Customer Experience, Personalization

11 Personalization Books You Need to Read to Understand Customer Experience Better

Esat Artug

Esat Artug 9 min read

We are all different.

Our needs, wants, and preferences vary from one person to the next.

The customer experience is no exception to this rule. If you want your company's customer experience to be successful, then it's time for you to understand that every individual has their own unique set of expectations and requirements when interacting with a business or service provider.

Personalization is the key successful customer experience. There are so many ways you can personalize your business, from how you greet someone to what products you offer them.

Personalized experiences are designed to meet each customer's specific needs, which helps them feel like they're receiving the best possible service.

This blog post showcases 11 books to help you better understand the importance of personalized experiences for customers and how to put these strategies into practice in your company.

What's more, these books provide insight into developing a strong company culture that delivers an unforgettable customer experience every time.

Your customers deserve nothing less!

Personalization Books You Must Read

1. The Personalization Paradox: Why Companies Fail (and How To Succeed) at Delivering Personalized Experiences at Scale

Personalized experiences at scale are the future of content strategy.

To deliver personalized experiences at scale, you need the right tools and strategies.

In this book, Val Swisher and Regina Lynn Preciado show you exactly what it takes to deliver personalized experiences at scale by providing a roadmap for creating compelling content that will engage your customers. This book will teach you:

  • Why do so many businesses fail to create personalized experiences, and how can you avoid the pitfalls

  • What content standardization is and why it's important for personalization

  • 5 backbones of successful content standardization

  • The importance of big data and artificial intelligence for personalization

  • The secrets of successful personalization at scale

  • Why personalized content is the future of customer experience - an imperative that organizations cannot escape

2. Personalization First, or You Will Be Last: The Future State of Marketing

This book, 'Personalization First or You Will Be Last,' explores the growing relationship between technology and consumers.

Successful businesses understand that customers are using a variety of technological platforms to interact with brands. This on-demand approach impacts how companies approach their marketing, sales, and interactions with their customers.

The book describes the variety of technologies that are accessible to customers and highlights how numerous brands- Uber, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and many more - have navigated effectively through this rapidly changing market.

This book will teach you:

  • How to apply personalization at scale

  • The importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning for personalization

  • Consumer personalization and how to do personalization right

  • Examples of why companies are still getting personalization wrong

  • Omnichannel personalization and importance of zero-party and first-party data

3. Recommend This!: Delivering Digital Experiences that People Want to Share

The third personalization book on our list is: Recommend This!

Businesses are finding that understanding and meeting the needs of their customers is paramount in today's digital world. And one of the greatest tools at their disposal to improve engagement with their audiences is the humble "recommendation."

To effectively engage customers in today's fragmented digital world, marketers must focus on all elements of the customer experience - from initial contact to the lasting value delivered.

This approach requires a new brand of thinking about what constitutes an "experience."

Leveraging insights into how people think and behave in the digital space will create better experiences that deliver real business results for companies of all sizes.

As the expectations of digital consumers rise, marketers are being forced to rethink how they communicate with their audiences. This is the focus of the book Recommend This!

4. Customer's New Voice: Extreme Relevancy and Experience through Volunteered Customer Information

The Customer's New Voice shows brands how to translate volunteered customer data into lucrative insights, which allows for a new level of customer experience and personalization.

According to this book, 90 percent of the data that businesses use to determine what they sell or how to personalize a customer experience results from consumers unintentionally volunteering "indirect" data; however, this type of data has less than 10 percent accuracy.

In order to improve customer experience, businesses must shift from using indirect data from a consumer's point-of-sale transaction to intentional data that a consumer shares in a controlled manner throughout the purchase journey. This approach uses proactive information that a consumer chooses to share in order to deliver a better customer experience.

From this book, you'll learn:

  • Importance of volunteered data (zero-party data) for personalization

  • How to leverage the volunteered data to create compelling customer experiences

  • Privacy and future of consumer data ecosystem

5. One-to-One Personalization in the Age of Machine Learning: Harnessing Data to Power Great Customer Experiences

It's no secret that marketing is tough in this day and age.

Consumers are bombarded with so many messages vying for their attention at any given time.

With everything from social media to online reviews, it can be difficult for marketers to stand out amongst all the noise.

