"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!"
""All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you're Woolworth's," added Bezos, who created the world's leading online retailer. "The number one rule has to be: Don't be boring.""
"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."
"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 can not buy enthusiasm . . .
You can not buy loyalty . . .
You can not buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls.
You must earn these. "
"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."
"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. "
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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 FedX with, so I decided to deliver it myself!"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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
"Customers don't expect you to be perfect. They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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). "
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and new...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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"So if you're a customer today, the same person who came in to demonstrate the technology for you and helped you architect the solution before you bought it is likely going to be leading the team to help you do the implementation."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"What I tell founders is not to sweat the business model too much at first. The most important task at first is to build something people want. If you don't do that, it won't matter how clever your business model is."
"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."
"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."
"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. "
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."