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100+ Famous Business Quotes About Customer Service

Looking for ways to delight and motive yourself or your team? Check out these 109 famous business quotes about customer service from leaders and CEOs like Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Sam Walton, and more.

Famous Business Quotes About Customer Service

1. “My metric for success can be summed up in one phrase: earn customers for life.” –Mary Barra, Chair and CEO General Motors

2. “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.” –Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

3. “To earn the respect (and eventually love) of your customers, you first have to respect those customers. That is why Golden Rule behavior is embraced by most of the winning companies.” –Colleen Barrett, Southwest Airlines President Emerita

4. “What is necessary is to listen to your customers: understand their needs, expectations and jobs to be done, and design an experience that meets those needs. The same goes for your employees.” –Annette Franz, Founder CX Journey

5. “When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.” –Indra Nooyi, CEO PepsiCo

6. “It never ceases to amaze me that companies spend millions to attract new customers (people they don’t know) and spend next to nothing to keep the ones they’ve got! Seems to me the budgets should be reversed!.” –Tom Peters, Speaker and Author

7. “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.” –Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon

8. “If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job.” –Malcolm Forbes, Former Publisher of Forbes Magazine

9. “I empathize with women in their high heels so I’ll be there in my kilt and T-shirt and I’ll walk around all day just to prove that if I can wear the shoes for 36 hours then certainly our customer can wear them.” –Marc Jacobs, Fashion Designer

10. “There’s a battle between what the cook thinks is high art and what the customer just wants to eat.” –Mario Batali, Chef, Writer and Media Personality

“There’s a battle between what the cook thinks is high art and what the customer just wants to eat.”

11. “You know your business model is broken when you’re suing your customers.” –Paul Graham, Venture Capitalist and Co-founder of Y Combinator

12. “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” –Warren Buffett, Business Magnate

13. “You can buy a person’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm … You cannot buy loyalty … You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” –Clarence Francis, Former Chair of the Board General Foods Corporation

14. “The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” –Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby

15. “Sometimes one can become lost in a big company and lose sight of how what one does truly helps or impacts the end customer. If you are one of those, think of a fire brigade, a line of people passing buckets of water from one to the other from a source of water to the site of the fire. An individual in the brigade may not be able to see the end result, i.e., the water being thrown on the fire to put it out, but the contribution of the individual is indispensable to the final outcome.” *–Grant Bright, Former Project Lead IBM *

16. “Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” –Henry Ford, Founder Ford Motor Company

17. “We are superior to the competition because we hire employees who work in an environment of belonging and purpose. We foster a climate where the employee can deliver what the customer wants. You cannot deliver what the customer wants by controlling the employee.” –Horst Schulze, Former Ritz Carlton President

18. “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” –James Cash Penney, Founder J.C. Penney Stores

19. “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” –Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon

20. “There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.” –Jim Bush, EVP American Express

21. “A lot of people have fancy things to say about customer service, but it’s just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity.” –Christopher McCormick, CEO of L.L. Bean

“A lot of people have fancy things to say about customer service, but it’s just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity.”

22. “We don’t want to push our ideas on to customers, we simply want to make what they want.” –Laura Ashley, Fashion Designer

23. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” –Peter Drucker, Best-Selling Author

24. “Never underestimate the power of the human element. Whether it’s assisting a guest with a special request or a friendly greeting from staff members in the hallway, the people aspect plays a key role in guest satisfaction and loyalty.” –Ramez Faza, Sr. Account Manager at J.D. Power and Associates

25. “If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” –Ray Kroc, Founder McDonald’s

26. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” –Sam Walton, Founder Walmart and Sam’s Club

27. “Follow the customer, if they change, we change.” –Sir Terry Leahy, Former CEO Tesco

28. “Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solve it wrong, it will come back and slap you in the face, and then you can solve it right. Lying dead in the water and doing nothing is a comfortable alternative because it is without risk, but it is an absolutely fatal way to manage a business.” –Thomas Watson, Jr. Former President of IBM and US Ambassador to the Soviet Union

29. “Be dramatically willing to focus on the customer at all costs, even at the cost of obsoleting your own stuff.” –Scott D. Cook, Founder of Intuit

“Be dramatically willing to focus on the customer at all costs, even at the cost of obsoleting your own stuff.”

