The Best Customer Service Books for IT Pros

The 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success

Learn why Compassionate Geek books are the best customer service books for IT pros.

Learn how to give your company a competitive edge when you read this book. You’ll learn the 5 Principles for ensuring customer success, putting customers first. Customers want an effortless experience and this IT support book, based on our on-demand IT customer service training course, will give you critical tools for delivering outstanding customer support.


  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: An Introduction to Service
  • Chapter 2: The Principle of Competence
  • Chapter 3: The Principle of Compassion
  • Chapter 4: The Principle of Empathy
  • Chapter 5: The Principle of Listening
  • Chapter 6: The Principle of Respect
  • Epilogue

Excellent customer service techniques can be learned. It’s not a matter of memorizing scripts. It’s a matter of putting yourself in your customer’s position. This book is perfect for your support team because it will help them improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, whether you support external or internal customers.

Free Email Lessons are Included with Your Download

When you download this ebook, you'll also receive an eight-part series of lessons on the 5 Principles, along with commentary by the author. Think of it as your own personal book club!

From The Preface to This IT Support Book

This is perhaps my fourth IT customer service book. I say perhaps because I’ve been writing about IT customer service for about ten years in the form of workbooks, blogs, and books. This book, unlike my earlier books, attempts to deal only with point of view. It is not about scripts and protocols for dealing with IT customers. Instead, it focuses exclusively on how we see ourselves within an organization and within the context of human interactions.

I heard a speech by R. Robert Cueni in which he seemed to speak directly to me. After his talk, I asked him, only half-joking, how he managed to direct his comments to me specifically. He replied that he writes speeches for himself and hopes that the lessons are relevant for others, too. So it is with my books. This book is written about my process of self-discovery, transformation, and growth. I hope the lessons I’m learning on this journey are as relevant and useful to you as they have been to me.

I developed the 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success over a period of about ten years as I traveled through the United States, Canada, and other countries working with IT staff on both customer service skills and technical skills. I observed that there are two broad groups of IT people. In the first group are people who are enjoying interesting and satisfying careers and lives. In the second group are people whose careers and lives leave them bored and dissatisfied. The former are positive, upbeat, and a joy to be around. The latter are cynical, negative, and soul-draining. As I taught and worked with various groups of people, I began to wonder whether certain identifiable traits were associated with people in the first group that would be valuable for me to share with my students. As I continued my work with IT people, I saw five traits begin to emerge among people in the first group. These provided the foundation for the 5 Principles of IT Customer Service Success.

From The Opening Words in Chapter 1: An Introduction to Service

People in the IT world ask whether technical skills or customer service skills are more important for someone working in IT. That’s the wrong question. The right question is whether technical skills or people skills are more important. Not everyone who works in IT is involved in customer-facing jobs, but most of us are involved in jobs that require varying levels of human contact—and thus people skills. Even tenured coders must occasionally use people skills to persuade others of their ideas, to negotiate terms of employment, or to navigate an interpersonal issue with another human, perhaps a coworker or a boss.

Still, that doesn’t tell us which is more important.

Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy suggests that when someone meets you for the first time, that person quickly answers two questions about you:

  • Can I trust this person?
  • Can I respect this person? (Cuddy 2015 )

These two questions allow us to assess warmth and competence. Warmth is related to your people skills, and competence is related to your technical ability. The most successful people tend to have both.

My son, Jon, worked as an inside technical recruiter at Google. He observed that job candidates’ technical skills would get them interviewed, but their collaborative skills would get them hired. The same phenomenon has been described by Dr. Daniel Goleman in his work on emotional intelligence. Goleman noticed that a person’s IQ (intelligence quotient, or raw cognitive ability) would get him or her a job, but that person’s EIQ (emotional intelligence quotient, or people skills) was the best predictor of long-term career success (Goleman 1995).

Another way of looking at this is through the competence/charisma four-quadrant model.

In this model are four quadrants related to technical skills (competence) and people skills (charisma). For the purpose of this discussion, we will define competence as your ability to perform the core aspects of your job. If you are a surgeon, for example, your competence is your ability to perform surgical procedures. If you are an accountant, it is your ability to understand and implement tax laws, to abide by the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and to balance books. If you are a server administrator, it is your ability to successfully design, configure, and manage a Linux file server or a Windows Domain Controller. For the purpose of this discussion, we will define charisma as your ability to understand, get along with, and influence people.

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