40 Customer Service Tips from Today’s Leaders

It’s no surprise that the world of customer service is in the middle of astronomical change. As customers continue to demand more from companies, the role of a customer service team is more important than ever in order to keep satisfaction and engagement high.

When expectations and technology move faster than the speed of light, leaders have the ability to inspire out-of-this world customer service. That’s why we teamed up with eight customer service experts to get their thoughts and advice on the future of customer service. These 40 quotes are important for every customer service leader, manager, and trainer to review as they lead their team towards better customer service—and better work.

Get all of these insights—and more—in a star-studded ebook. Download The Future of Customer Service today!

Quotes about operations

“Customers purchase from companies that they trust and value. To stay relevant to customers and the industry, companies must be sure they have strong values that they live out and put at the forefront of their interactions.”
— Brian Costanzo, CEO and President, SOCAP International

“From an operational perspective, the hot trend will be how we interplay technology and people with the goal of addressing the changing demands of our workforce to provide more complex servicing and support to customers.”
— Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“Customer service teams need to think in terms of value instead of costs. The modern customer experience and expectation will focus on a harmony between product and customer service that benefits and brings value to everyone.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

“Customer service and support have been run in much of the same way over the last 30 years. Look at how the typical organization approaches quality assurance and KPIs—that hasn’t changed despite evolving market conditions, consumers, and technology. Customer service leaders must rethink these operating models to find more business value for the organization.”
— Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“The most important thing you can do as a service professional is listen to your customers and be sure your leadership team is listening as well. That feedback is needed to build the strategy and to help guide discussions on customers and technology.”
— Brian Costanzo, CEO and President, SOCAP International

“The best customer service visions have three characteristics. They are simple and easy to understand. The vision is focused on the customer, rather than the company’s internal goals. And the vision is authentic and resonates with employees.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

Quotes about adapting and improving

“Customers are demanding more and changing at a pace much faster than customer support and services organization can evolve and adapt.”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“Teams need to have better continuous improvement cycles and greater insights to customer and employee feedback.”
—Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

You’re always going to be adapting to your customer base.”
Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

Quotes about AI

“We are going to continue to see initial AI self-service applications grow in popularity as well as in complexity of the tasks they are supporting.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“The biggest trend is the evolution of chatbots. Companies can use text or voice recognition software to answer simple customer questions. The impact is “easy” Tier-1 questions (that used to be outsourced to third-party contact centers) can now be handled by chatbots.”
— Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes

“The majority of the market is still digitizing support efforts and finding a rhythm across digital channels as they scale operations. To overcome the challenges of a highly-integrated customer experience, it’s going to be all about automation and machine learning.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

Quotes about technology

“Customer service teams need to establish a blend between high tech and high touch. The enthusiasm and pendulum swinging to chat, AI, and more is healthy, but companies need to get this in the right order and do it for the right reason—which is high tech to enable high touch and relevant customer experiences.”
— Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss

“Technology has changed every industry—usually for the better. In the case of customer service, technology has made shopping quicker and more convenient. It’s also empowered the consumer to measure one product against another until they find the best option.”
— Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“Tech in customer service is driving integrated and personalized service for customers. It also allows teams to continuously and rapidly improve. These innovations should reduce customer effort by creating greater self-service resolutions. However, it will be detrimental for companies that try to leverage technology to reduce costs at the expense of the customer experience.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“Technology solutions must find a mutually beneficial space in service and support while providing consumers with convenience, ease, choices, and reliability. While technology can scale and augment the customer experience, the moment it fails or fails to deliver on expectations, it creates the opposite effect.”
— Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“Tools such as machine learning make so much more personalization possible. It enables us to capture business intelligence without interfering with the customer experience. But, you have to be careful that you don’t lose the people factor. As advantageous as tech can be, you have to measure it and incorporate it into the human-drive experience.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

