Recently, we came across an excellent inventory of Customer Service Quotes from legendary business leaders, past and present. Thank you to Salesforce for capturing and compiling these quotes. It’s rare to find so many solid quotes consolidated together on a business strategy so near and dear to our hearts.
As CRM strategists and customer experience improvement and innovation experts, the RevSherpas consulting practice is passionate about delivering optimal service to our clients. Moreover, during our client engagements, we always underscore the importance of providing unrivaled customer service to reduce churn, increase satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately grow revenues.
While other consultants and coaches typically try to convince you to utilize the latest social media shiny object tactic of the day, we’re far more into cultivating deeper relationships with your prospects, clients, and referral sources.
It’s much more effective and just makes more business sense. After all, our motto in our logo does say, “Client Focused. Elevated Results.”
What’s interesting is that many of the quotes and points of view that were established in the 1800s are still valid today. In fact, they are so legit that they serve as the fundamentals of how to effectively grow and scale a business even now.
To begin, let’s take a look at some of our favorite quotes from the pioneers of Retail.
“THE OLD SCHOOL”
Marshal Field, founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores:
“The customer is always right.”
“Assume that the customer is right until it is plain beyond all question he is not.”
“Give the lady what she wants.”
“Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.”
Harry Gordon Selfridge, American-British retail magnate who founded the London-based department store Selfridges:
“Honesty always pays.”
“People will sit up and take notice of you if you will sit up and take notice of what makes them sit up and take notice.”
“Get the confidence of the public and you will have no difficulty in getting their patronage.”
“Treat [the customer] as guests when they come and when they go, whether or not they buy.”
John Wanamaker, founder of department stores, including Philadelphia-based Wanamaker’s; Also, invented the price tag and was the first merchant to utilize advertising agencies:
“When a customer enters my store, forget me. He is king.”
“Courtesy is the one coin you can never have too much of or be stingy with.”
“Courtesies cannot be borrowed like snow shovels; you must have some of your own.”
Again, many of the above quotes were declared by individuals born in the 1830s and 1850s! Yet, their philosophies still hold up and are applicable in the present environment…they’re really the “SAME AS IT EVER WAS!”
To balance out the “old school” perspectives, we also wanted to share some fascinating quotes on the importance of customer service from current CEOs and business leaders representing the “new school” as seen below.
“THE NEW SCHOOL”
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist:
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Dr. Gary P. Hamel, founder of Strategos, a management consulting firm:
“Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty…It doesn’t matter much where your company sits in its industry ecosystem, nor how vertically or horizontally integrated it is—what matters is its relative ‘share of customer value’ in the final product or solution, and its cost of producing that value.”
Elon Musk, founder/CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, among many other companies (does he ever sleep?):
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”
Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon:
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos; Previously was co-founder of LinkExchange:
“We take most of the money that we could have spent on paid advertising and instead put it back into the customer experience. Then we let the customers be our marketing.”
Joseph Jaffe, consultant and thought leader on growth, marketing, and innovation:
“Customer Service is everything and anything that touches a customer – directly or indirectly. Customer service means servicing customers, and it’s so much more than just solving problems or addressing complaints. Customer service is part of a holistic customer experience that is capable of providing a critical competitive advantage in today’s increasingly cluttered and commoditized marketplace.”
Larry Page, co-founder of Google:
“We have a mantra: don’t be evil, which is to do the best things we know how for our users, for our customers, for everyone.”
Marc Benioff, founder/Chairman/CEO of Salesforce:
“The future of communicating with customers rests in engaging with them through every possible channel: phone, e-mail, chat, Web, and social networks. Customers are discussing a company’s products and brand in real time. Companies need to join the conversation.”
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group:
“Setting customer expectations at a level that is aligned with consistently deliverable levels of customer service requires that your whole staff, from product development to marketing, works in harmony with your brand image.”
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club:
“There is only one boss – the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
Seymour Fine, marketing expert:
“When a customer complains, he is doing you a special favor; he is giving you another chance to serve him to his satisfaction. You will appreciate the importance of this opportunity when you consider that the customer’s alternative option was to desert you for a competitor.”
Shep Hyken, customer service expert:
“True loyalty doesn’t come because of an app. It doesn’t come because you have a punch card where after ten punches you get a free sandwich. It is about the relationship. Take away those “perks” and would the customer still be loyal?”
Steve Jobs, co-founder/Chairman/CEO of Apple:
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
Walt Disney, founder of The Disney Company, animation pioneer, and film producer:
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and sales trainer:
“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”
These customer service philosophies are truly time-tested and they should be at the cornerstone of your digital customer experience transformation strategic initiatives. Any company in the midst of becoming more client-focused and shifting from a product-centric to a client-centric mindset to better serve its customer base can likely utilize many of these famous quotes as the guiding principles for the changing of their company culture.
As for your company, are you in need of assistance in designing and revamping your customer experience and CRM strategy?
Have your service levels been declining and running into frequent bottlenecks and backlogs lately?
Have you been experiencing high customer turnover of late?
If so, it’s probably time to simplify, standardize, and improve your client service operations! Please email Hello@RevSherpas.com to request an initial discovery and strategy consultation.
Lastly, we encourage you to leave a comment below to let us know what your most-liked quote in this article is or if you have another favorite customer service, CRM, or customer experience management quote not listed here.