Every good company wants to provide excellent customer service, but it’s not always easy to balance that with other business needs and goals. Sometimes, it can help to get inspiration from what others have found to be true. We’ve asked customer service experts to share with us quotes that their team lives by. The list contains quotes from public figures as well as personal quotes that our experts have developed during their own their careers.
Here are the top 120 most inspiring customer service quotes from the pros.
1. “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!” -Gene Buckley
Anna Segova, Owner, Alterno Marketing
As a marketing professional I always keep this in mind: with the variety of choices customers now have, the supply/demand model is now flipped around putting the power in consumers’ hands. It is now about knowing what the consumer wants and serving them, or they will find what they are looking for elsewhere.
2. “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler
Jamie Lowary, Channel Relations Manager, PATLive
The human brain loves to categorize things — it’s how we make sense of our world on a daily basis. This has a lot to do with why we are so quick to make assumptions. Our brains need to understand why people say what they say by filling in the blanks. The breakdown happens when our assumptions are flat wrong; it’s dangerous to believe you know everything about your customer and vice versa. When you communicate with your customers, do so as clearly as possible with an open mind (and open ears). Listening is one of the greatest tools to combat assumptions.
3. “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
Travis Biggert, CIC, CRM, Chief Sales Officer, HUB International Mid-America
What I have always liked about this quote is that no matter how big of an organization someone has, everyone lives by this rule. It is the great equalizer, and the law that can humble any human being, no matter how protected they think they are on their perch. Take Blackberry for example. They went from controlling half the world’s smartphone market to being rendered completely irrelevant, and from a profit of almost $2 billion to a $5.8 billion deficit, all within five years. The fascinating beginning to this downfall occurred 24 hours after Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, when the CEO of Blackberry famously stated “It’s OK, we’ll be fine.”
4. “Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” -Ken Blanchard
Mollie Beck, Founder, Continue Good
We know if our customers are raving fans: good news will spread about Continue Good. We believe raving fans are better than any type of internet marketing. I have personally been a raving fan, and I couldn’t stop telling my friends about this company. Raving fans are contagious in the best way. If you inspire your company’s culture to expect nothing less than creating raving customers, it will put the needed weight on customer service and how you interact with your customers. Leaving customers with awe in their eyes, joy in their hearts, and a burning fire to spread your message is what Continue Good defines as our raving customer.
5. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates
Amanda Austin, Founder & Owner, Little Shop of Miniatures
My team and I love this quote because no matter how well you run your business, unhappy customers are inevitable. While there will be a percentage who are just unhappy people looking to complain about anything, most people will have legitimate points worth considering. You can never see your business the way people on the receiving end of your service can, and listening to them is the only way to learn and improve. We are grateful when someone speaks up–so many unhappy people just never shop with you again while also spreading negative words about your business. Feedback of any kind is a gift, so use it to your best advantage. We’ve found that negative feedback that’s handled in a caring and concerned manner can often make a lifelong customer out of a previously disgruntled shopper.
Most customers today leave feedback, both positive and negative, with online reviews. Learn how to respond in Fit Small Business’ guide to online reviews.
6. “Ease your customers’ pain.”
Hazel Edwards, Owner, Gillian Roberts Bridal Boutique
My favorite quote is “ease your customers pain.” This relates to understanding 100% who our ideal client is and solving the problems they face. By dealing with successful professional women, we are truly aware of the restrictions on their time being their main “pain.” By opening when they need us, sourcing their perfect outfit, and offering an alterations service, their visits and phone calls to us are limited, reducing any impact choosing a dress has on their day to day job.
7. “Treat the customer like you would want to be treated. Period!” -Brad Schweig
Brad Schweig, VP Operations, Sunnyland Patio Furniture
It’s pretty simple. Every business has to have policies and procedures, or else there is a good chance you are going to be taken advantage of. But there is no reason to make them any less consumer friendly than they need to be. I try to think of myself of as a consumer when we put our policies in place. If I was shopping at a different store and they had the same policy, would I find it to be unfriendly or unreasonable? If so, it’s probably not a good policy for us.
8. “Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company! It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers there is no company!” -Connie Elder
Connie Elder, CEO / Founder, PEAK 10 SKIN
I believe whether your customers are wholesale or retail, how you treat them is the number one priority! Without repeat customers who feel appreciated, your business will not thrive. I also believe in the Southwest Airlines theory that how you treat your employees is how they will treat your customers. Both are vital to a successful business!
9. “The key is when a customer walks away, thinking ‘Wow, I love doing business with them, and I want to tell others about the experience.’” -Shep Hyken
Connor J. Wilson, Director of Growth, Nicejob
It’s simple, succinct, and to the point. It defines the purpose of creating an exceptional customer experience. Everything leads up to that moment where the customer has completed the transaction and when it’s time to go, they’re overwhelmed by how thorough or attentive or personal an experience it was. It’s a memorable moment by comparison to the competition, making you stand out. Always leave them wanting more.
10. “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Teddy Roosevelt
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls
I like this customer service quote and find it inspiring because it is a simple reminder to me and my team to listen more than talk, show empathy, and try to look at the situation from the customer’s perspective. The goal is not to wear them down or impress them with your smarts. The goal is to solve the problem and make things right.
11. “Put yourself in their shoes.”
