Book Recommendations Please

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by CommMajor101, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. CommMajor101

    CommMajor101
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    Hello everyone,
    Newbie here. I'm interested in reading some books about how to understand what customers are asking for. Like what kind of questions to ask when talking to a customer who is having issues. All the books I have looked at just lump this into a section or sentence saying "Be sure to ask good questions that unveil what your customer is actually wanting." - but the books never go into detail about what those questions should be or things like that. Any recommendations out there about good books?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nazreen

    Nazreen
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    First of all, welcome aboard CommMajor101. Hope you enjoy your stay here in the Business Advice Forum.

    Even though I was in customer service for the majority of my working life, I never read even one book about customer service. I've attended a lot of trainings and seminars though.

    Anyway regarding your question, whenever I want to read on a particular topic, I usually go to Amazon and read the reviews there. Why don't you try this too?
     
  3. Fergal

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    Welcome to our business forum CommMajor101.

    I really enjoyed the business books written by Mark McCormack. Two of his books provide very useful information on how to listen to people and on how to sell to them. It's been some time since I read them, but I found them very informative and enjoyable at the time.

    On Selling
    What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School

    The customer reviews in the Amazon links above should give you a good insight as to whether the books can help you.

    Crowning the Customer is well known in Ireland as it was written by a famous Irish entrepreneur, I haven't read it myself so can't give you a personal review, but from what I heard it provides a very good insight into understanding your customer and doing business with them.

    You might also find these books on the subject of Consumer Behaviour useful.

    Please post back to let us know if you find what you're looking for.
     
  4. CommMajor101

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    Nazreen - Yeah I always go to Amazon first, the trouble is I'll find books there that sound useful but then they aren't available at my library (and i'm not gunna pay for any books even if I can write it off as a business expense). What kind of trainings did you attend?

    Fergal - thank you for the specific recommendations.

    I think i need something more on how to ask the right questions and example questions. I get stumped and am not sure how to direct my client's to tell me what they really need.

    Thank you both for your time and ideas (and warm welcomes!)
     
  5. Nazreen

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    The trainings are mostly for customer service staff. I cannot list them all here because they're way too many but anyway, they're mostly about how to listen and talk to customers, how to handle disputes, how to carry yourself and to make yourself presentable, and a lot of training about improving yourself and your relations with customers.

    Why not try the other way around, visit your library or your library's online catalog in the internet first and if you see a book that's available, then look up the reviews in Amazon?
     
  6. CommMajor101

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    HI Nazreen,
    I mean, were your trainings specific through your company or through a traveling training group that was just visiting your company?

    I've done this too - looked up the online catalog for the library and then the reviews on Amazon. haha - guess we thinking alike here :)
     
  7. simplyjo

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    Hi - To understand customer needs and aim for 100% customer delight, i'd recommend you to read this book - NUTS - South west airlines crazy recipe for business and personal success. Infact, i'd recommend this to all members of this forum - It's a great read and has some very useful pointers. Try it. You can easily get it on Amazon here - http://www.amazon.com/Southwest-Airlines-Business-Personal-Success/dp/0767901843 (It's not an aff url, don't worry I ain't got nothing to promote.LOL).
     
  8. Nazreen

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    It's mostly trainings through my previous companies that I was working for CommMajor101. Some are in-house trainings while others trainings were provided by private businesses but were also paid by my companies.

    If I remember correctly, a trainer told a story about South West Airlines before in one of my trainings. That was one of the best stories I've read/heard so far about customer service. Thanks Simplyjo!
     
  9. Fergal

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    Have you asked your library if they can order books in for you? Some libraries welcome book requests & suggestions from their members.

    What type of product or service are you selling? We might be able to suggest some helpful questions for you.
     
  10. CommMajor101

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    Thanks for the suggestion simplyjo, i don't think it's quite what I need. I need like specific questions to ask to customers. Fergal - No, I haven't asked for book requests. That's a great idea. Thanks! I think I just need a book of question examples or tips on how to ask the right questions. Things like that.
     
  11. Kay

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    Hi CommMajor, nice to meet you and welcome to Business Advice Forum. I don't have any books to recommend you but I do write on this subject, having had two decades of experience in that area. You might be interested in my two-part article on Handling The Customer From Hell that's posted on this forum. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here. I think they're pretty detailed, being a working example.

    It's hard to compile a standard list for the simple reason that no complaint nor complainer is the same as the next. If you want to try figure some questions out from that though, I'd be happy to help you go over it and tweak it as I'm sure the others will too. The natives are friendly. :D
     
  12. Kay

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    CommMajor, I was just thinking there that for a form you'd need to have a section with plenty of space for the customer to be descriptive of exactly what happened, when, who they spoke to and the basis of their complaint. Don't be skimpy by allowing only a few lines for them to say what they want to. That will just annoy them if they don't have enough room to fit in everything. Too small a space also gives the impression that you really don't want to hear what they have to say.

    Invite them to share as much information as possible. You could even add a line saying something like "Feel free to attach another sheet of paper to this form if necessary." It's absolutely in your own best interests to do so. Not only because it would prevent them from feeling even more aggrieved, but because the more detail you have, the clearer your own understanding of the situation and possible routes to resolution you can take.

    Also, I'd include somewhere they could add the best way to contact them (phone, email, letter?) and when (am, pm, evenings, weekends, all of the above?). There's nothing worse than having sorted it out only to find you can't get hold of the customer for days to tell them.

    Aim for balance. You want it to be flexible enough to cover a variety of complaints but standard enough that you can establish a complaints handling procedure that becomes familiar. That alone will grow your confidence in handling them.

    That's just a few ideas off the top of my head. Good luck. :)
     
  13. Fergal

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    If you give us some info on the product or service you are selling, we will give you some question suggestions.
     
  14. kguru1979

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    Hi CommMajor101...Welcome to BAF...

    Hope lot of recommendations are coming from other members. I also came through one free book named "Key Customers: How to Manage Them Profitably"..

    I downloaded and started reading this.. Hope this will be useful for you...
     
  15. CommMajor101

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    Thank you all for the recommendations
     
  16. zlg412

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    think you ,
     
  17. zui_strumming

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    Hi,
    It depends on the sort of books that you like to read like - suspense, fiction, non-fiction, detective novels.
    I'm a huge fan of Paulo Coelho's books.Love his Brida, Try it out.It is about a young woman who is 21 and in yen to learn magic...
    Awesome book.
     
  18. skyfire

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    I find reading biography of business people motivating. You can even try blogs like zenhabits, interview blogs and book reviews blogs for book recommendations.
     

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