The Hard Truth About Soft Skills PDF Free Download

  1. Embedding the training of soft skills into hard skills courses is a very effective and efficient method of achieving both an attractive way of teaching a particular content and an.
  2. Sep 15, 2015 'Bridging the Soft Skills Gap is an essential tool for developing today's talent. Tulgan's book offers an easy, no nonsense approach to building greater soft skills critical for success.' —Tani Bialek, PhD, Director, Learning and Professional Development, McGladrey LLP 'Bruce Tulgan offers down-to-earth, practicable and actionable answers.
  3. The purpose of this paper is to better understand what recruiters are looking for in potential job applicants. Past studies tend to be unclear on how GPA ranks in relation to soft skills (traits and social skills important in interacting with others). Also, most of these studies were conducted at either Ivy League colleges, where the admissions policies filter students by academic ability.

You've probably heard one of the more famous -isms in the world before: 'The customer is always right.'


But you probably also know that 'the customer is always right,' isn't the only key to making customers so happy they stick around. There are a variety of other philosophies, strategies, and tools customer-facing professionals and teams can use to turn customers into loyal promoters and advocates.

But how do you learn everything you need to know to turn yourself -- and your team -- into a high-performing customer happiness engine?

There are a lot of things you can learn on the job when you work in customer service. But sometimes, it's faster to learn from an expert, so you can take their learnings after years of research and experience, and immediately implement them in your own workflow.

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills #Mark Tarallo By Mark Tarallo May 2. Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success 99. Praise, Criticism, or Feedback. JUST THE FACTS: In a work setting, we give and receive many different types of information. The purpose of this activity is to help participants determine the differences between criticism, praise, and feedback – not only how to offer it, but how to receive it.

Peruse this book list to learn from the experts about customer service, customer success, leadership, and writing. All of these books contain valuable insights for anyone working in a customer-facing role, so pick one to get started on improving your knowledge so you can become an expert, too.

20 Top Customer Service Books

Customer Service Books

Read these books to learn about how to create an exceptional customer experience -- featuring real-world case studies and time-tested methods created by industry thought leaders.

1. Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business


Authors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss argue that, in order to provide exceptional customer service, you need to do other things less-than-exceptionally. That's right: The authors advocate for underperforming in one area of your business in order to excel at customer service -- because, they argue, you can't do everything well.

The authors encourage businesses to identify what their customers value most, prioritize excelling in that business function, and accept that this prioritization will result in underperformance in other areas. They argue that customer service will become a competitive differentiator for customers trying to choose among many different options, so this tough truth is also a necessary one.

2. The Nordstrom Way to Customer Experience Excellence: Creating a Values-Driven Service Culture

Nordstrom has set the standard for customer happiness in the sea of its other department store competitors, so authors Robert Spector and BreAnne O. Reeves literally wrote the book on how they did it.

Key insights from Nordstrom include empowering self-motivated employees to go the extra mile to make customers happy, to prioritize ease-of-use for your customers across every touchpoint they have with your brand, and to always think like the customer to build a customer-centric brand on every team and function within your business.

3. The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience

Authored by customer service thought leader Shep Hyken, this book offers seven practical strategies to improve customer happiness and loyalty, including cultivating partnership with customers, providing unique membership awards, and building community with customers.

This book is all steak and no sizzle, with tons of practical ideas and strategies supported by real-world examples that readers can take into work with them as soon as they read.

4. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers

Author Jay Baer wrote Hug Your Haters for a modern customer service organization that isn't just built on the phone or email, but on social media and on messaging apps, too. Baer implores readers to build their customer service organization around these digital channels, where the majority of customers share their rave reviews -- as well as their complaints.

In the book, Baer teaches readers how to handle your haters and your trolls, how to measure customer service productivity, the impacts of not addressing customer complaints, and how to use his frameworks for responding to customers complaints across a variety of online channels.

5. The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

If you're not familiar with the Ritz-Carlton's famous customer service policy, it's pretty legendary: Every single employee, no matter what their role, has the discretion to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve customer experience.

This policy, and the principles and foundations behind it, have built the brand a legion of loyal customers, and in this book, author Joseph Michelli explains how other brands can build a similarly memorable brand and customer experience -- using principles like 'empower [employees] through trust,' 'leave a lasting footprint,' and 'define and refine [the experience you want customers to have].'