30. “We will ensure that associates continue to possess unsurpassed product knowledge and maintain their dedication to customer service and respect for their colleagues and for the communities in which they work and live.” –Arthur Blank, Co-Founder The Home Depot

31. “Firms need to ensure that their ability to provide effective customer service keeps pace with their growth. If you’re marketing your firm to new customers, you better be able to provide them service when they do business with you.” –Arthur Levitt, Former Chairman of the SEC

32. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” –Bill Gates, Co-founder Microsoft

33. “Customers who are merely satisfied remain your customers only as long as everything goes their way.” –Chip Bell, Founder Chip Bell Group

34. “It’s much harder to provide a great customer service than I would have ever realised. It’s much more art than science in some of these other areas and not just about the facts but about how you are conveying them.” –David Yu, CEO Betfair

35. “Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple stupid behavior.” –Dee Hock, Founder Visa Credit Card Association

36. “Don Keough’s (CEO Coca-Cola) 11 Rules on “HOW TO LOSE”: 1. Stop taking risks 2. Be content 3. Never deviate from what the founder did 4. Be inflexible 5. Rely totally on research and experts 6. Concentrate on competitors instead of your customers 7. Put yourself — not the customer — first 8. Solve administrative concerns first 9. Let others do your thinking for example, headquarters 10. Rely on T-G-E: “That’s Good Enough” and T-N-M-J: “That’s Not My Job!” 11. Rationalize slow growth” –Donald Keough, Former CEO Coca-Cola Company

37. “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” –Don Porter, V.P British Airways

38. “Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much. It pleases him who gives and receives and thus, like mercy, is twice blessed.” –Erastus Wiman, Former President Great Northwestern Telegraph Company of Canada

39. “If you wonder what getting and keeping the right employees has to do with getting and keeping the right customers, the answer is everything.” –Fred Reichheld, Creator of Net Promoter System

“If you wonder what getting and keeping the right employees has to do with getting and keeping the right customers, the answer is everything.”

40. “Even the best of what formerly passed for good customer service is no longer enough. You have to be no less than a customer concierge, doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard. You have to make them feel special, just like when your great-grandmother walked into Butcher Bob’s shop or bought her new hat, and you need to make people who aren’t your customers wish they were. Social media gives businesses the tools to do that for the first time in a scalable way.” –Gary Vaynerchuk, Author The Thank You Economy

41. “Don’t try to tell the customer what he wants. If you want to be smart, be smart in the shower. Then get out, go to work and serve the customer!” –Eugene Buckley, CEO Sikorsky Aircraft

42. “Remember that, in the end, the customer doesn’t know, or care, if you are small or large as an organization — she or he only focuses on the garment hanging on the rail in the store.” –Giorgio Armani, Fashion Designer

43. “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money … It is the customer who pays the wages.” –Henry Ford, Founder Ford Motor Company

44. “Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction, you must improve.” –Horst Schulze, Former Ritz Carlton President

45. “Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.” –Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks Coffee

46. “If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.” –Jan Carlzon, Former CEO of SAS

47. “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.” –Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon

48. “We have entered the era of the customer. Today, providing customers with outstanding customer service is essential to building loyal customers and a long lasting brand.” –Jerry Gregoire, CIO Dell Computers

49. “Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do. American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service — ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty.” –Jim Bush, EVP American Express

50. “This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people will keep coming back.” –John Ilhan, Founder Crazy John’s Mobile Phone Retail Chain

“This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people will keep coming back.”

