The CX Goalkeeper Advent Calendar 2020

24 suggestions for books and podcasts on Customer Experience, Digitization and Leadership

This list is not sponsored. I personally selected each item on this list.

I am grateful, that the idea of the CX Advent Calendar 2020 on LinkedIn was so successful. Thank you for your support, your likes and comments. In the following article you will find my suggestions. It would be great to get your suggestions, your preferred books, podcasts and webcasts. I would love enhance this list.

1. Customer Understanding, Annette Franz 

It describes several principles / processes, which you can reuse in your company. They are really concrete and useful.

One quote I want to share from the last chapter (An open letter to CEOs), page 200:

“all of those projects and initiatives and innovations happening in your organization? if you don’t bring the customer voice into them, if you don’t consider the impact on the customer, what’s it all for?”

2. Ignore your customers, Micah Solomon 

This is really a very well written book with a lot of insights, examples and suggestions.

If you are really interested in customer experience I suggest to read this books.

There is a lot of materials you can leverage: cheatsheets, questions for group discussions, …


This is one of the best podcast series I have ever followed:

My suggestions to start:

  • Episode 5 with Bob Chapman
  • Episode 8 with Ms. Carolyn Adams


«Greatness is not a function of circumstance but conscious choice»

  • Building long lasting companies
  • Putting company first and clearly before own ego
  • Focus on who before what
  • Confront with the real truth
  • Hedgehog concept: doing one thing but really well
  • Eliminate excessive control
  • Technology is an accelerator
  • Built momentum and keep going


I am following this podcast since long time and the quality is extremely high.

My suggestion to start:

  1. Joe Pine – The Experience Economy is All About Time Well-Spent – S5E6
  2. James Dodkins – The CX Rockstar’s Return Tour – S5E1


A great practical guide for CX specialists

  • Outstanding content supported by a lot of illustrations and diagrams
  • Great examples
  • The CX content gets simplified by making it understandable
  • It covers all relevant CX competencies


The book is from the year 2011 however it gives really a comprehensive understanding of the relationship among marketing, social media, customer care and customer experience.

Top learnings:

  • Care about your customers, employees and brand
  • First movers are at the cutting edge for a short timeframe
  • A care culture is KEY
  • Behind a B2B relationship there is always a “C” (customer)
  • Speak the customer language
  • Co-creation is key however the company is in lead
  • Public conversation with the customers are important (ping-pong)
  • Quality in social media is more important than quantity
  • Leverage “pull” tactics to keep customer close to your brand
  • Communities can support brands

8. Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness

“great companies have a greater purpose and bigger vision beyond just making money or being number one in a market. A lot of companies fall into the trap of just focusing on making money and then they never become a great company.» page 165

“Too many companies think of their call centers as an expense to minimize.We believe that it’s a huge untapped opportunity for most companies,not only because it can result in word-of-mouth marketing, but because of its potential to increase the lifetime value of the customer.” page 165

„Another common trap that many marketers fall into is focusing too much on trying to figure out how to generate a lot of buzz, when really they should be focused on building engagement and trust. I can tell you that my mom has zero buzz, but when she says something, I listen.“ page 139

9. PRESS 1 FOR NICK, Nick Glimsdahl

I found this podcast during summer and I was impressed by quality of the content and of the speakers. 

My suggestions:


Successfully launched in Feb. 2021

From the webpage: «It will focus on helping leaders transform their customer service, with practical information from thought leaders and practitioners who will share their secrets to delivering exceptional customer service»

My suggestions:

11. CRACK THE CUSTOMER CODE – Adam Toporek, Jeannie Walters

A ”must follow” for CX volks:

From the mentioned webpage:

«Adam and Jeannie have been focused on what makes a great customer experience for more than 25 years between them, and they’re here to share what they’ve learned and have fun doing it!»

«This podcast is all about learning from business leaders of ALL kinds who are innovating in many cases (and disappointing in others.)»

