We all have something to learn, whether it's our first day on the job or we've been in the industry for 30+ years. As a support rep, you can attest to the daily exhaustion you experience from working in such a fast-paced environment. However, it's essential to keep absorbing new tips, ideas, and opinions to bring you a fresh perspective on your role in the customer journey.
While some have plenty of time to invest in researching our industries, others have precious moments between support calls to catch the key takeaways. Thus, we've compiled a list of our top customer service and support resources to save you time and help you in your professional journey. Happy reading!
30 Resources for People in Customer Service and Support
Customer Support Infographics
Adweek is an extensive source of news and other insights in the brand marketing and advertising world.
While its blog and other platforms are also informative, Adweek curates some of the best infographics on customer support tips and statistics.
Our Pick: What Marketers Need To Know About Changing Customer Service Expectations discusses how customers expect faster, simpler customer service and how brands can meet these expectations, especially on social and messaging channels.
Groove is a small SaaS business with an emphasis on simplifying communication with customers.
Groove has a growing customer support blog with some detailed infographics on customer support statistics.
Our Pick: 22 Customer Support Statistics That You Need To Know breaks down all the important numbers, especially how quality customer support is tied to customer retention.
The National Business Research Institute is a global firm dedicated to business research and consulting.
NBRI provides tons of useful resources for both its clients and other professionals, including blog posts, ebooks, videos, press releases, and, especially, engaging infographics.
Our Pick: Deal Breakers: 4 Customer Service Expectations lays out the 4 key customer expectations from brands, including instant information, self-service, corporate social responsibility, and eco-friendly efforts.
Provide Support is a private company that specializes in empowering companies to improve their customer service tactics.
The company has a blog full of fascinating tips and colorful infographics that are clear and easy-to-grasp.
Our Pick: 12 Positive Phrases and Empathy Statements for Customer Service provides great responses in most situations speaking with frustrated or confused customers.
Fundera is dedicated to providing easily-accessible financial technologies to small businesses.
The Fundera Ledger is a blog jam-packed with advice for small business owners. However, some of their infographics are perfect for the trials of support reps.
Our Pick: 11 Types of Difficult Customers and How to Handle Them hilariously identifies the main examples of difficult customers and offers tips on how to diffuse the situation and remain empathetic.
Co.Design is a blog written by Fast Company, a progressive business media brand focused on innovations in the global business world.
Co.Design discusses the many industries in the business world in snappy blog posts. Most exciting of all, it curates Infographics of the Day to get you your daily summary of important statistics.
Our Pick: What's the Value of a New Customer? helps you easily access the average lifetime value of any customer.
Customer Service Podcasts
Support Ops is a weekly podcast that aired for several years and ended in December 2017 -- but you can still listen to the archived episodes.
It focuses on providing helpful tips on all areas of customer support, from onboarding new customers to effectively communicating with customers.
Our Pick: Fixing Bad Customer Experiences navigates how to handle customers who have had bad first impressions with your company.
The Churn Buster Above & Beyond podcast focuses on helping small SaaS companies reduce churn and retain more customers.
There are only a few episodes available, but they are engaging and actionable by providing stories of other businesses overcoming churn.
Our Pick: Writing Better Emails for Customer Retention uses great case study examples to discuss successful techniques for using email in increasing customer retention.
Tasha Smith is the founder of Emerge Sales Training, a business that provides sales and leadership training to aspiring leaders in the field.
She also hosts The Sales Journey Podcast, which supports listeners in achieving more effective communication with customers. It also outlines strong techniques for providing stellar customer service.
Our Pick: How to Motivate Yourself to Actually Make Calls discusses an interesting approach of adjusting your workspace to be more focused on your customers and goals, rather than be cluttered with personal mementos.
The Modern Customer Podcast is hosted by Blake Morgan, a customer experience strategist and contributor to Forbes.
It features episodes that show how customer support, great content, and happy customers all go hand-in-hand.
Our Pick: Making a Fan in the Moment of Failure: Hearing Your Customers on Social Media talks about how to turn a failing social media presence into a success through engagement and authenticity.
The Focus on Customer Service Podcast is hosted by Dan Gingiss and Dan Moriarty who delve into the importance of handling customer needs via social media.
This podcast exemplifies brands who are using social media to do exceptional customer service.
Our Pick: Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and Customer Service embraces the rise of social messaging platforms for service and the future of social media in the customer support world.
Roger Dooley hosts this insightful podcast based on his book Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing.
These episodes provide interesting tactics for incorporating psychology and neuroscience into the fields of marketing and customer service.
Our Pick: Never Lose a Customer Again with Joey Coleman emphasizes the importance of nurturing existing relationships with customers rather than trying to continuously gain more disloyal customers.
Customer Service Blogs
Harvard Business Review covers topics in almost every industry in the world, from Public Relations to Difficult Conversations.
However, its posts and articles on Customer Service and Customers are exceptionally beneficial to customer professionals. They provide a unique perspective by combining current news with rich advice.
Our Pick: Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers claims that most customer service departments are trying too hard with customers and should merely meet the basic needs of customers in an efficient manner.
I may be a bit biased, but the HubSpot Service Blog is a huge resource for answering all your questions on customer service and support.