6. The Thank You Economy

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills PDF Free Download and install

Marketing mogul and author Gary Vaynerchuk regularly talks about the importance of 1:1 communication in marketing -- and his philosophies extend to the customer service world, too.

In this book, Vaynerchuk writes that the era of small courtesies is returning to the business world, now that social media has enabled businesses to communicate more intimately across different channels. He also writes that, if businesses don't pursue 1:1 customer care and engagement, they'll lose business to their competitors. This book will make you think about how to use the power of technology to more effectively grow and scale relationships with customers around the world.

7. What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint

Author Nicholas Webb has some things to say about the current state of customer experience: 'Let's face it: Today, most customer experience programs are a disaster.'

Webb things only businesses that offer 'optimal' customer service will survive -- and that most businesses are a long way off from achieving that. The main reason, Webb argues, is because the technological innovations of the last few decades have made it easier for businesses to treat and review customers like data points, instead of treating them like real people.

Webb calls for reviewing each touchpoint a customer shares with your business, and evaluating what you can do, both online and offline, to improve each step of that experience. Optimizing each stage of the customer experience, instead of making broad-strokes changes, will satisfy individualistic customers who won't be satisfied by the bare minimum.

Customer Success Books

These books are about taking customer service to the next level -- into customer success. Once you've started solving your customers' problems and helping guide them toward other solutions and strategies for achieving their goals with your product or service, you can start building a customer success program -- one that helps your customers succeed so your business succeeds, and turns your happy customers into your loyal advocates and evangelists.

8. Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn and Growing Revenue

Authored by some of the pioneers of the customer success movement, this is the definitive book to read to get the lay of the customer success land -- focused squarely on improving customer loyalty, decreasing churn, and adapting to the advent of the subscription economy.

The book focuses primarily on subscription-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, but the principles and ideas they explore are relevant to any industry or business. A key concept that's explored again and again is customer loyalty -- and specifically, behavioral vs. attitudinal loyalty. Attitudinal loyalty, the authors explain, is loyalty when customers love a particular brand or product, and it's ideal -- but difficult to achieve.

9. The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value

This book is authored by Frederick Reichheld -- one of the creators of the Net Promoter Score® -- the landmark customer happiness and loyalty metric many businesses use today. And like the NPS, the ideas originally published by Reichheld back in 1996 are some of the most widely-shared beliefs in the customer service and success spaces today.

Chief among his findings and arguments include the finding that loyal customers are cheaper to service than non-loyal customers, that loyal customers are typically more willing to pay higher prices because of their satisfaction with the brand and the products, and that loyal customers are valuable marketing agents, as their recommendations to friends and family provide free referral business.

10. Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine

Author Jeanne Bliss is a thought leader on the role of customer leadership -- like the Chief Customer Officer, for example. Her book outlines the five competencies she uses to evaluate and coach customer-driven executives to turn customers into a growth engine -- but they're useful principles to use as guiding north stars, no matter what stage of your career:

  • Honor and manage your customers as assets
  • Align around customer experience
  • Build a customer listening path
  • Proactive experience reliability and innovation
  • Leadership, accountability, and culture

11. Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It

In this book, author Jill Griffin delivers really practical, easy-to-implement advice about, well, what the title suggests: how to earn and maintain customer loyalty. Each section focuses on a different stage of the customer experience, and how to prioritize loyalty in each stage -- such as how to turn a first-time buyer into a repeat customer, how to prevent customer loss when you notice signs of churn, and more.

12. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Authored by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness is another case study of a company made successful by its exceptional customer service. The book chronicles Zappos' one-of-a-kind company culture and commitment to customer experience that's made it as big as it is today.

Hsieh really believes that company culture is a determining factor and predictor of your business' success -- and the kind of service your customers will receive. Like the authors of Uncommon Service, Hsieh advocates for choosing one thing to do exceptionally well, instead of trying to be average at everything. And that one thing, he argues, should be customer service.

Leadership Books

These books aren't written strictly for customer-facing professionals, but they offer valuable lessons for leaders at the head of customer-facing teams, as well as ideas for influencing and building trust with the customers you serve.

