Top 10 Business Books For 2023


Just in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the gift-giving holidays, I want to share with you my favorite business books from 40-plus that I read this year. While I typically stay in the customer service and experience lanes, this year you’ll also find books on marketing and sales.

1. A Diamond in the Rough by Steven Van Belleghem (Lannoo Campus)—Let’s lead off this year’s “Top 10” with one of my favorite authors. Van Belleghem always delivers. Most companies want to create a customer-centric culture, but many struggle, even though they are capable of doing so. This is what the author refers to as A Diamond in the Rough. In addition to clearly articulated concepts, there are more than 100 tips and examples to help you build a culture that gets and keeps customers.

2. Never Lose an Employee Again: The Simple Path to Remarkable Retention by Joey Coleman (Portfolio)—In this follow-up to Never Lose a Customer Again, Coleman expresses the importance of using similar customer experience concepts with your employees. I’ve preached for years that a good EX (employee experience) is what drives a good CX (customer experience). The author uses examples and research and provides a framework to give you what you need to retain your best people.

3. A Complaint Is a Gift: How to Learn from Critical Feedback and Recover Customer Loyalty by Janelle Barlow (Barrett-Kohler Publishers)—When this first came out in 1997, it was one of my favorites. This is the third edition, and the book has been revised and updated with more up-to-date examples and strategies that will help you handle complaints and deal with difficult and angry customers.

4. Creating Super Fans: How to Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates by Brittany Hodak (Page Two) – I met Hodak in 2020 when she was a keynote speaker at a virtual event for entrepreneurs. She shared her SUPER model for creating a super customer experience. I was hooked and couldn’t have been more excited when she put those words into print. The book is filled with examples and stories that anyone and any business can relate to. It’s an easy and enjoyable read with simple and big ideas.

5. Belonging to the Brand: Why Community Is the Last Great Marketing Strategy by Mark Schaefer (Schaefer Marketing Solutions)—A powerful concept in marketing is to give your customers a sense of belonging to your brand community. This “How To” book shares multiple ways of taking advantage of a brand community, how to measure and understand its value and why you can’t afford to miss what the author refers to as “an unassailable competitive advantage” that creates a sense of belonging.

6. The Power of Scarcity: Leveraging Urgency & Demand to Influence Customer Decisions by Mindy Weinstein, Ph.D. (McGraw Hill)—This book takes advantage of the author’s deep understanding of marketing and psychology and shares a powerful strategy that will help customers choose to do business with you.

7. The Unsold Mindset: Redefining What It Means to Sell by Colin Coggins and Garrett Brown (Harper Business)—Sales is more than just selling to customers and clients. The authors show an approach that works in both business and life. Research and interviews with some of the most successful people—not just salespeople—is what defined their counter-intuitive ideas and views, which makes this book more interesting than your typical sales book.

8. The Hospitality Mentality: Create Raving Fans Through Your Guest Experience by Josh Liebman (Morgan James)—For years I’ve said that any business, in any industry, can have a hospitality mentality. It’s not just for hotels, restaurants and tourism. This is Liebman’s first book, and it deserves your attention as he provides a simple-to-understand guide on how to treat your customers as if they are guests.

9. Positive Chaos: Transform Crisis into Clarity and Advantage by Dan Thurmon (Page Two)—Do you ever feel stressed or out of control? In the middle of chaos, you can either fear it or embrace it. In addition to being a savvy businessman and amazing keynote speaker, Thurmon is a world-class juggler who understands what it’s like to “have a lot of balls in the air.” This is a metaphor to define his idea that what looks like something out of control (chaos) can also give you clarity, inspiration and a competitive advantage.

10. The Experience Mindset: Changing the Way You Think about Growth by Tiffany Bova (Portfolio)—Here’s another book that emphasizes how employee experience impacts customer experience. Bova states that a balance between EX and CX can “magnify revenue and profits by up to 50%.” She makes her point using case studies from The Ritz-Carlton, Salesforce, Pfizer and others.

And here’s a bonus. This is “kind of” a book. It’s definitely worth taking the time to read (pun intended).

The Time to Win: How to Exceed Your Customers’ Need for Speed by Jay Baer (MiniBuk) – There’s an old expression: Good things come in small packages. Baer has taken his extensive research about the importance of time and business and put it into a 54-page “mini book” that will take you about 30 minutes to read. Baer’s philosophy is simple: Give your customers time and they will give you money. Cost your customers time and it will cost you money. Don’t be fooled by how small this book is. It’s big on ideas and implementing them will have big returns.

Finally, I can’t miss this opportunity to share with you one more publication, and it’s free. If you haven’t already picked up a copy of my customer service and experience research, just click here. You’ll find plenty of stats, facts and findings that will get you to think about new strategies that will win over your customers and get them to say, “I’ll be back!”

Well, that wraps up this year’s Top 10 list. Head over to your favorite bookstore or click on the links to give a friend, a colleague, your boss or yourself a gift that will be valuable and appreciated. Happy Holidays!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *