Getting into CX and knowing where to start is no easy feat. It’s a complex, multi-layered world with a lot to know. At the start, it can seem overwhelming. Without the right directions, you may feel lost on how to navigate the industry. There’s so much to learn, so what is the best starting point?

Being here is a great beginning! Being involved in CX communities means that you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who can aid your journey. CXM is committed to providing the best resources to inform you and expand your knowledge. 

With that, we want to gift you an inclusive list of the best books to help you enter the industry. This list has been compiled by recommendations from our network. We asked eight CX successful practitioners what helped them build better CX programmes and smarter organisations. This includes our repeat contributors and close industry associates. These are the books that have helped these individuals do better in their CX, and taught them what they know. 

We are delighted to share this list with you and thank our network for sharing these important resources with us. We hope they inform and support your learnings too. Let us know which ones resonated with you!

Customer What? The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience by Ian Golding

Recommended by Olga Potaptseva

‘This book is insightfully divided into four sections, and through it, Ian takes you on a meticulously articulated customer-focused journey that delves into the detail and intricacies of why, how, and when organisations are ready to adopt global best practices in customer experience – including a set of practical activities and tools to help you do it, and some incredible storytelling to illuminate your path’ says Chaman Maharaj in his review of this book.

Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business by Josh Bernoff, Harley Manning, and Kerry Bodine

Recommended by Vaishali Dialani

This book is fantastic for anyone who is just starting in CX. In a structured way, it walks us through the key concepts and definitions in CX. Based on fourteen years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, Outside In offers a comprehensive overview of what CX really is.

Leading the Customer Experience by Brad Cleveland

Recommended by Rachel Williams

This book is greatly recommended for those leading, managing or aspiring to better understand customer experience. Leading the Customer Experience is a guide to shaping experiences that win loyalty and deliver outstanding business results. It provides a bold, step-by-step approach that will get you and your team pointed in the right direction. 

Delivering Happiness – A path to profits, passion and purpose by Tony Hsieh

Recommended by Leonie Williams

Written by the CEO of Zappos, this book shares different lessons learned in business when it comes to corporate culture especially. In a business sense, this will teach you how concentrating on the happiness of those around you can dramatically increase your own. 

Firms of Endearment by Sisodia Rajendra, David B Wolfe & Jagdish Sheth

Recommended by Lynn Hunsaker

This book looks deep into the values of good businesses, which are: emotional, experiential, social, and financial. These 4 pillars are coined as the firms of endearment. The second edition of this book also covers the examples, cases, and applications to see how this practice is seen in modern organisations today, and how this is a useful new business tool.

Human Experience by John Sills

Recommended by Gemma Colby

The Human Experience is a new book released in February 2023, written by CX practitioner and thought leader John Sills. Throughout the books, Sills breaks down the three most common myths in CX: the myth of loyalty, customer feedback, and ROI. This book is highly engaging, offers examples, and in humour, explains why CX practitioners sometimes fall into the trap of these commonly spread beliefs.

The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience by Joseph Michelli

Recommended by Gokhan Kara

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the scenes of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and its enormous success? Smart leadership. But how do they exactly communicate, overcome challenges, and align voices across all aspects of customer service and create unforgettable experiences? This book will entertain you and teach you the secrets of creating luxurious experiences like no other.

The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time by Don Peppers & Martha Rogers

Recommended by Ginger Conlon

“It’s all about personalisation at scale; it discusses approaches that are finally possible today but are still either in the works or in the future for more companies than one might expect. I’ve talked to so many people who said that book changed their thinking on marketing and customer engagement.” -Ginger Conlon

The Customer Experience Book: How to design, measure and improve customer experience in your business by Alan Pennington

Customer Experience is becoming seen as a key component of business strategy, yet knowing the practical steps of what to do can be tricky. The Customer Experience Book helps you understand where you are now, what to do, and how to improve for your business. It offers theory, practical how-to guidance, case studies, and more.

Customer Experience Strategy – Design & Implementation: Outgrow your competitors by making your business to business customers happier by Maurice Fitzgerald

Maurice Fitzgerald speaks on his own experience to help CX professionals make their own business decisions based on his own. With this, and his own extensive research, this book provides methodology for studying what your customers and partners want. It also shares other major factors that drive decisions.

Above two recommended by Ambrish Parmar

For more book recommendations, please check this list our friends at CX Panda prepared for you.

Happy reading!

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