We've all had "one of those days" at work.

You know the kind I'm talking about. You sleep through your alarm, your morning coffee doesn't seem to start working, and your to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer.

On days like those, pizza can help, but sometimes all you need is a different perspective.

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When you work in customer success, your days might be filled with emails, phone calls, and meetings, but those tasks aren't what defines your career. After all, you weren't hired to answer a phone -- you were hired to help customers succeed by solving problems and educating and empowering them.

So if you're having a tough day, take a break from the process and think about the people you're helping. Customer success is integral to the success of a company -- and when you help customers succeed, you do too. We've rounded up some of the best customer service quotes from entrepreneurs, leaders, and thinkers to keep you motivated and engaged in the big picture of why customer success matters -- to you, your company, and most of all, your customers.

1."We don't want to push our ideas on to customers, we simply want to make what they want." Laura Ashley


Co-founder of her namesake company Laura Ashley may have said this about home furnishing designs, but it applies to any product or service.

When companies create products that help people solve real problems, it's easy to help them derive value and understand the benefits. A goal of customer success is to help customers get the most out of their purchases (thereby preventing customer turnover),  so if you're on a call and a customer is giving signals that they're leaning toward cancellation or nonrenewal, try this: Instead of being reactive, try talking to your customer about the problems they want to solve, and show them how your product can help.

Better yet, be proactive in your approach to customer success. Constantly think about what your customers want, and proactively suggest ways your customers can maximize the impact of their purchase to achieve their goals. Always try to think back to the "why" of your customer -- why did they purchase? What did they want to achieve? Then, refer to their challenges and goals to inform your conversations. Click to tweet this quote.

2. "I believe in the power of recognition and empowerment leading to great employee engagement. And employee engagement is critical to guest engagement. Employee empowerment and recognition is the core of our culture and how we achieve outstanding customer service." Herve Humler


In an interview with Forbes, Ritz-Carlton COO Humler discussed Ritz-Carlton's oft-cited customer service policy, which is predicated on the concept of employee empowerment.

Every employee, from the janitors to the chefs to chief executives like Humler himself, is encouraged to fix any guest problem they encounter -- and they don't need to ask permission to do so, even if it costs as much as $2,000. 

But employees can't connect with customers to answer questions and problem-solve unless they're committed to this mission, which Humler ensures every employee is, starting on their first day of training. By investing in each and every employee, Ritz-Carlton empowers them to be autonomous and attentive to hotel guests -- even if it's outside the realm of their job role.

Customer success leaders should look to Ritz-Carlton as a model for the impact of giving employees autonomy. The more valued employees feel, the more engaged they are in going the extra mile to help a customer succeed -- and happy customers will then recommend your brand to others. Click to tweet this quote.

3. "When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed." Indra Nooyi


My colleague, HubSpot's Chief People Office Katie Burke, introduced me to this quote from Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico, and it's equally applicable to customer service as it is to company culture.

We've all experienced less-than-pleasant exchanges with other people. And whether that exchange was a heated phone call or a testy email, it's easy for tempers to rise when the people involved are frustrated.

So the next time you're on the receiving end of that frustration when working with a customer, pause for a moment and remember this quote. Assume good intent of your customer, who could be having a bad day of their own, and work with them to minimize their frustration by solving their problem. Click to tweet this quote.

4. "A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well." Jeff Bezos


Amazon's Bezos has been talking about word-of-mouth marketing for a long time, and he couldn't be more right.

People trust recommendations from friends more than any other form of advertising, and they tell people about it when they have great customer experiences with a company. But, they tell 3X more people when they have a bad experience -- so it behooves of customer success teams to keep their brand's reputation intact.

So, for every customer you make happy -- especially if it's a hard problem to solve -- think about the potential for referral marketing you've just created -- which could lead to even more happy customers. Click to tweet this quote.

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


Chances are, if you've heard about Zappos, you've heard about its legendary customer service policy, and Hsieh, its CEO, really believes in its power to make -- or break -- a brand.

Here at HubSpot, we believe very strongly in the importance of solving for the customer, and Zappos made this same principle its mission, even if it meant making some drastic business changes like moving from San Francisco to Las Vegas to better staff its customer loyalty team.

