You already know the importance of customer service. Providing your customers with the information, guidance, support, and conflict resolution they need is what keeps them around—and without them, your business would crumble.
But at the same time, it can be hard to get inspired to practice customer service. Some of your customers are kind, funny, and pleasant to deal with, but others are more… challenging. And even the kindest customer request can be overwhelming if you’re already stressed and overwhelmed with other tasks.
That’s why I’ve put together this list of customer service quotes. Whether you’re brimming with energy and ready to start the day or you’re muscling through the last hour of a shift, whether you’re starting your first customer service gig or you’re a team leader with decades of experience, these quotes will help you see customer service in a different light—and get inspired.
Customer Service Quotes to Get You Inspired
Read these quotes when you need a boost of customer service inspiration:
1. “Remember, the best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses.” — Napoleon Hill.
Take accountability for your work; don’t keep passing your customers back and forth.
2. “Seek first to understand. Then to be understood.” — Stephen Covey.
Before trying to make a case or explain something to your customer, simply understand what they’re feeling.
3. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make the customer experience a little bit better.” — Jeff Bezos.
Seeing customer service as a party can dramatically shift the tone of your interactions.
4. “Great teams need great leaders — leaders who inspire, motivate, instill pride, loyalty and a sense of fun at work.” — Natalie Calvert.
If you’re the leader, this responsibility falls on you; make your team members happy to come to work, and they’ll give you a fantastic performance.
5. “Always do more than is required of you.” — George S. Patton.
The bare minimum is never enough for excellence.
6. “Words of comfort, skillfully administered, are the oldest therapy known to man.” — Lous Nizer.
A few kind words of sympathy can solve—or at least minimize—any problem.
7. “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” — Gucci tagline.
That goes for the quality of your customer service as well.
8. “Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.” — Jeffrey Gitomer.
Try to create circumstances and experiences that make your customers want to come back, forever.
9. “Happy customers are your biggest advocates and can become your most successful sales team.” — Lisa Masiello.
If you want to land more sales, provide better service to your customers and let them do the work for you.
10. “Until you understand your customers — deeply and genuinely — you cannot truly serve them.” — Rasheed Ogunlaru.
The better you know your target demographics, the better you can respond to their needs.
11. “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” —Carl Jung.
We are defined by our actions, not by our intentions. Adjust your habits accordingly.
12. “I have learned to imagine an invisible sign around each person’s neck that says, ‘Make me feel important!'” — Mary Kay Ash.
Every customer who buys from you or talks to you should feel like they matter; they’re not just a number in your calculations.
13. “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” — Og Mandino.
A bit extreme, but it’s a good mental shift that can help you provide better service.
14. “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” — Ernest Hemingway.
Just listening—truly listening—can set you apart from 90 percent of your competition.
15. “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.” — Ray Kroc.
Money is important, but if it’s your only motivator, you’re never going to be successful.
16. “Two important things are to have a genuine interest in people and to be kind to them. Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything.” — Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Kindness can make any problem easier to handle.
17. “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.
Employee autonomy and empowerment will almost always lead to better results.
18. “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” — Roger Staubach.
A colorful metaphor, but the main point is what’s important; almost no one goes the “extra mile,” making it easy to stand out if you’re willing to do so.
19. “The two most powerful things in existence: a kind word and a thoughtful gesture.” — Kenneth Langone.
Genuine caring leads to much better customer service.
20. “To earn the respect (and eventually love) of your customers, you first have to respect those customers. That is why Golden Rule behavior is embraced by most of the winning companies.” — Colleen Barrett.
Your customers are people, so treat them that way.
21. “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.
Don’t get bogged down with unnecessarily complex considerations; your goal is just to make people happy.
22. “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” — Don Alden Adams.
Customer service is hard to measure, because it depends so heavily on qualitative aspects.
23. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” — Abraham Lincoln.
However you choose to look at customer service, you can strive to be better.
24. “Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.” — Sally Gronow.
Building customer relationships is time- and cost-intensive, but it’s far better in the long run than allowing your customer service to decay.
25. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” — Albert Einstein.
Make a difference in someone’s life—don’t get too caught up in rigidly defining “success” in this area.
26. “If you only talk to a person’s head and not their heart people won’t listen to you.” — Les Brown.
Connect to your customers emotionally, rather than only appealing to their logical side.
27. “One kind word can warm three winter months.” — Japanese Proverb.
It doesn’t take much to win someone over.
28. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” — Sam Walton.
A confident team is indispensable in providing better service.
29. “There is a spiritual aspect to our lives — when we give, we receive — when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!” — Ben Cohen.
Good deeds and kindness are almost always repaid.
30. “Care more than others think wise. Risk more than others think safe. Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible.” — Claude Bissell.
Push yourself to be part of the exceptional minority.
31. “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of an intelligent effort.” — John Ruskin.