12. CCXP EXAM PREPARATION – Michael G. Bartlett

To help all the CX experts to achieve the “Certified Customer Experience Professional” certification I really believe that you should use the CCXP simulator and read this book.

and the CCXP exam simulator:

These two great resources really helped me and a lot of other professionals to be ready for the exam and to be in right “mindset” to sit the exam. 

13. The Customer Experience Playbook – Jonathan Daniels

  • A great book written by a friend of mine
  • I like it because it’s easy to understand, all the inputs are actionable
  • Full of great cases studies and examples
  • A great framework to start and continues the CX transformation

For more informations about Jonathan Daniels:

14. Managing the Customer Experience – Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler

  • This book clearly explains how branded customer experience drives customer loyalty, which creates a long-lasting competitive advantage.
  • A lot of templates and workflows are available in the book
  • A lot of facts and figures which will help making the impact of CX more understandable also for executives.

15. The Effortless Experience, Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, Rick Delisi

  • It makes clear with sounded data and an understandable demonstration that disloyalty correlates with the effort required to achieve customers goals.
  • By reducing the effort, the disloyalty get reduced.
  • The CES is an important KPI to drive loyalty (or to reduce disloyalty).
  • WOW moments are overestimated…

a paradigm shift for customer service!

16. OUTSIDE IN, Harley Manning & Kerry Bodine

  • The book clearly explains that CX is one of the best way how to improve retention, share of wallet and word of mouth.
  • One of the best explanations how to put the customers first & really listening to customer feedback
  • Additionally the book shows quite a lot of useful case studies and tools.

17. The ultimate question 2.0 – Fred Reichheld 

This is THE introduction to the NPS! … no! it’s not the NPS you think about or your heard about!

  • It’s the way how to get feedback from customers, improves customer experiences and learn from the customers.
  • It’s not about the number!
  • Additionally you fill find a lot of great examples

18. The CX CAST – Forrester, Jenny Wise & Angelina Gennis

•This is a great podcast covering a lot of CX topics. The quality level is stable at a really high level also after the handover from J. Wise to A. Gennis

My suggestions:

19. Chief Customer Officer 2.0: Jeanne Bliss

  • This is really a fantastic book!
  • It covers a lot of CX themes in particular how to build a customer centric organization.
  • It gives very good insights and examples
  • It clearly state the importance of creating a CX change coalition

20. Amazing Business Radio – Shep Hyken

  • Amazing Business Radio is simply “brilliant”. I am sorry, I cannot define it as “amazing”.
  • Why? Because Shep’s definition of “amazing” is “consistently slightly above average”. In this case it constantly exceeds expectations by far.
  • Every time I listen to his podcasts, I read his articles or his book, I am learning a lot.

My suggestions:

21. The Experience Economy – B. J. Pine II und J. H. Gilmore 

  • An inspiring book that describes the evolution of the economy from commodities, to goods, to services, to experience and at the end to transformation.
  • It helps to think about «complete experiences» and not only about one step of an experience. 
  • The concept about «time well spent» vs. «time well save» is enlightening

22. The Best Service is no Service – Bill Price and David Jaffe 

This book explains 7 principles to deliver the best service with the target to achieve «no service»

  • «Eliminate unnecessary contacts
  • Create engaging self-service
  • Be proactive
  • Make it easy to contact your company
  • Own the actions across the company
  • Listen and act
  • Deliver great service experiences»

23. Customer Experience 2, Naeem Arif and 24 international CX professionals  

It’s really a great book that you can enjoy chapter by chapter because it is written by 24 CX professionals

My personal chapter suggestions:

  • Sharon Boyd – Launch of an “out of this world” CX Strategy
  • Christopher Brooks – What Really Matters Most to customers? 

24. Accredited Customer Experience Certification – James Dodkins

This is nor a book nor a podcast. It’s an online course.

  • Great CX online training and certification
  • It offers simple and immediately impactful tools, techniques and mindsets
  • When applied, it will radically improve the experience that companies deliver to customers, gaining a competitive advantage

for more information or to simple sign in: 

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