And often, the quotes that stick speak louder than statistics. Facts and figures only tell part of the story, but words can sum up an idea perfectly.
Here are some of best quotes about customer service – and how you can act on them.
- “Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction, you must improve” – Horst Schulz, former president of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
It’s easy to think that a 90% customer satisfaction rate is acceptable. But really, the only acceptable level of customer satisfaction is 100% - and while achieving this may be near impossible, businesses shouldn’t stop trying.
This quote may come from a leading figure in the luxury hotel trade, but it’s a principle just as true in any other business, as it is in the luxury sector.
- “Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job” – Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager
There’s long been the misconception that customer service is solely the call centre’s responsibility. But every person – from the design team to the CEO – should be working with the customer in mind.
Many businesses are starting to realise this and it’s why what was once referred to as “customer service” is now called “customer experience” – a phrase that doesn’t describe a department or a task, it describes everything the company does for its customers.
- “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?” – Shep Hyken, customer service speaker
Often businesses get carried away with a new scheme which promises to improve loyalty, missing the real reason why customers are loyal.
An app or a loyalty card can artificially boost loyalty but if the emotional connection to your brand isn’t there, the customer does not remain loyal in the long-term. To create a real connection with your customers, you have to provide a consistently superior customer experience.
- “Make a customer, not a sale” – Katherine Barchetti, Founder of K. Barchetti Shops, Pittsburgh
If you go into the office on Monday morning and tell your team to make more sales, they will probably make more sales. But are they making loyal customers?
In the sales-orientated business world, it’s easy to forget that behind every sale is a person. Asking your team to make a customer, not a sale, is a shift in mind-set which will encourage a more customer-centric approach.
- “In the world of internet customer service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away” – Doug Warner, Internet enthusiast and former chairman of the board of J.P. Morgan & Co
If you disappoint a customer in your high street store, they might have to walk some distance to get to a competitor. The inconvenience of this extra journey might mean they buy from you anyway.
Disappoint a customer online and they can open a new tab in seconds. Today’s customer is more connected than ever before and this raises the stakes for businesses. Companies need to provide an excellent service straight away, or risk seeing their customers quickly leave their site.
- “Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you” – Chip Bell, author of Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service
It’s easy to underestimate the power of loyalty. A loyal customer is about more than just repeated sales – loyal customers have the power to influence friends and family to do business with you as well.
In effect, a loyal customer can do your marketing for you. Put more time and effort into customer experience and you don’t need to spend as much time and money telling your potential customers how great you are – your existing customer base can do this for you.
- “Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer” – Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People
No matter who you are or where you work, dealing with other people is the trickiest part of life. You can’t control what they think, they’re unpredictable and all you can do is try to influence them – which is easier said than done.
But that’s no reason to give up. Get customer experience right and the rewards are huge, which is why creating an outstanding contact centre should be every businesses top priority.
- “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 of Ford Motors
From the CEO to the customer service assistant, everyone has the same boss – the customer.
It’s easy to forget this though – with most of us striving to impress our line manager, perhaps more than the customer. This is why a change in attitude is needed to ensure everyone is trying to please the same boss, whoever they are and whatever their role.
- “Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get” – Nelson Boswell, author of Successful Living Day by Day
Going beyond what’s expected is a sure way to impress. Psychologically, the surprise element of getting more than you bargained for improves customer satisfaction.
For instance, imagine you expected to get a 10% discount voucher and you actually got a 10% discount voucher and a 25% discount voucher. Then imagine that you expected to get two vouchers all along – it’s not as exciting is it?
- “You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied” – Jerry Fritz, customer experience speaker and author
To end this collection, it seemed fitting to choose a quote that sums up the business environment of today.
With the death of sustainable competitive advantage, businesses can no longer rely on their well-defined niche to stay ahead – any product or price can easily be copied.
As a result, customer experience has become crucial. You can’t replicate an elusive “experience” or emotional connection with a brand and so creating this connection should be every businesses top priority.
So, what can you learn from these customer service quotes? Firstly, the customer is your boss – that is a boss that’s hard to please. Customer experience is the new battleground and learning how to engage with your customers should be every businesses top priority.
What’s your favourite customer service quote? Share your thoughts below.