Since companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify offer personalized customer experiences, consumers want personalized experiences in every interaction they have with any company.

Therefore, if you want to gain a competitive advantage and keep existing customers happy, the key is to integrate data into your operations and marketing strategies. You can then use that data to deliver a personalized experience for each customer every time they interact with you.

One-to-One Personalization in the Age of Machine Learning discovers the 3 stages of personalization:

  • one-to-all experience (one that is the same for everyone)

  • one-to-many experience (one that is targeted to a segment or group of people)

  • and what one-to-one personalization is all about.

6. Customer Data Platforms: Use People Data to Transform the Future of Marketing Engagement

While the technology and terminology are new, the fundamental challenge marketers face is nothing new. It's a rehash of the age-old tension between privacy and personalization.

Customers want to be treated as individuals, they want their preferences and actions to be noticed, and they want offers that are specific to them. At the same time, they don't want to give up too much information about themselves because they fear giving away too much privacy.

Customer Data Platforms offer a standardized way to collect, analyze, and activate customer data in real-time. This allows companies to understand their customers better than ever before while also respecting their customers' privacy by working with them to decide exactly what level of data is needed.

By reading this book, you'll understand the fundamentals:

  • Understand the difficulties of managing customer data

  • Understand what CDPs are and what they do (and don't do)

  • Create a data-driven approach to everything you do so that consumers are at the core of what you do.

In this book, you'll learn how to establish a 1:1 relationship that can scale.

7. Amazon: The Chronicles of a Personalization Giant

Amazon is a modern marketing giant, and its personalization engine is a big part of why. The website knows so much about its customers because it's constantly tracking them across the web and mobile devices - a customer journey that spans multiple channels, from search to shopping cart to post-purchase touchpoints.

This book, Amazon: The Chronicles of a Personalization Giant, explores the behind the scenes of Amazon's personalization engine:

  • devices

  • channels

  • first-party exploration

  • and many more

You may use this book to learn about the greatest parts of Amazon's recommendation engine, find out where it falls short, and utilize them on your own personalization journeys.

8. Binge Worthy Branding: Build Customer Loyalty Using AI and Personalization Like Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks

Brands that can withstand today's hectic and competitive marketplace would benefit greatly from reading "Binge Worthy Branding."

This book will teach you how to use artificial intelligence and personalization technology to help fuel your customer loyalty and gain new business prospects.

You'll learn how companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks use these two technologies to make suggestions based on specific customer data points.

Rather than teaching particular strategies or providing a step-by-step technical guide, the author intends to prepare you for your customers' ever-increasing demands.

Bonus: 3 More Personalization Books

9. Personalization Mechanics: Targeted Content For Web Teams of All Sizes

This book is essential reading for any web team interested in personalization, as well as for digital strategists, UX specialists, marketing managers, and content strategists.

After reading this book, you'll learn:

10. The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing: New Tactics, Tools, and Techniques to Compete in the Digital Economy

The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing, author Kim Ann King focuses on the three backbones of groundbreaking B2B marketing:

  1. experimentation

  2. personalization

  3. automation

In this book, you'll learn:

11. Making It Personal: Algorithmic Personalization, Identity, and Everyday Life

The last book on our list is: Making It Personal.

"In Making It Personal," the author provides light on the dilemmas of algorithmic personalization, delving into such important contemporary issues as:

  • What do people really understand about the algorithms that control their online experiences

  • If personalization tactics attempt to act on our behalf, how can users define, maintain, or give up their autonomy

The Bottom Line

Personalization can be a very powerful tool to enhance the customer experience. While many companies struggle with integrating the processes and technology necessary to deliver a relevant and personalized customer experience, many inspiring case studies exist.

We hope that our list of personalization books will be a great starting point for you.

These books are listed in no particular order, but each of them will keep you thinking about how you can improve the customer experience, whether this is for your business or others. Each of these titles has something new to contribute to our understanding of customers and how businesses can personalize their services better.

Although these books will help you appreciate the importance of personalization, and show you how to get it right, knowing how to apply these concepts to your own business or organization is the hard part, but we’re glad we can help you on your way.

Our experts are ready and waiting at all times. You can book a call with one of our personalization experts.