51. “For us, our most important stakeholder is not our stockholders, it is our customers. We’re in business to serve the needs and desires of our core customer base.” –John Mackey, co-CEO Whole Foods Market

52. “You are allowed to do this — don’t worry about the rules, don’t worry about getting into trouble, your job is to take care of the customer. Your job is to make the person leave happy.” –John Pepper, Founder Boloco

53. “The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” –John Russell, VP Harley Davidson

54. “Getting in your last words may help you win the battle. However, even if you do win the battle, there is a good chance you will lose the war.” –Kelley Robertson, Founder The Robertson Training Group

55. “Customer service is just a day-in, day-out ongoing, never-ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.” –Leon Gorman, Former CEO L.L. Bean

56. “It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken customer relationship.” –Mark Cuban, Business Magnate

57. “If the shopper feels like it was poor service, then it was poor service. We are in the customer perception business.” –Mark Perrault, Co-Founder Rally Stores

58. “Goodwill is the only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.” –Marshall Field, Founder Marshall Field and Company

59. “I think it’s very important that whatever you’re trying to make or sell or teach has to be basically good. A bad product and you know what? You won’t be here in ten years.” –Martha Stewart, Founder Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

60. “Whether you are big or small, you cannot give good customer service if your employees don’t feel good about coming to work.” –Martin Oliver, Managing Director Kwik-Fit Financial Service

“Whether you are big or small, you cannot give good customer service if your employees don’t feel good about coming to work.”

61. “The interesting thing is when we design and architect a server, we don’t design it for Windows or Linux, we design it for both. We don’t really care, as long as we’re selling the one the customer wants.” –Michael Dell, Founder of Dell

62. “Make your customers comfortable and they will give you their lives.” –Paul Orfalea, Founder Kinko’s

63. “Everyone in an organisation should be involved with customer service, not only are they feeling the customer but they are getting a feeling for what’s not working.” –Penny Handscomb, Chief People Officer at Mind Candy

64. “The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” –Peter Drucker, Best-Selling Author

65. “The definition of salesmanship is the gentle art of letting the customer have it your way.” –Ray Kroc, Founder McDonald’s

66. “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.” –Richard Branson, Founder Virgin Group

67. “Whatever your business is, talk to your customers and provide them with what they want. It makes sense.” –Robert Bowman, CEO Major League Baseball Advanced Media

68. “The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.” –Dharmesh Shah, CTO and Co-founder HubSpot

69. “Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers.” –Ross Perot, Founder EDS

“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers.”

70. “You’ve got to look for a gap, where competitors in a market have grown lazy and lost contact with the readers or the viewers.” –Rupert Murdoch, Media Mogul

71. “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.” –Sam Walton, Founder Walmart and Sam’s Club

72. “The only purpose of customer service is to change feelings.” –Seth Godin, Best-Selling Author

73. “The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.” –Shiv Sing, Head of Global Brand & Marketing Transformation, Visa

74. “Consumers are statistics. Customers are people.” –Stanley Marcus, Former Chairman of the Board of Neiman Marcus

75. “Our DNA is as a consumer company — for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.” –Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple

76. “Zappos uses call center technology to track average call time per agent. But the goal isn’t to reduce this average — it’s more important that we make an emotional connection with the customer, rather than just quickly getting them off the phone.” –Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

77. “Give the public everything you can give them, keep the place as clean as you can keep it, keep it friendly.” –Walt Disney, Founder Disney

78. “The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding customer service.” –William H. Davidow, Former SVP Intel Corporation and Author Overconnected

79. “What’s important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems. If the customer isn’t satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale, if the shelf isn’t right, or if the offerings aren’t right, it’s the same thing. You manage it like a small organization. You don’t get hung up on zeros.” –Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric

80. “But the customer is the final, final filter. What survives the whole process is what people wear. I’m not interested in making clothes that end up in some dusty museum.” –Marc Jacobs, Fashion Designer

81. “The sole purpose of business is service. The sole purpose of advertising is explaining the service which business renders.” –Leo Burnett, Advertising Executive

“The sole purpose of business is service. The sole purpose of advertising is explaining the service which business renders.”

