Top 10 Customer Success Books for 2020

I've been reading and listening to audio books this year with renewed passion. I've learned a great deal about how to better serve customers and colleagues, how to think about business sustainability, and how to confidently make good choices about how I allocate my energy and own my time.

Here's the list of the top 10 books I've been engaged with this year, and will continue to dig into in 2020.

Affiliate links buy me Flat Whites. Thanks!

  1. Farm Don't Hunt by Guy Nirpaz : Great perspective on keeping up regular engagement with customers and partners. They are your most accessible resource of (obviously) funding, but also ideas and energy.
  2. The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky : A well-stated reminder that the path to growing anything usually doesn't go how you expect it to.
  3. It's Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff : An awesome example of what it looks like to take bold steps as a leader.
  4. The Startup Way by Eric Ries : It's interesting to me to see how views on business growth change rapidly, even from a recognized expert such as the author. The same holds true in Customer Success. The field is evolving and it's great to learn lessons from peers ahead of us.
  5. The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, et. al. : This is an old book, but seriously important to revisit regularly. The idea of shifting from an outsider to an insider is critical in customer success.
  6. The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle : I'm learning about the increasing importance of transcending daily tasks to foster culture by keeping a positive attitude and engaging with colleagues in new ways.
  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson : For someone who cares about my customers, I was skeptical :) but of course the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. But it's not about that. It's about picking how you spend your time for things that have impact, and letting other things slide.
  8. Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn [...] by Lincoln Murphy, et. al. : This is feeling a bit dated but is one of the books that propelled the Customer Success movement. Worth revisiting and also keeping up with what the authors are doing on social media.
  9. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo : I reviewed this one and although I have some reservations, the key point constantly sticks with me and I'll work with this some more in the new year.
  10. The Execution Factor by Kim Perell : This,along with Figureoutable and Eric Reis' "do your f-ing job" quote in The Startup Way combine to remind me that doing hard work and constantly plugging away at it make a huge impact.

Rather than burn past these books in 2020, I plan to revisit most of these and dig into concepts I may have missed the first time.

I also read or listened to these books in 2019. Each had some interesting nuggets but will be rolling off the end of my active list after this year.

  • For Better of For Work by Meg Cadoux Hirschberg : Stories of hard working entrepreneurs and family struggles to grow a business; specifically how a spouse can engage and participate int eh work. Interesting but don't feel like it requires re-reading.
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson : This was a book club book I chose. I learned more about an immensely productive man who led a full life. The audio book captured the essense and I got out of it what I wanted.
  • The Startup of You by Hoffman, Reid, et. al. : This is a manual on how to use LinkedIn to grow your professional presence.

I'm looking for a few new suggestions. Let me know if you have one!