• "I always have people sit down and write a list of every customer they have and where they came from ... and the first thing I think every entrepreneur should do is not look at something new, but go and do three times the effort in that arena that brought you that business in the first place."
  • Barbara Corcoran, Business Expert
  • "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
  • "Great service organizations tend to do three things well in their relationship with culture. They have deep clarity about the organizational culture they must cultivate in order to compete and win. They are effective in signaling the norms and values that embody that culture. And they work hard to ensure cultural consistency, alignment between the desired culture and organizational strategy, structure, and operations."
  • Frances Frei, Author "Uncommon Service"
  • "Virtually nothing else is as important as how one is made to feel in any business transaction. Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side."
  • Danny Meyer, Restaurateur and Author
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Upgrade your user, not your product. Value is less about the stuff and more about the stuff the stuff enables. Don't build better cameras — build better photographers."
  • Kathy Sierra, Author and Educator
  • "'Fabulous Customer Service' sounds user-centered but it’s often just a company-centered focus masquerading as user-centered. The role of customer service is to support and enable users to not just feel better, but to be better."
  • Kathy Sierra, Author and Educator
  • "The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people."
  • Tom Peters, Speaker and Author
  • "If anybody ever called our number, it would be picked up in less than two rings with a friendly voice answering, 'CD Baby.' From 7 am to 10 pm, there was always somebody to pick up a call in two rings. No voice mail system; no routing to different departments. We treated our customers like our best friends. You don't route your best friend's call to an automated system!"
  • Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Employees who are controlled cannot respond caringly, you need superior knowledge and real leadership, not management. Because of this we specifically developed a selection process for leaders; we don't hire managers."
  • Horst Schulze, Former Ritz Carlton President
  • "We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job to make the customer experience a little bit better."
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Nordstrom's Rules for Employees: Rule # 1: Use your good judgment in all situations. There are no additional rules."
  • Nordstrom Employee Rules
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Ritz Carlton Hotel has a policy that any employee can spend up to $2000 a day (without requiring any authorization from management) to solve the need or concern of any of their customers. On his way to Hawaii to deliver an important presentation, a businessman realized he had accidentally left his portable computer at a Ritz Carlton in Atlanta. His presentation was stored on the computer. He placed a frantic call to the hotel and was routed to housekeeping. They had found his computer. Please send by Federal Express, he requested. I absolutely need it tomorrow morning for my presentation. Imagine his surprise when Mary from housekeeping showed up in Hawaii early the next morning to hand deliver his computer. Mary was quoted as saying 'This was too important to trust FedEx with, so I decided to deliver it myself!'"
  • Ritz Carlton Company Policy
  • "Your best customers leave quite an impression. Do the same, and they won't leave at all."
  • SAP Advertising
  • "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
  • "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
  • "In our way of working, we attach a great deal of importance to humility and honesty; With respect for human values, we promise to serve our customers with integrity."
  • Azim Premji, Business Tycon
  • "Bill Gates' Success Factors for Microsoft 1. Long-term Approach 2. Passion for Products and Technology 3. Teamwork 4. Results 5. Customer Feedback 6. Individual Excellence"
  • Bill Gates, Co-founder Microsoft
  • "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
  • "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
  • "People want this level of engagement from the companies with which they do business — 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"
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Customers don't always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to the fact that most of the coffee people bought was stale and they weren't enjoying it. Once they tasted ours and experienced what we call 'the third place' ... a gathering place between home and work where they were treated with respect ... they found we were filling a need they didn't know they had."
  • Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks Coffee
  • "Friends and colleagues' endorsements, discussed in real life or through Twitter and Facebook updates, are more likely to drive sales than even a positive user review posted on a site like Yelp or Amazon (but those matter, too)."
  • Jason Mittelstaedt, CMO RightNow Technologies
  • "If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful."
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "If you make customers unhappy in the real world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends."
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering."
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts"
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and thy're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient."
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "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
  • "Social media, and other cutting edge communications, have a place in any company's customer strategy, but the front-line of every company's service organization remains the telephone, and the customer service agent."
  • Jerry Gregoire, CIO Dell Computers
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Stellar service should be non-negotiable and merchants shouldn't hide behind self-service tools and technology when it comes to knowing their products and taking care of their customers."
  • Lauren Freedman, President The E-tailing Group
  • "Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you."