By making big changes like these to improve interactions with customers, Zappos is rewarded -- when they keep coming back and buying more. For example, Hsieh notes that, while roughly 1/3 of Zappos revenue is returned, customers love the 365-day return policy, and Zappos found that customers are more likely to buy more, and more often, with the added security.

The bottom line? When companies view customer engagement "through a branding lens instead of an expense-minimizing lens," as Zappos does, customer success managers can dedicate the time and effort needed to make each interaction exceptional -- and make customers want to keep coming back. Click to tweet this quote.

6. "Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer." Scott Cook


You might have read this quote and scoffed a little. "Sure, that's easy for you to say when you have a product as well-known as QuickBooks."

But Intuit wasn't always as ubiquitous as it is today. And Cook, its CEO, makes a great point about what companies should prioritize -- especially during a period of growth. Instead of only hustling to out-innovate your competition with new products, dig in and focus on building a customer success-driven mission. If you grow quickly but don't keep your customers happy, you won't outpace the competition.

You'll learn a lot from feedback from your first customers, and going the extra mile to keep them will make them advocates you can activate for quotes, testimonials, interviews, social media campaigns, and, of course, referring future customers. Click to tweet this quote.

7. "It's through vulnerability that human beings create connections. The more vulnerable we can be with one another, the more that we'll trust one another and the more we'll be able to collaborate effectively." Neil Blumenthal


Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO, Blumenthal shared this quote in an interview with The New York Times, and at first glance, it might give customer success and service professionals pause. But his call for more vulnerability actually makes a lot of sense.

Your customers might come to you for help in times of frustration, or even crisis, and it's sometimes challenging to identify their issues to start solving them. But being open and transparent with customers can go a long way, and that vulnerability between you and a customer can help mitigate conflict and get them the help they need.

If you don't know the answer to a question, be honest, and let them know you're asking someone who will know the answer. If you have to put them on hold, tell them why. Keeping lines of communication open and being fully transparent will (hopefully) be appreciated by your customers and help you form a more trusting relationship. Click to tweet this quote.

8. "Good customer service costs less than bad customer service." Sally Gronow



Gronow, Welsh Water's Head of Customer Contact, couldn't be more right -- and there are numbers to back her up.

Acquiring a new customer is 5-25X more expensive than keeping an existing customer -- and that's nothing compared to how much revenue keeping happy customers can bring in. A study from Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%.

It's worth it for companies to invest resources and effort in developing a killer customer success team -- after all, they could be leaving money on the table if they don't. Click to tweet this quote.

9. "The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy." Dharmesh Shah


HubSpot's very own CTO and co-founder dropped this wisdom at INBOUND 2013, and it's one to remember for cost-savvy customer success pros and marketers alike.

Customers referred by family and friends are more loyal and more valuable. In an analysis of 10,000 accounts over several years, one German bank found that referred customers were 18% more likely to remain loyal and that they drove 16% more in profits than other customers.

People take recommendations from friends seriously, and customers have bigger platforms than ever to sing your praises -- or warn friends to stay away -- on social media. By investing in customer success early, you can turn happy customers into advocates using loyalty rewards and brand ambassador programs. Customers promote your brand more authentically than your own ads would, and rewarding them will, in turn, make them happier and more loyal, too. Click to tweet this quote.

10. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou


This has always been one of my favorite quotations, and it's just as applicable for customer success organizations as it is for individuals.

People make decisions with their gut instincts, whether those instincts are necessarily the best. In fact, some studies have shown humans are actually predisposed to making irrational decisions based on instincts and impulses.

For example, I've proclaimed loyalty to brands based on simple things like birthday gifts, text message confirmations, and clever email subject lines. Conversely, I've stopped using products based on one unpleasant phone call, one security breach, and one moldy package of blueberries (it's a long story.) These might not have been the wisest purchasing decisions, but they were made based on how the brands made me feel -- highly valued, or highly expendable.

This quote is one to bear in mind for anyone working in a customer success organization. Whether you're developing products, creating marketing content, or working with customers every day, think about how what you do will make them feel -- and aspire for that feeling to be positive. Click to tweet this quote.

To learn more, review our list of customer service blogs to read next.

State of Customer Service

 State of Customer Service

Originally published Nov 20, 2018 3:43:00 PM, updated June 05 2019


Customer Service