Jesse Harrison, CEO, Employee Justice Legal Team
When I put myself in a client’s shoes, I will be more understanding of their situation and be more motivated to help them. I will feel more productive and useful. When a client is frustrated and I put myself in their shoes, I start to see their point of view and the reasons for their frustrations, and this motivates me to fix their problem. At the same time, trying to put myself in the client’s shoes reminds me that there is no way that I could ever completely put myself in their shoes because I don’t have their life experiences, I will never know what the client has been through in the past. I will never know how the client was treated in his childhood, or what he went through just five minutes before meeting me. This leads me to judge them more favorably and give them the benefit of the doubt.
12. “Always have an attitude of gratitude.”
James R. Nowlin, Founder & CEO, Excel Global Partners
I created this quote myself. It is meant to remind myself and other people in my company that whenever a customer contacts us, it is a blessing even if that customer made contact to file a complaint. After all, each complaint provides us with insight on how we can improve the company. So in my company, we make sure that every customer is approached with an attitude of thankfulness. Even when a customer is being irate, we take it as meaning the customer cares that much about our company that he/she reacts that much due to our shortcoming or mistake. A thankful approach is the best way to converse with customers.
13. “Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.” -Tony Hsieh
Taylor Chastain, Marketing Manager, USB Memory Direct
This quote is the cornerstone of our small business. Every department in our company implements customer service in some way, regardless of whether they speak directly to the customer or not. For example, if something goes wrong with a customer’s order, our customer service team goes directly to the processing department to correct the issue as quickly as possible in order to keep the customer satisfied. If the processing department isn’t motivated to keep our customers as happy as our customer service team is, it would take much longer to correct any issues. This would cause our customers to become frustrated and unhappy, which is bad for the entire company — not just our customer service department.
14. “The sole reason we are in business is to make life less difficult for our clients” -Matt Odgers
Matthew Odgers, Attorney/Founder, Odgers Law Group
In any service business, your sole job is to make your client or customer’s life easier. While there may be only one way to perform a task, there are a million ways to work with the customer. Find a way to work with the customer that makes their life easier. Speak simply, explain thoroughly, listen fully, respond promptly, and break the standard workflow when needed. If we don’t make our client’s lives easier, then we are not doing our job.
15. “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
Mike Sims, Owner/Founder, ThinkLions
This quote has changed our business. Often, we get caught up in what we do, the achievements we make for our customers, and the great services we offer them. However, in the process of completing great work, it’s easy to forget what matters most – the customer. Great customer service is about making the customer feel satisfied and feelas if they made the right decision when they chose our company to solve their problem. In every customer service case, even when we disagree with a customer’s point of view, we seek to make them feel as if we are on their side and that we are committed to helping them.
16. “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
David Bakke, Financial Author & Blogger, Money Crashers
This customer service quote is inspirational because it delves down into a key aspect of customer service, and more importantly, something that most companies miss the boat on. You need to listen to what your customers are saying. This holds true whether the conversation is positive or negative. If the customer is complimentary towards your business, find out exactly what it was your business did right and accentuate that going forward with your employees. But even more essential are the negative interactions. Let the customer speak for as long as they need to, and actually listen to what they have to say. Dig deep to find out what the pain point was, why it happened, and then put measures in place so this instance doesn’t occur again.
17. “Always begin with: So that I can better serve you, do you mind if I ask a few questions?”
Jodie Shaw, Chief Marketing Officer, The Alternative Board
Potential and existing customers are easily annoyed by generic customer service scripts. Most customers, especially new ones, have already done a lot of research before contacting a company, and when they finally reach out, they want their specific questions answered straight away. When a customer service team member starts asking unrelated questions, such as a customer’s date of birth to pull up the account, the process leaves the customer impatient and ready to look for service elsewhere. For example, if you are working at a tire store, and you get an inquiry for a certain type of tire, answering this question will not only give you permission to delve further into your prospective customer’s wants and needs, but will also allow you to provide the very best service and offer the right product recommendations for that customer. It also tells the customer that the reason for these questions is to actually help them, making customers feel more like they’re part of a conversation rather than an inquisition.
18. “Unless you love everybody, you can’t sell anybody.” – Dicky Fox (Jerry Maguire)
Greg Corey, Founder & Principal, Porchlight
Contrary to popular belief, “Show me the money!” is not the best quote in that movie. Even though we are creating brands, we are always doing it not only with people, but also for people. Clients hire us because they want to work with us, but they also know that our work is really for their customers – it’s all about building real, long-lasting relationships with people.
19. “Imagine your customer is your best friend — listen to their concerns, be a shoulder to lean on, and then shift the focus from what went wrong to how you can help make it right.”
Rachel Hogue, Customer Service Manager, Azazie.com
When I’m adding to my customer service team, I look for people that think outside the box and will truly care about Azazie’s customers. By encouraging my stylists to imagine the customer as their best friend, it puts them in a mindset that immediately and instinctively makes them ask: “What would I do?”, “What can I do?”, and “How can I use this invaluable feedback to improve a service or product?”. It subconsciously improves their tone of voice (spoken or written), helps remind them that we are all human, and lets their creativity in coming up with information or solutions flow. It also encourages the customer to emulate this, provide information that helps us help them, and creates a loyal customer.