13. The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner

'Hard skills' are technical skills and expertise, but author and career coach Peggy Klaus things 'soft skills' are even more important to career growth -- skills like workload management, giving and receiving feedback, developing a brand, and more.

These soft skills are relevant for any customer service or success professional seeking to grow their career, and eventually, lead a team.

14. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Another good read for anyone trying to build a career, author and speaker Simon Sinek's book details how successful leaders can inspire others to rally behind a cause or a mission -- and achieve it.

Sinek believes in the importance of putting the 'why' before the 'how' or the 'what.' In other words, successful leaders should focus on getting everyone on board with the purpose before diving into the process or product.

This is valuable guidance for leaders of teams and for customer-facing professionals in general. By focusing on the 'why' of your customer, you will be able to more effectively navigate conversations to build rapport and trust with them, which will allow you to build a mutually beneficial relationship and inspire their loyalty -- to you and your brand.

15. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

You're probably already familiar with the concept of emotional intelligence -- the ability to understand and manage the needs and feelings of others, as well as yourself, and to respond appropriately.

This book takes these concepts further, with authors Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, and Patrick Lencioni that provides helpful tools, tips, and frameworks for building your emotional intelligence components. It even includes a helpful interactive quiz, which identifies your strengths and areas for improvement so you can focus on making the biggest impact on your EQ as possible.

16. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie's famous book still stands the test of time, and it's worth a read for anyone brushing up on their leadership and people skills -- at work, or in your personal life.

You can read a detailed summary of the book here, but below are some of the principles most applicable to someone building a customer-focused career:

Soft Skills For Human Resources

  • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Make the other person feel important.
  • If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.

Writing Books

No matter what your job, it's likely that it will involve a fair bit of writing -- and even if you're only writing emails in your role, it's important to have a few skills in your back pocket before you press 'send.' And customer-facing professionals have to spend a lot of time emailing their customers. Here are a few helpful books to read to brush up on your written communication skills:

17. Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Author Ann Handley's book is my blogging must-read -- in fact, it sits on my desk at work. Her actionable tips and guides are easy to implement in your day-to-day writing, as well as in your content creation (for example, if you write knowledge guide content or blog posts for a customer blog).

This book is made up of 74 short chapters, so it's easy to flip through while you're writing different things. Her suggestions for writing social media copy are particularly helpful -- and she encourages making sure to adjust tone and content for each platform and use case.

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

18. May I Have Your Attention, Please? Your Guide to Business Writing That Charms, Captivates and Converts

Business writing doesn't have to be boring, according to author Mish Slade. This book provides a ton of ideas and techniques for making every single word of your copy remarkable -- from your website to your social channels to your emails.

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills Pdf free. download full

These tips are specifically about trying to read customers' minds -- to answer their questions clearly and concisely, which is why they're likely looking at your website in the first place. Tips for clarity and writing with enthusiasm will be of particular use for customer service professionals writing social media customer service copy, or knowledge base content.

19. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

A staple for any nonfiction writer, this book by William Zinsser teaches readers that everyone can learn to write well -- and that the keys to writing well are communicating authentic personality and helpful information. The principles in this book will teach readers how to write clearly and effectively to share important information, while still being engaging and creative in the process.

20. Several Short Sentences About Writing

Another quick-hits read, author and New York Times editorial board member Verlyn Klinkenborg breaks down the minutiae of sentence structure to give readers a helpful guide to storytelling. As the title might already suggest, she advocates for writing short sentences in order to practice writing longer ones, so you can write content that's strong and balanced, and not unwieldy.

This helps create reader clarity -- which is critical when you're using writing to educate and communicate with customers.

What are your must-read customer service books? Share them with me on Twitter.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills PDF Free Download and install

Out there in the rat race known as “the corporate world”, having the right soft skills will determine whether you make it or fall off the track. Fear not! Having these skills will separate you from the competition and put you ahead of the chase. There are some great self-help books that will identify the soft skills that you already have and help you to develop new ones.

Nobody Can Survive in the Workplace Without Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. These are qualities such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, critical observation, and conflict resolution. While you may already possess the foundations for these skills, there are a number of self-help books out there to help you hone your skills and acquire new ones. More often than not, you will be working with others which can at times be daunting. With a little light reading, you’ll be ahead of the game in no time!