Good customer service doesn’t just happen; it’s never a coincidence.
32. “To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.” — Anne Morrow Lindeberg.
Surprise your customers (and your customer service team) with periodic, unexpected gifts and rewards.
33. “It is not your customer’s job to remember you, it is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.” — Patricia Fripp.
It’s on you to make sure your customer remembers you forever.
34. “The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people.” — Tom Peters.
It’s amazing how many companies and individuals don’t follow this line of thinking.
35. “Make a customer, not a sale.” — Katherine Barchetti.
A similar sentiment here—your customers aren’t just numbers.
36. “Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” — Nelson Boswell.
Exceeding expectations is the easiest way to be positively remembered.
37. “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” — Lewis Carroll.
Helping others and bringing them happiness yields enormous rewards.
38. “Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.” — Robert Kiyosaki.
Customers will frequently come to you with complaints and problems, but each one of them is a chance to improve something.
39. “A rose on time is more valuable than a $1,000 gift that’s too late.” — Jim Rohn.
Good customer service requires timeliness and attentiveness.
40. “Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem.” — Alan Weiss.
Work together on a mutual problem, rather than thinking of your customers as the problem itself.
41. “The difference between “try” and “triumph” is just a little “umph.”” — Bonnie Przybylski.
A bit cheesy, perhaps, but a bit of effort is often all it takes to make a real difference.
42. “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.
Customer service and appreciation are investments that always yield a positive return.
43. “Well done is better than well said.” — Benjamin Franklin.
Don’t just say you’re going to do something; do it.
44. “Bottom-line obsession comes from turning the pursuit of money into a God and forgetting the real master your business serves: The Customer.” — Michael Shevack.
The “bottom line” is important, but it shouldn’t be your sole motivation.
45. “When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.” — Indra Nooyi.
Assume positive intent, always. Assuming good faith and good intentions will instantly help you recharacterize challenging messages or experiences.
46. “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it.” — Bear Bryant.
Mistakes happen, but it’s important to be accountable for them.
47. “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?'” — Brian Tracy.
Customer service is no place for selfishness.
48. “Face the simple fact before it comes involved. Solve the small problem before it becomes big.” — Lao Tzu.
Most customer service issues can be solved easily if they’re solved quickly and proactively.
49. “The most important adage and the only adage is, the customer comes first, whatever the business, the customer comes first.” — Kerry Stokes.
Without customers, there is no business.
50. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” — Henry Ford.
Everything in your business is a team effort.
51. “Always do what is right. It will gratify most of the people, and astound the rest.” — Mark Twain.
Do your best to do what’s right for your customers.
52. “How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself — so always think positively.” — Norman Vincent Peale.
Problems aren’t inherently stressful; it’s usually the way we frame our problems that stresses us out.
53. “Life is for service.” — Fred Rogers.
Helping other people is inherently rewarding, so see it as a positive aspect of your life.
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54. “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.
The secret to powerful charisma is just giving a damn about others.
55. “To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one.” — American Proverb.
Just because they’ve purchased from you doesn’t mean they’ll stick around.
56. “Repeat business or behavior can be bribed. Loyalty has to be earned.” — Janet Robinson.
Slashed prices might encourage repeat business, but long-term brand loyalty requires much more effort—and often, a human connection.
57. “Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it, in the way you said you were going to do it.” — Larry Winget.
Stay true to your word; empty promises will hurt you.
58. “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify!” — Henry David Thoreau.
Don’t overcomplicate your customer service program or policies.
59. “Go beyond merely communicating to ‘connecting’ with people.” — Jerry Bruckner.
Forge connections with every customer; treat them as the individual human beings they are.
60. “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” — Samuel Johnson.
Treat everyone well, even if your business doesn’t depend on them.
61. “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” — Lou Holtz.
Give customers the kind of service you wish you received on a regular basis.
62. “Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.” — Gretta Palmer.
Making someone happy will make you happy, almost every time. Try it!
63. “When you help others feel important, you help yourself feel important too.” — David J. Schwartz.
The same reflective sentiment is echoed here.
64. “We don’t want to push our ideas on to customers, we simply want to make what they want.” — Laura Ashley.
Don’t tell your customers what they want or need. Listen to them to figure it out.
65. “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” — Mahatma Gandhi.
Without your customers, your business wouldn’t exist.
66. “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” — James Cash Penney.
Loyal customers will advertise your brand on your behalf.
67. “Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” — Blaise Pascal.
It’s ridiculously easy to say something nice to someone.
68. “The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.” — John Burroughs.
Any small action is worth more than even the most positive intentions.
69. “Without caring there can be no quality.” — Joel Barker.
You have to care about your customers to truly serve them.
70. “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.
Honesty and transparency are hard to demonstrate when you’re trying to remain professional, but sometimes, the best service you can provide is admitting a mistake or making yourself vulnerable in other ways.