Our blog posts are clear and concise and hit all the key-points, leaving you ready to tackle the rest of your day with refreshing takeaways.
Our Pick: 10 Testimonial Questions to Ask Your Customers lays out the best questions to ask customers to produce a powerful, convincing pitch that will win over future customers.
15. Win the Customer
This insightful blog empowers small businesses to leverage positive customer experiences to gain more customer loyalty.
It is run by Flavio Martins, Vice President of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert and award-winning customer service blogger. He helps readers tackle thought-provoking questions about customer service.
Our Pick: Why Build a Contact Center Instead of a Call Center explains why businesses should adapt their strategy for building a customer-facing organization that emphasizes employee engagement, not call volume.
16. Zendesk Relate
Zendesk Relate covers very intriguing topics, such as Water Cooler, Living Online, and Only Human.
Our personal favorite is Customer Connections, which produces posts that delve into customer experiences with various brands.
Our Pick: Mirroring is good in customer service; disappearing isn't shows us how mirroring customer energy can be a positive method, but should never go so far as to make a support rep lose their sense of self.
17. Solvvy Blog
Solvvy is a SaaS company that provides innovative solutions to customers through their software, so it makes sense that they are doing the same with their blog.
The blog features posts about opportunities for service and support professionals, as well as methods to manage many customer scenarios.
Our Pick: Why Self-Service is the Future of Customer Support teaches us to embrace self-service, which allows customers to solve issues quicker and support reps to have less on their plate.
18. Huffington Post
Huffington Post is a great source of information for a plethora of industries, from News to Politics to Entertainment.
This is a great resource for those who want to keep up with trends and current news in the Service and overarching Business industry.
Our Pick: "I'm Sorry" -- The Two Tragically Forgotten Words In Customer Service reminds support reps to always apologize to customers when necessary, and to be genuine about it.
Customer Support Books
19. Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless by Jeffrey Gitomer
This book highlights the absolute necessity of retaining unwavering customer brand loyalty.
Gitomer uses memorable tales and jokes to grab the reader's attention, all while teaching readers how to grab the attention of their customers.
In this book, Baer explains how we can improve the alarming statistic that only 8 percent of customers believe their companies provide outstanding service.
He teaches readers how to recognize and respond to two types of complainers. By using entertaining examples and intriguing strategies, he provides support reps with a fail-proof plan going forward.
21. Ask. by Ryan Levesque
Levesque educates readers on his "Ask Formula," the perfect way to find out exactly what your customers want.
This book will teach you all the right questions to ask to secure customer loyalty to you and your brand.
22. The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi
After reading this book, get ready to question everything you ever thought to be true about customer service.
The Effortless Experience tests that customers don't actually want outstanding service; they just want their basic needs met efficiently. This page-turner will have you considering customer service from the perspective of the customer.
23. The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell
Lee Cockerell, Walt Disney World's former Executive Vice President, dishes out his 39 unforgettable rules to increase customer retention.
He formats his book into 39 small chapters to make for effortless reading with high-value results.
24. Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service: Over 700 Ready-to-Use Phrases and Scripts That Really Get Results by Renée Evenson
In this fascinating guide, Renée Evenson writes over 700 scripts and phrases to help support reps handle any and all customer situations.
By analyzing several customer behaviors, she provides a response for every situation that can leave reps feeling confident on calls.
Customer Support Communities
25. Call Center IQ
The world's largest online community for customer service professionals was born from a union between Call Center Week and Customer Management IQ.
Members get access to networking with over 100,000 professionals and a copy of a quarterly executive research report. They also receive access to presentations, product demos, podcasts, and top-notch vendors.
26. Support Driven
Support Driven is an invaluable online community for customer support professionals. It functions as a space to vent, make friends, find job opportunities, and learn exciting new skills from fellow peers.
The website features a blog, newsletter, and other resources, and reps can register to join the Slack community. Support Driven also hosts a large-scale meet-up and learning event called SDX where people can hear from industry leaders, help solve problems, and learn new career skills.
This group of customer professionals works with members to improve their skills through online posts and conferences. Also, members are eligible to gain customer satisfaction certifications and support operations audits.
The Customer Support Professionals group is available on LinkedIn and currently has over 30,000 members.
28. Buffer Community
The Buffer Community provides weekly Twitter #Bufferchats to discuss customer-related topics, as well as local meet-ups and workshops.
There is also a Buffer Slack community with over 3,000 members created for setting goals, meeting new professionals, and getting professional advice.
This online community allows customer-facing professionals to share their ideas, skills, and thoughts with others in the field.
Customer Service Champions has over 107,000 members and is located on LinkedIn.
In this group, members can share their stories of successful practices and strategies with other customer experience professionals. The community covers topics from customer feedback to measuring customer value.
This LinkedIn community currently has over 26,000 members.
Whether you skim a brief infographic on your five-minute coffee break or delve into a 500-page book on Saturday morning, each of these resources will provide you with crucial information that will progress your journey in the fields of customer support or service. You can feel assured that your next customer interaction will be incredibly more efficient, effective, and enjoyable for you.
For another resource to add to your list, read about these essential customer support skills next.
Originally published Jun 20, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated June 20 2018