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Five Inspiring Customer Service Quotes Monica Postell

We have cus­tomer ser­vice quo­ta­tions for every occas­sion. Explore them and enjoy!

What makes a cus­tomer ser­vice quote inspiring?

Let's con­sider who needs to be inspired and why. If you accept the premise that excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice is at the heart of cus­tomer reten­tion, it fol­lows that the peo­ple pro­vid­ing ser­vice are the ones we'd like to inspire. (It also helps if they have the tools and train­ing they need, are com­pen­sated appro­pri­ately, and have sup­port­ive man­agers who reg­u­larly gives them help­ful feed­back… but I digress.) Being inspired is a good thing so I decided to share five quotes that I've been told by peo­ple who pro­vide cus­tomer ser­vice —on the phone or in the field—inspire them to deliver great service.

Here's one about cus­tomer ser­vice that a lot of peo­ple like:

"Ser­vice, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of liv­ing that you need to bring to every­thing you do, if you are to bring it to your cus­tomer inter­ac­tions." – Betsy Sanders, Fabled Service

I've used that quote on a slide in train­ing (For­give me Guy Kawasaki! It's more than six words.). When I do, I always change the font color for "not what you do, but who you are" to empha­size that phrase. What the quote says to me is that I can't fake hav­ing a customer-oriented atti­tude. Sure, I can smile and say 'please' and 'thank you' but even­tu­ally if I don't really, truly, whole­heart­edly care about my cus­tomers, they're going to see through my veneer and they'll be dis­ap­pointed. Hap­pily, I am customer-oriented and service-oriented but I think this quote is a real wake up call. Cus­tomer ser­vice comes from within. We'll be suc­cess­ful only if we take a gen­uine inter­est in our cus­tomers and solv­ing their problems.

No one likes to give cus­tomers "bad news" so the fol­low­ing quotes are meant to inspire when things get tough:

"We can­not always oblige but we can always speak oblig­ingly." – Voltaire

I like Voltaire's point (and I bet it sounds even bet­ter in French). My inter­pre­ta­tion is that even if you have to tell me "no" or "not now" you can do it in a humane way. I expe­ri­enced this recently when I called Chase's Insur­ance Depart­ment for my 88 year old god­mother. I won't bore you with the details of forced flood insur­ance, out of whack escrow and sky­rock­et­ing mort­gage pay­ments. What is impor­tant is the man I ulti­mately worked with gave me his full atten­tion, lis­tened, let me vent, empathized with the sit­u­a­tion, showed great patience and let me know exactly what "we" needed to do. He couldn't oblige me imme­di­ately but he oblig­ingly stayed con­nected until the cri­sis was resolved.

Along the same lines, here's another quote from an inspir­ing source:

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echos are truly end­less." – Mother Teresa

At Impact one of our guid­ing cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing prin­ci­ples is to "Act with Integrity." It is the "A" in the The HEART Model™ acronym.

The fol­low­ing quote speaks to that sim­ply and purely.

"When in doubt, tell the truth." – Mark Twain

Truth is good. I'm all for it but I think it's impor­tant to rec­og­nize that the truth doesn't have to be deliv­ered like a blud­geon and that telling the cus­tomer what you can do rather than what you can't do is a more pro­duc­tive way to present the truth. We call it using Pos­i­tive Lan­guage.

Finally, this next quote is also attrib­uted to Mark Twain again. It always makes me smile.

"Always do right. This will grat­ify some peo­ple and aston­ish the rest." – Mark Twain

With a back­ground in per­for­mance improve­ment and instruc­tional design, Mon­ica Postell works with Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems in design­ing and deploy­ing train­ing and devel­op­ment pro­grams that fos­ter real cus­tomer loyalty.
Mon­ica Postell
View all posts by Mon­ica Postell
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