Harry Gordon Selfridge, John Wanamaker and Marshall Field were three popularly known business men back in the 1900s. These three pioneering retailers believed the customer is a core aspect when it comes to entrepreneurship.
In particular, Marshall (or Selfridge) has been credited as the person who first said "Right or wrong, the customer is always right" which ultimately became the most-popular phrase in customer service -- "The customer is always right"
Though most accredit Field for this quote, the three businessmen together advocated for a better treatment of customers, to make them feel valued and appreciated. Together, these three were credited with popularising that familiar motto.
The Marshall Field’s store in the US.A. majorly used the phrase as their slogan. The retail store, established in Chicago, is one of the many icons of the city. The phrase was also popular in the UK—Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of London's Selfridge store—encouraged the use of the phrase. Previously, Harry Gordon used to be an employee for Marshall from 1879 to 1901.
Since then, this well-known phrase exhorts business staff to prioritise customer’s needs as the core aspect in their job.
The successful businessmen shared similar strengths; great dynamism, creativity and the innate ability to run a business efficiently and in a productive manner. The three great business leaders were not only early pioneers in retail, but were also early sources of important slogans that emphasised the importance of customer service.
As such, the quotes by the three entrepreneurs became some of the most famous customer service quotes of their time. Here’s twelve of our favourites:
Wanamaker, Field and Selfridge were doing business in the 1800 and 1900s, so how do their customer service expressions stand up in today’s world? Even with new technology and modern expectations, the quotes hold up surprisingly well because the key components of excellent customer service hasn’t changed.
Today, most modern business institutions have established customer service. Most executives tend to work as hard as possible to ensure their customer needs and expectations are fully met. Newer technologies such as social media, live chat and real-time texting, have been put in place by most companies to improve their provision of customer service; moving it away from being a cost center to being a profit center.
As such, a lot of prominent business personalities share the same ideologies with the three pioneer entrepreneurs when it comes to customer services. Below are 15 of the best customer service quotes from prominent leaders, CEOs and Founders in business.
We know that it takes more than a few inspirational quotes from famous business people to get your customer service process right.
As mentioned earlier, the core of providing customer service hasn’t changed even considering it’s been close to two centuries. Even with the speed of technology, many of the same approaches that Marshall Field made famous back in 1852 are applicable to modern companies like Google, Apple, and Zappos.
Though we listed approximately 30 customer service quotes, the hope is that you can get directional value from successful leaders so to glean best practices. Leverage the core intent of these maxims to help shape your company’s approach to serving your customers.
Focus on the relationship you have with your customers and treat them equally; each with dignity, courtesy and honesty. Know that customer service is more solving problems, it’s about knowing your customer expectations in and out. When you know what resonates with your customers, don’t just meet aim to meet their expectations, but exceed their expectations, preferably in unexpected ways.
If you achieve that (and have a good product), everything will fall into place for your business. Marshall Field and Richard Branson would be proud.
The best way to see how Salesforce is revolutionising customer service is with a guided tour of Service Cloud. With the guided tour, we can show you how Service Cloud shines in several common use cases and scenarios.
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