why?"

We're turning this question around and changing it to:

What books we would give to Customer Support heroes and why?

Reading is the best education in the world.

Customer support is a tough job. You need to be ready to handle frustrated customers while bringing happiness.

Here's the list:

How To Win Friends And Influence People (Dale Carnegie)

HTWFAIP by Dale Carnegie

Why you should gift it

HTWFAIP is the perfect book for two reasons. It's the ideal book to begin with when you are first starting in customer support.

And it's even better for experienced leaders who need a new vision of what they are doing.

Among the lessons, are key takeaways on helping you to win people over your way of thinking. Especially when you need to handle complaints from customers.

The examples from the book might seem outdated. The book was actually published for the first time in 1936. Yet the human psychology has not changed.

For example, you have to use first names as much as possible when you talk to customers.

That's the way human beings and their brains work. We want to shine, and this book can teach you how to make others shine. Which in return will benefit you and your brand.

“A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language”
—Dale Carnegie


Talking To Humans (Giff Constable)

Talking to Humans by Giff Constable

Why you should gift it

In Talking to Humans, Giff lays down the foundation for efficient customer interaction. He emphasises on how to make the difference between good and bad feedback.

Even though it's not aimed directly for customer support peeps, you are talking to customers every single day.

You know what they don't like, as they are complaining about it. It's precious information for your team, and for the company in general.

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning"
—Bill Gates

Sometimes, you might lose track in all of the customer feedback. Worse, you start listening to the wrong customers. The ones who complain about everything but not really helping you move your company forward.

It's one thing to listen and reply to them. It's another aspect to change your product based on their feedback.

This book helps you deal with customer feedback and improve your company, weeding out the unhelpful comments and helping you notice the constructive feedback.


Youtility (Jay Baer)

Youtility by Jay Baer

Why you should gift it

Your customer support team might be your best marketing weapon. They know about the customers, about the product or service. And they know how the customers are dealing with your product or service.

The tagline of the book is pretty self-explanatory: why smart marketing is about help and not hype.

Jay Baer provides plenty of examples on how brands can help their customers. And helping people is the number one mission of customer support. But you don't have to stop it from there.

The book starts with the famous example of River Pools & Spa—a company in the US that almost went bankrupt. Almost, because they started to use customer support feedback and turned into Q&As published on their blog.

The result? They earned authority and good SEO. Gift this book so your customer support heroes and let them know that their reach goes far beyond just answering tickets.


Tribes (Seth Godin)

Tribes by Seth Godin

Why you should gift it

Today, everyone can be a leader. You just have to lead, it's simple as that. The best customer support heroes are born to be leaders somehow.

Building a tribe around your product is inherent to your future success. Without it, you're doomed. Who's going to talk about it? No one.

Seth explains why it matters to build deeper connections and helping others to win. Your customer support heroes are on the front-line of doing this, only if they are aware of it.

They are the ones who can lead the conversation and build from scratch an evangelizing force around your brand.

Think about Zappos. Or 37signals and Basecamp. Which leads us to the next book.


ReWork (Jason Fried and David Hansson)

ReWork by Jason Fried and David Hansson

Why you should gift it

This is not just a book about work in general. It's a wake-up call. Anyone working at customer support should read it because it helps to cut the B/S we end up telling ourselves about work.

It gives another perspective. One where quality > quantity. One where trust among colleagues is key. Where each one should be free to work on his own terms.

But the most interesting part on the customer support part is probably this advice:

Let your customers outgrow you

If you believe you need to accept all kinds of customers—especially the most annoying ones—you’re wrong.

As they wrote, "you can't be everything to everyone".

Imagine a new way of dealing with customer support. A more honest and transparent one.

Read this book to reconsider your current customer support organisation and the impact you're aiming for.


Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (Gary Vaynerchuk)

Why you should gift it

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

If you think that JJJRH from Gary Vaynerchuk is only about social media marketing tactics then you are dead wrong.

It's totally different from the book above—REWORK.

The mindset here is about giving, giving, and giving, before asking. Customer support is not just about closing tickets. This book makes you think about what can you do extra for your customers.

Do you care about them so much« that you’d be willing to help them on some other matters non-related to your product?

Zappos—again, I know—is famous for it. They had someone from their customer support team who stayed over the phone for more than 10 hours. Here is the story here. Can you believe it?

It might be a bit too much but still. It's remarkable. And people tend to like what's remarkable.

This book will help your team go beyond the support perimeter.

It's not about the width, but about the depth
—Gary Vaynerchuk


Writing That Works (Joel Raphaelson and Kenneth Roman)

Writing That Works by Joel Raphaelson and Kenneth Roman

Why you should gift it

Because David Ogilvy said so. If he suggests that you should read this book three times, it's serious business.

Your writing as a customer support hero has to be clear. Your team must be concise. You want your writing to have an impact.

This does not have to be only your responses but also on your support documentation. A clear writing will help to reduce your tickets in the long run.

The rules mentioned here are simple yet easy to forget. Use simple words. Don’t go for any jargon. Reduce your sentences when they are too long.


Which book will you pick?

We believe Customer Support is the most important aspect when it comes to growing a business. Yes you need to have a solid product. Yes you need to have the right tech.

But at the end of the day, you are dealing with other human beings. People who want to use your product and service, and people who want to trust you.

Customer support should be proactive and not passive. Doing support can be as well about helping out and deliver more of what is expected. It’s about a whole experience.

It’s about delight.

Making one other human being happy about you. Turn a negative experience into a positive one. It’s hard. It’s a tough and emotional job. We hope these books can help.


Credits for the photo go to Patrick Tomasso