82. “Companies are starting to measure how effective their customer service is and trying to understand what they can do to improve the customer service process.” –Sanjay Kumar, Former Chariman and CEO of Computer Associates

83. “Companies cannot really see beyond their current customer base. They explicitly or implicitly do things to protect their current customers. And the last person to want real change is your customer. This is why most new ideas come from small companies that have nothing to lose.” –Nicholas Negroponte, Founder MIT Media Lab and The One Laptop per Child Association

84. “It’s not about market share. If you have a successful company, you will get your market share. But to get a successful company, what do you have to have? The same metrics of success that your customer does.” –Gordon Bethune, Former CEO of Continental Airlines

85. “If employees need to stay late in order to curry favor with the boss, what motivation do they have to get work done during normal business hours? After all, they can put in the requisite ‘face time’ whether they are surfing the Internet or analyzing customer data.” –Robert Pozen, Former chairman of MFS Investment Management

86. “The business models in enterprise have changed pretty dramatically. A huge problem with enterprise software traditionally has been usually you sell to the customer and then they adopt the technology. The great thing about ‘freemium’ and the new way enterprise software is being sold is you get to try it first and then buy it.” –Aaron Levie, Co-founder and CEO of Box

87. “We are reinventing ourselves as a company. Compaq is taking ownership of its customer relationships and accountability of our customer’s needs.” –Eckhard Pfeiffer, Former CEO of Compaq

88. “One of the people who most influenced me was Ben Shapiro, a marketing professor at the business school. He used to rant and rave and pound his fist: ‘It’s all about the customers!’ And he was right. He was also right that, at that time, retailing was devoid of really talented people; he urged me to go in that direction.” –Thomas G. Stemberg, Co-founder Staples

89. “As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” –Jeff Raskin, Started the Macintosh Project for Apple

90. “One of the things which make any company successful, in particular the Home Depot, was that we understood and catered to the customer. If it didn’t sell, it didn’t make a difference what we thought or our research told us. They told us if it was successful by buying it or not.” –Bernard Marcus, Co-Founder of Home Depot

91. “You should take extraordinary measures not just to acquire users, but also to make them happy. Your first users should feel that signing up with you was one of the best choices they ever made. And you in turn should be racking your brains to think of new ways to delight them.” –Paul Graham, Venture Capitalist and Co-founder of Y Combinator

92. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” –Warren Buffett, Business Magnate

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

93. “Giving feels good, but it’s also good for the bottom line. Charity is a viable growth strategy for a lot of companies. Our customers get excited to be a part of what we’re doing. If you ask anyone wearing Toms how they first heard about us, most won’t mention an advertisement; they’ll say a friend told them our story.” –Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of Toms Shoes

94. “Customers don’t just buy a product — they switch from something else. And customers don’t just leave a product — they switch to something else” –Jason Fried, Co-founder Basecamp

95. “There is a spiritual aspect to our lives — when we give, we receive — when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!” –Ben Cohen, Co-Founder Ben & Jerry’s

96. “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” –Henry Ford, Founder Ford Motor Company

97. “I never trust an executive who tends to pass the buck. Nor would I want to deal with him as a customer or a supplier.” –James Cash Penney, Founder J.C. Penney Stores

98. “Make a customer, not a sale.” *–Katherine Barchetti, Founder Barchetti Shops *

99. “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” –Marian Wright Edelman, Founder Children’s Defense Fund

100. “Right or wrong, the customer is always right.” –Marshall Field, Founder Marshall Field and Company

101. “When the customer comes first, the customer will last.” –Robert Half, Founder of Robert Half International

102. “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.” –Sam Walton, Founder Walmart and Sam’s Club

“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.”

103. “Seek first to understand. Then to be understood.” –Stephen Covey, Author The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

104. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” –Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple

105. “Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” –Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

106. “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” –Walt Disney, Founder Disney

107. “What helps people, helps business.” –Leo Burnett, Advertising Executive

108. “It’s very logical: There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your brand or business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.” –Gary Vaynerchuk, Author The Thank You Economy

109. “The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works.” –Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon

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