  • Mark Cuban, Business Magnate
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Imagine a company that puts its shareholders first — only to discover that it has alienated its customers!"
  • Memo to CEOs, Fast Magazine
  • "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
  • "The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer."
  • Peter Drucker, Best-Selling Author
  • "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
  • "Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You'd be amazed how many companies DON'T listen to their 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."
  • Ross Perot, Founder EDS
  • "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
  • "Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. If you fear special requests, if you staff with cogs, if you have to put it all in a manual, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low. These organizations have people who will try to patch problems over after the fact, instead of motivated people eager to delight on the spot. The alternative, it seems, is to organize for joy. These are the companies that give their people the freedom (and yes, the expectation) that they will create, connect and surprise. These are the organizations that embrace someone who make a difference, as opposed to searching the employee handbook for a rule that was violated."
  • Seth Godin, Best-Selling Author
  • "Most of your competition spend their days looking forward to those rare moments when everything goes right. Imagine how much leverage you have if you spend your time maximizing those common moments when it doesn't."
  • Seth Godin, Best-Selling Author
  • "Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers. It's not just about entertainment — it's about education. Permission marketing is curriculum marketing."
  • Seth Godin, Best-Selling Author
  • "Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves."
  • Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple
  • "A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."
  • Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple
  • "Your customers don't care about you. They don't care about your product or service. They care about themselves, their dreams, their goals. Now, they will care much more if you help them reach their goals, and to do that, you must understand their goals, as well as their needs and deepest desires."
  • Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple
  • "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."
  • Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple
  • "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
  • "This is what customers pay us for — to sweat all these details so it's easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. We're supposed to be really good at this. That doesn't mean we don't listen to customers, but it's hard for them to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it."
  • Steve Jobs, Co-founder Apple
  • "People don't want to communicate with an organization or a computer. They want to talk to a real live responsive responsible person who will listen and help them get satisfaction."
  • Theo Michelson, Agent State Farm Insurance
  • "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
  • "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
  • "The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding customer service."
William H. Davidow,Former SVP Intel Corporation and Author Overconnected
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Anyone who thinks that people can be fooled or pushed around has an inaccurate and pretty low estimate of people — and he won't do very well in advertising."
  • Leo Burnett, Advertising Executive
  • "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."
  • Gary Hamel, Management Expert and Author
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "I am not pushy. You want it, you buy it. Most people hit the customer over the head. But if you're too self-important, it's kind of repellent."
  • Judith Leiber, Designer
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Customers are an investment. Maximize your return."
  • PeopleSoft Ad
  • "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
  • "We asked ourselves what we wanted this company to stand for. We didn't want to just sell shoes. I wasn't even into shoes — but I was passionate about customer service."
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  • "Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can't deliver good service from unhappy employees."
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  • "Our customers call and e-mail us to say that's how it feels when a Zappos box arrives. And that's how we view this company."
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  • "I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine."
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  • "Customer service is not a department, it's an attitude!"
Unknown
  • "The value is going to get created in providing technology-enabled solutions for customers. And if it is the customer that matters most, instead of the technology, then I want to invest in customer obsessed companies, not technology obsessed companies."
  • Fred Wilson, Venture Capitalist and Blogger
  • "Customers are a great way to finance a business for many reasons. First, customer financing is typically non dilutive. They want something from you other than equity in your business. Customers also help you fit your product to the market. And customers will help debug and improve the quality of the product."
  • Fred Wilson, Venture Capitalist and Blogger
  • "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"
  • "We're living in what I like to call the 'Thank You Economy,' because only the companies that can figure out how to mind their manners in a very old-fashioned way — and do it authentically — are going to have a prayer of competing."
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, Author "The Thank You Economy"
  • "Anyone working for a big company might be skeptical that a large business, or even a strictly online business, can form the same kind of friendly, loyal relationship with customers as a local retailer. I'm saying it's already been done because I lived it."
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, Author "The Thank You Economy"
  • "Eighty-five per cent of the crowd is going to fall in love with me — they're going to feel it, wow. But fifteen per cent are going to think, 'This guy is obnoxious.' I spend enormous time with them — every negative review of 'Crush It!' on Amazon has a response from me — and I can probably bring back ten of the fifteen."
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, Author "The Thank You Economy"
  • "If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we'll turn out all right."
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon
  • "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