Best Books To Start Honing Soft Skills

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wished They’d Learned Sooner – by Peggy Klause

Peggy Klause, a Fortune 500 Coach, has built her business by providing consultation to individuals with great technical skills but limited interpersonal skills. This is typically what holds back people in their careers rather than any lack in technical or practical capability. Her coaching provides the steps required to master communication, self-management, and social aspects of the workplace.


The most common issue challenging young people in the workplace is the lack of soft skills. The issue is becoming greater as time goes by and is hindering much young talent because they don’t know how to accurately express and carry themselves. This book teaches how to behave in the workplace in a proactive and professional manner.

Soft Skills Training: A Workbook to Develop Skills for Employment – by Frederick H. Wentz

Abi Soft Skills

Frederick Wentz was hired to teach recently-released offenders the skills necessary for employment. After going through the motions of resumes and mock interviews, he realized that to truly benefit his students he had to teach them the soft skills that are essential to getting a job. He wrote this book to give guidance to those who are new to the working class.

Soft Skills Shrm

Everyone Communicates, Few People Connect: What the Most Effective People do Differently – by John C. Maxwell

Experience is not the most important quality in order to succeed. The most vital skill that you can possess is communication and connection with your listeners. You need to know how to get through to people and appeal to their interests in order to attain their attention and respect. Charisma can be a learned skill, and you can sharpen your communication without being an extrovert.

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks to Have Big Success in Relationships – by Leil Lowndes


This book will teach you how to make a great first impression, work a room like a politician, master small talk, feed someone’s ego, and so much more! Leil Lowndes delves deeply into the different aspects of communication and how to use them to secure your success.

Teamwork 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know – by John C. Maxwell

Best-selling writer John C. Maxwell explains that in order to have a successful, healthy workplace, there needs to be a solid foundation of teamwork and team players. This requires a well-thought-out game-plan, positive energy in the work place, identification of negative members and their impact on the team, production, and creativity, and the ability to judge whether or not the team can fulfill the task at hand.

Teamwork is an Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done While Sharing Responsibility – by Christopher M. Avery, Meri Aaron Walker, and Erin O’Toole

This book emphasizes the importance of being able to work well with others in order to excel in the workplace. Mastering teamwork requires five essential skills: assuming personal responsibility for productive relationships, creating powerful partnerships, aligning individuals around a shared purpose, discerning when something is “just right”, and developing a collaborative mindset.

The Advantage: The 7 Soft Skills You Need to Stay Ahead – by Emma-Sue Prince


The world is changing rapidly, and in order to stay ahead you need to change with it. You need these seven essential skills to make yourself stand out from the rest: adaptability, resilience, optimism, integrity, critical thinking, proactivity, and empathy. You might think that either you have these qualities or you don’t, but these qualities can be learned!

FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills – by Sheri Wilkins and Carol Burmeister

A book written by parents and educators for parents and educators. This book focuses on young people who have trouble focusing and communicating, are disorganized and impulsive, and struggle with planning or problem solving. Although this book is written with adolescents in mind, young adults could find this book incredibly beneficial to improve these skills.

On Adaptability…

AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For – by M.J. Ryan

Whether you’ve found yourself displaced from a job, struggling to stay current as you age and your coworkers keep getting younger, or are faced with the reality that your company is outdated and in danger of being phased out. We all need to learn how to deal with change and use it to our advantage.

On Conflict Resolution…

Perfect Phrases for Conflict Resolution – by Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel


In the workplace you’re bound to face conflict at some point no matter how nice or easy going you are. The result of the conflict depends on how it is handled and how carefully you choose your words. This book will equip you with conflict-diffusing phrases that can cool down any situation and stop it in its tracks before it gets out of control.

Conflict Communication: A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication – by Rory Miller

Learn how to control and manipulate situations to avoid and diffuse a conflict before it become a huge issue. This book covers conflict dynamics in the workplace as well as at home so that you’re always in control of a situation.

These books will equip you with the soft skills needed in the workplace. Learning them will be an advantage. The importance of being able to work well with others in the workplace cannot be overemphasized, so what are you waiting for? Start reading!