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The following is a guest blog post from CX expert Jeanne Bliss. To hear more from Jeanne and learn the five core competencies of customer-centric companies, watch the webinar The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer.

In the course of working with different companies throughout my career, I’ve found that leaders focused on serving customers’ lives as a way to grow their business often begin with an uncommon attitude. This attitude, in turn, leads to uncommon behaviors that build beloved companies. In the process, when these leaders speak and give interviews, they produce some amazing customer experience quotes.

Here are a eight quotes that embrace the attitude and approach to human-centered business growths—something I advocated for in my book Chief Customer Officer 2.0.

  1. Be better.

"Worry about being better; bigger will take care of itself. Think one customer at a time and take care of each one the best way you can."
- Gary Comer, founder of Lands' End

This is the man and the attitude that launched my own career. In my opinion, this customer experience quote is the backbone of how companies should think about business growth.

  1. Develop a core value system.

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are."
- Roy Disney, co-founder of Disney

For beloved companies, their "moment of greatness" is not contained with the action that lead to that moment. It’s the decision that allows the action to occur. Roy Disney embraces this principle in these words.

Beloved companies take the time to define a core value system to guide all their decisions. This unites everyone in how they guide decisions and what they will—and will not—do to grow the business. 

  1. Clarity of purpose.

"Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
- Helen Keller

This insight has guided Helen Keller's life and inspired so many—it also shows her unexpected chops for customer experience. This is about having a clarity of purpose for what your company does to improve customers’ lives. Companies need this to unite the silos. The goal is to elevate people’s jobs from executing tasks to delivering an experience customers want to have again.

  1. Enabling your people to be real.

"I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Another unexpected source for a customer service quote. I am a fan of this woman’s humanity and how she was not afraid to show how real she was. The inspiration here: enable your people to be real, and to connect with customers in ways which show personality and a deliberate tone for your brand. Enable your people to make decisions in their business lives that are congruent in the decisions they’d make in their personal lives with their families.

"The middle of the road is where the white line is and that's not the worst place to drive."

  1. Striving for excellence.

"The middle of the road is where the white line is and that's the worst place to drive."
- Robert Frost

Mediocrity in service and customer experiences don’t cut it. The middle of the road—i.e. just doing what’s expected—is not enough in a world of social media where customers have the megaphone and are talking about how you improve their lives. Don’t let your people accept that "middle of the road" mediocrity is OK.

  1. Humility.

"In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet."
- Winston Churchill

The act of putting a customer’s life back together again requires grace and wisdom when the chips are down—not accusations and skirting accountability. Leaders’ behaviors in enabling the company to apologize well and mend the customer relationship is a company’s humanity litmus test.

  1. Leadership.

"Decision-making, if you don't purposefully guide its direction, can lead your company down a path and to a conclusion ytou didn't intend."
- Tony Hseish, CEO, Zappos

These are Tony’s words from the afterword of my book I Love You More Than My Dog, and truer words were never spoken. Tony guides Zappos based on core values and an impassioned and unwavering dedication to the behaviors he wants to embed in the company he leads. One of the common denominators of the leaders in beloved companies is their deliberate and clear path. I believe it’s one of the most winning components to Zappos’ success.

  1. Respect.

"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, president emeritus, Southwest Airlines

Colleen went from being Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher’s personal assistant to the eventual President and CEO of Southwest Airlines. She’s honestly one of my personal heroes. She believes, as I do, that what’s on the inside of the company shows up on the outside to customers. Pure and sustainable growth breeds strongest in an environment where people are rewarded for doing what’s right. Customer love is a reward for what some consider irrational business behavior.  Those companies start with the golden rule and let it guide their behavior, and their path to growth.

Note: This article first appeared on and is republished here with permission.

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