"If anybody ever called our number, it would be picked up in less than 2 rings with a friendly voice answering, "CD Baby." From 7 am to 10 pm, there was always somebody to pick up a call in 2 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

"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

"Customer service is the new marketing."

Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby

"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

"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

"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

"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"

"If you're not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is."

Jan Carlzon, Former CEO of SAS

"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 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

"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

"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

"Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price."

Lauren Freedman, President The E-tailing Group

"Make a customer, not a sale."

Katherine Barchetti, Founder Barchetti Shops

"Customer service shouldn't just be a department, it should be the entire company."

Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

"I attract a crowd, not because I'm an extrovert or I'm over the top or I'm oozing with charisma. It's because I care."

Gary Vaynerchuk, Author "The Thank You Economy"

"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"

"I am wired like a CEO and care a great deal about the bottom line, but I care about my customers even more than that. That's always been my competitive advantage."

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

"Well done is better than well said."

Benjamin Franklin

"Whatever you are, be a good one."

Abraham Lincoln

"Always do more than is required of you."

George S. Patton

"The time is always right to do what is right."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Although your customers won't love you if you give bad service, your competitors will."

Kate Zabriskie, Founder Business Training Works

"Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don't view them as part of the problem. "

Alan Weiss, Author "Million Dollar Consulting"

"Repeat business or behavior can be bribed. Loyalty has to be earned."

Janet Robinson, Former President and CEO of The New York Times Company

"Memorable customer service can only take place in a human-to-human situation."

Jeffrey Gitomer, Author and Professional Speaker

"A customer service apology is stronger with a personal touch."

Shep Hyken, Author and Customer Service Speaker

"No amount of advertising can repair the damage done by failing to properly address a customer's concern."

Albert Schindler, Freelance Writer

"While automation can be expedient, the resulting impersonal tone and risk of poor information are formidable — most importantly, merchants are missing an opportune moment to connect with current and prospective customers."

Annual Mystery Shopping Study by The E-tailing Group, 2010

"People now expect the same—if not better—level of service from online storefronts and service channels as they do from a visit to a retail store or a phone conversation with an agent."

"Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses" by BenchmarkPortal

"The handful of companies that respond promptly and accurately to customer emails increase trust in their brand, bolster customer satisfaction, and boost sales both online and offline."

Call Center Industry Report, BenchmarkPortal

"Smart businesses should come to realize that the customer service bar is lower — and that today, it's easier than ever to differentiate your company from the pack with (crazy as it seems) actual quality customer service."

Brad Tuttle, Writer Time Magazine

"You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you."

Dale Carnegie, Best Selling Author

"The rise of the citizen review site is a sobering development. No longer are you on top of the mountain, blasting your marketing message down to the masses through your megaphone. All of a sudden, the masses are conversing with one another. If your service or product isn't any good, they'll out you."

David Pogue, New York Times Technology Columnist

"In the world of Internet Customer Service, it's important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away."

Doug Warner, Internet Enthusiast

"There's a place in the world for any business that takes care of its customers--after the sale."

Harvey Mackay, Best Selling Author

"One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising."

Jim Rohn, Author, Motivational Speaker

"When customers share their story, they're not just sharing pain points. They're actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better. Your customer service organization should be designed to efficiently communicate those issues."

Kristin Smaby, Author "Being Human is Good Business"

"In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from "costly" interactions with their customers, it's time to consider an entirely different approach: building humancentric customer service through great people and clever technology. So, get to know your customers. Humanize them. Humanize yourself. It's worth it."

Kristin Smaby, Author "Being Human is Good Business"

"A man without a smiling face must not open a shop."

Chinese Proverb