06 Jun The Top 5 Business Books for Field Service Leaders
Field service leaders are tasked with straddling a fine line. They must consistently deliver excellent customer service while steadily increasing service profitability. LinkedIn groups, blogs, webinars and conferences are valuable resources for improving how field service leaders can deliver ongoing value. Often overlooked, however, in the pantheon of professional development tools are books.
We have identified five of the most worthwhile business books on customer service and field service management available today for field service leaders. Although closely related, a few of these books are more customer service focused, while others are specific to field service management within field service organizations. All of them can help you and your teams deliver better service to your customers, improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and improve your bottom line.
1. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service — Disney is known as one of the most customer-centric companies in the world, seeking to delight customers through every experience. This book helps field service leaders see new possibilities through concepts not found in a typical field service organization. If you are wondering how Disney’s customer service model can help your field service management organization, rest assured that it can. This book will enlighten you on ways to deliver the highest quality of service and always giving more than is expected, making all customer experiences memorable.
2. Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service — In this classic book on customer service, the authors provide key insights that enable you to create a unique customer service experience for your business. Illustrated with real-life examples, the insights include:
- Decide what you want. Create a detailed vision of your customer-centric service model.
- Discover what the customer wants.
- Deliver your vision plus 1 percent. Exceed on customer service delivery every time to create consistency and repeat, loyal customers.
The book takes these concepts to a much deeper level and provides guidance on implementing each step in your organization’s customer service model. The ultimate goal of this book is to allow you to shift your customer service paradigm and create raving fans for your business.
3. 42 Rules for Superior Field Service: The Keys to Profitable Field Service and Customer Loyalty — When you search for the keywords “field service management books” on Amazon, this book sits at the top. Widely read among field service professionals, this book provides 42 “rules” for field service organizations to help transform their businesses into customer-centric machines. There are sections on sales and marketing, operations, supply chain and finance, people, and internal departments. Each of these sections outlines the necessary steps to make individual areas of your business streamlined and aligned so you can deliver the absolute best services to your customers. This book is a true guidebook for field service leaders on how to properly run a field service organization that performs well and is profitable.
4. Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary — An eye-opening statistic that illustrates how organizations are out of touch with their customers is outlined in the book’s description: “One survey found that while 80 percent of companies described themselves as delivering ‘superior’ service, consumers estimated the number at a mere 8 percent.” This book outlines the three truths of exceptional customer service. These include:
- Exceptional customer service reflects the essence of every service industry employee’s job role.
- Exceptional customer service is always voluntary.
- Exceptional customer service typically costs no more to deliver than poor customer service.
According to the author, “With so much poor customer service around great customer service becomes truly outstanding. Exceptional customer service is never a happy accident that a company stumbles into. It is always the result of intention and design.” This book helps you achieve that.
5. The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service — This book provides a step-by-step guide to changing your company’s culture from inward-driven to one that is completely customer-focused. Like the title suggests, it’s about fostering a workplace where every employee is obsessed with delivering the best service possible at all times.
The book includes an endearing story in which an airport operations manager creates a memorable experience for a young boy who had lost his favorite stuffed animal. The operations manager received word that the boy had left his stuffed animal, Hobbes, behind while waiting to board. The family was going on vacation and wouldn’t return for a few days. Hobbes was recovered and the operations manager proceeded to take pictures with the stuffed animal being ferried around the airport by various personnel, including firemen, pilots, air traffic controllers and baggage handlers. He then assembled the photos into an album documenting the animal’s journey while his owner was away. The family returned to the airport’s lost and found on their return trip. Sheer delight ensued and the family was moved to tears. The heartwarming story received national media attention and the airport was given a new culture of going the extra mile for travelers. This is a great example of taking customer experience to the next level.
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