71. “Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The more excited you are to come to work, the more excited everyone around you will be.
72. “Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.” — Henry Ford.
Don’t play the blame game; just work together to find a solution.
73. “To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld.
Listening comes first; then comes an intelligent response to address the initial query.
74. “In real life, the most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons.” — James MacGregor Burns.
Think of everyone as existing on a level playing field.
75. “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” — Henrik Ibsen.
Kind words are a great start, but make sure you follow them up with actions.
76. “There is extraordinary chemistry that exists in long-term relationships.” — Conrad Levinson.
Keep your best customers around for as long as possible; the benefits are incalculable.
77. “Our greatest asset is the customer! Treat each customer as if they are the only one!” — Laurice Leitao.
Don’t adopt the mentality that you can “afford to lose” a few customers. Each customer is precious.
78. “Truth builds trust.” — Marilyn Suttle.
Be honest and forthright; your customers will reward you for it.
79. “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.” — Thomas Watson, Jr.
In other words, do it right the first time.
80. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” — Peter Drucker.
Read emotions and intentions, in addition to literal words.
81. “Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.” — Earl Nightingale.
You have the power to dictate the emotional energy of a conversation. Never treat a customer like the enemy, or they’ll treat you like an enemy in kind.
82. “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.” — Grant Bright.
It’s easy to feel small when you’re part of a big team, but that shouldn’t make you feel less valuable.
83. “You cannot improve one thing by 1000% but you can improve 1000 little things by 1%.” — Jan Carlzon.
You won’t be able to make anything perfect, but you can make a lot of things significantly better.
84. “If you don’t care, your customer never will.” — Marlene Blaszczyk.
Demonstrate how much you care about your customer, and they’ll return your energy in kind.
85. “Men are rich only as they give. He who gives great service gets great rewards.” — Elbert Hubbard.
The “rewards” here, of course, being happiness and personal satisfaction.
86. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” — Will Rogers.
Your first interaction with a customer is almost always the most important. Don’t miss this opportunity to cement your reputation for the better.
87. “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” — Denis Waitley.
Don’t get caught up in lamenting mistakes or criticizing others. Just focus on what you can do better now.
88. “When a customer complains, he is doing you a special favor; he is giving you another chance to serve him to his satisfaction. You will appreciate the importance of this opportunity when you consider that the customer’s alternative option was to desert you for a competitor.” — Seymour Fine.
Customer complaints can be annoying, but they’re actually a good thing; they’re a chance to do better.
89. “The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” — Helen Keller.
Small interactions and actions add up.
90. “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.
As a team leader, practice what you preach.
91. “The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.” — Shiv Singh.
Positive customer experiences create a ripple effect that ultimately bring more customers to your organization.
92. “Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.” — Tony Hsieh.
It’s tempting to think of customer service as a separate segment of operations, but it should be baked into every department.
93. “Never take a person’s dignity: it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you.” — Fran Barron.
Always make your customers feel respected.
94. “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 cannot buy enthusiasm … You cannot buy loyalty … You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” — Clarence Francis.
No amount of bribery can rival the power of earned trust and loyalty.
95. “What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?” — George Eliot.
Do what you can to make everyone else’s lives a little easier.
96. “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.
When a customer service agent does something great, acknowledge it—preferably publicly.
97. “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” — Chinese Proverb.
It’s almost impossible to be successful in customer service unless you have a positive attitude.
98. “Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It’s a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do if you’re to bring it to your customer interactions.” — Betsy Sanders.
Service and support should be part of your identity, and something to wear with pride.
99. “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.” — Mother Teresa.
Every person who walks away from an interaction with you should find themselves in a brighter, happier place.
100. “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” — Benjamin Franklin.
In customer service, you’ll often have to hold your tongue. This skill is indispensable, and can spare you from facing a catastrophe.
101. “Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” — Damon Richards.
Don’t bombard your customer with information or direction until you’ve shown that you care about how they’re feeling.
102. “People expect good service but few are willing to give it.” — Robert Gately.
Everyone wants a great customer experience, including you. But it’s so rare that when a person receives exceptional service, they’re likely to remember it forever.
103. “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.
If you only take one quote to heart, it should probably be this one. You don’t need to glamorize customer service, nor should you let yourself be overwhelmed by it. It’s a simple and ongoing practice—one that requires you to deliver compassion to the people you serve. And while there are plenty of pieces of advice that can help you become a better customer service agent, at the end of the day, your success depends on your own willingness to help others consistently.
Now that you’ve read these customer service quotes, I hope you feel inspired. Leave a comment and let us know which one(s) you found most inspiring! And don’t miss these other posts on customer service here on our blog:
- 77 Customer Service Statistics to Know
- 17 Customer Service Email Best Practices
- 21 Customer Service Skills Every Employee Should Have
- 51 Customer Service Tips Every Business Needs to Master
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Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.