Quotes about omnichannel experiences

We’ll see more advancement in omnichannel integrations of those larger businesses who have struggled to consolidate the customer experience in the past. This will be fueled by stronger analytics around customer segmentation…”
—Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“Today, we have many more ways to serve our customers. Customers still want a simple, intuitive, and seamless service experience and the best companies are able to provide just that.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“These innovations help customers leverage their preferred service channel. For example, most Millennials choose self-service as their first option, while a phone call to customer service is their last resort. On the other hand, Boomers may pick up the phone first, rather than use Twitter to get a company’s attention.”
Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes

Quotes on training and development

Agents hired for their verbal skills five years ago, now need training on proper business writing skills. They need to learn style differences between writing for email, live chat, SMS, Twitter and Facebook. These reading and writing skills are different than verbal communication skills.”
—Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes

“It’s crucial to invest in the professional development of your team!”
—Brian Costanzo, CEO and President, SOCAP International

“Customer service reps need to know their company’s products, services, policies, and procedures. Your customer is contacting you because they need an expert’s help.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“A successful team should receive constant reinforcement of best practices and procedures from their leaders.”
— Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“Work on evolving the operations from tactical elements of scripting, rigid guidelines, and standard training methodology to being a learning organization that is more fluid, agile, adaptable and quick to market.”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“The rise of self-service means that when a customer does need a person to help them, the customer’s request tends to be complicated. This requires customer service professionals to have more knowledge, better problem-solving skills, and a greater ability to empathize with customers than ever before.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“Coach and develop people for their humanity, ability to solve problems, serve with care, and provide the support and assistance your customers really need.”
— Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss

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Quotes about qualities of high-performing reps

“It’s important for reps to understand the impact of their decisions and their commentary.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“If you can speak to the customer and empathize with them, the conversation will be that much easier as you’ll be able to truly understand the customer’s needs.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

“Reps need to feel assured that they are trusted and have the appropriate power to act and solve a problem.”
— Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss

“Undoubtedly, a great rep needs compassion to understand the customer on the phone or online is an actual person—not just a point of sale or a ‘time-limited’ call to rush off the phone.”
— Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“The qualities of a successful customer service rep haven’t changed very much in the 25 plus years I’ve been working in service. The first characteristic I look for is helpfulness. Successful service professionals truly want to help other people. The second characteristic is empathy, which allows us to understand what our customers are thinking and feeling. That, in turn, makes it easier to truly understand a customer’s needs. The third characteristic is competency.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“People who work in the customer service and support space are by nature warm, helpful, and caring…”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

Quotes about delivering personalized service

We will continue to see an expansion of augmenting the company’s support services, especially in areas of greater customization… Customers will be identified and uniquely interacted with based on personalization data that will be sourced both internally and externally.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“The number one thing customer service leaders need to do is get everyone on the same page when it comes to outstanding customer service. You cannot get your team to deliver a consistent brand of service until you get everyone to understand what that looks like.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“We’re going see not just at-scale-support, but we’re going to see personalized support. We’re going to know a lot more about each and every customer and be able to answer every phone call knowing their name and how they consume these products. This means that service teams can give customers much more meaningful and rich help when they need it.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

I expect a large portion of consumers, that still desire and expect personalized service, will demand a return to the human interaction they desire…even if it’s only once and awhile.”
—Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“Customer service teams must leverage big data and insights from the millions of transactions that flow into their channels to drive business decisions around the customer…These will become strategic to driving a true customer-centric ecosystem.”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

Tech is helping drive integrated and personalized service for customers. It allows teams to have better continuous improvement cycles and greater insights to customer and employee feedback. These innovations should drive reduced customer effort along with greater self-service resolutions.”
—Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“Companies that differentiate themselves through service will create positive service experiences with authentic, personalized, and emotional connections.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

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Lessonly is powerfully simple training software that enables customer service teams to serve customers faster, drive consistent support, and elevate the customer experience. Take a tour today, and see how your team can Do Better Work with Lessonly.

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