Quotes on “Customer Service”

As you may recall, I consider “Customer Service” to be the third of the three keys for a Winning Business. Customer Service is defined as:

  1. Value Your Customers and Exceed Their Expectations
  2. Expand Your Business Outward on the Shoulders of Satisfied Customers
  3. Focus on a Few Profitable Niches Where You Have a Competitive Advantage


Value Your Customers and Exceed Their Expectations

  1. “A customer is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. A customer is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it.” Leon Leonwood (“L.L.”) Bean
  2. “Every decision is made by the person who has the power to make the decision — not the best person, the right person or the logical person. This person is our customer. If we influence this person, we make a difference. If we do not influence this person, we do not make a difference. Once we accept this basic fact of life, we can “get on with life” and quit whining.” Peter Drucker
  3. “Be it furniture, clothes, healthcare…industries today are marketing nothing more than commodities – no more, no less. What will make the difference in the long run is the care and feeding of customers.”  Michael Mescon
  4. Legendary service is not about arguing over who is right or finding someone else to blame – it is about fixing the problem for the customer.” Ken Blanchard
  5. “Stop selling what you have and start selling what they want.” IBM
  6. “Customers want to give you money, so help them to do so. Be easy to do business with.”
  7. “The convenience of low price is soon forgotten due to the inconvenience of poor quality and schedule.” Jack Baker
  8. “Customers are often only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing any better. Perhaps, the customer service slogan should be: ‘No Worse than the Competition.'” Raving Fans
  9. “Always take a problem away from a customer. Don’t ever hesitate to fix the problem even it is not your fault. Mimic the customer’s own style, except if someone is angry – then let him vent.”
  10. “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” Warren Buffett


Expand Your Business Outward on the Shoulders of Satisfied Customers

  1. “Do what you say and when you say it. If you are going to be late or have made a mistake, notify the customer.  This builds confidence which builds trust which builds lasting relationships.  Lasting relationships are good for business and for you personally.” Jack Baker
  2. “Companies need to be closer to their final customers in order to hold them, to up-sell them and to cross-sell them and to garner high margin follow-on sales. They need to be closer to serve them quickly and accurately. They need to be closer to drive out the huge costs and inefficiencies, the redundant work and piles of inventory, that clutter existing channels.” Michael Hammer
  3. “Build your business outward by viral marketing. Like the old shampoo commercial, get your satisfied customers to tell two friends who tell two friends who…” Dan Baker
  4. “The more satisfied customers that you have, the stronger your brand becomes. The stronger your brand, the easier it becomes for you to be the obvious and easy choice for solving the customer’s problem.”
  5. “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” Peter Drucker
  6. “People do business with people they like and trust; people with whom they have a relationship.” Greig Wells
  7. “Customers are 3 times more likely to trust peer opinions over advertising for purchasing decisions.” Jupiter Research
  8. “Diversification is not the easy ticket to re-charging growth. First, ensure that you exceed the expectations of your current customers. Then, grow your base of customers with your current products. Then expand your product and service offering to your customers. Only then should you consider selling new products and services to new customers.” David Shedd
  9. “Markets are a listening device to ascertain the needs and wants of customers.” Jacqueline Novogratz.
  10. “Zappos tries to see customer service not as a cost but as a powerful marketing tool.” Tony Hsieh


Focus on a Few Profitable Niches Where You Have a Competitive Advantage

  1. “Be focused like a hedgehog. With what products and in what markets, can you be deeply passionate about what you are doing, be the best in the world, and be able to make a profit and drive your economic engine?” Jim Collins
  2. “A company is more likely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity than starvation from too little.” David Packard
  3. “Highly focused companies – those with a small number of strongly positioned businesses – did much better than diversified companies over the last decade. Suggestions to match these successful companies include: reduce rather than extend the scope of your business; find profitable opportunities within the boundaries of current operations; search ceaselessly for ways to improve the performance of the core business.” Bain and Company Study
  4. “In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. Jack Welch
  5. “The easiest way to success in business is to be in the right industry with the right customers.” German Management Consultant
  6. “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.” Warren Buffett
  7. “I would rather buy a good business with mediocre management than a bad business with great management.” Warren Buffett
  8. Practice purposeful abandonment of businesses – constantly assess which businesses are good for today and which businesses will be good for tomorrow. If you were not in this business today, would you invest the resources to enter it?” Peter Drucker
  9. “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” Warren Buffett

About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
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