10 Quotes on the Power of Being Customer-Focused

Is your business truly being customer-focused? Here are 10 quotes from top tech leaders that just might convince you to go all-in on customer experience.

Take a second to consider this question: How much do you care about your customers? 

Not just “care” in the sense that you provide good customer support, do your best to respond to user problems, and occasionally incorporate buyer feedback into your product’s features. We mean really care — to the extent that you’re borderline obsessed with delivering a flawless customer experience.

In 2011, a survey by RightNow (acquired by Oracle in 2012) revealed that 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, while 89 percent of buyers say they’ve switched to a competing solution after having a bad experience with a business. That’s not good, particularly when you consider it can be up to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

Pretty easy to see why companies like Hubspot, Amazon, Zappos, MailChimp, Monetate, and others have invested so heavily in becoming truly customer-centric organizations.

Want to learn from their ways? Here are 10 quotes from some of the world’s foremost business leaders on why adopting a customer-focused philosophy can be so powerful:

“Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company.” Tweet this quote.

— Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos @zappos

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Tweet this quote.

— Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon

“People want what’s best for them, and they can switch on a dime, because there’s always a new disruptor disrupting the last disruptor. So companies should just strive to keep changing and adapting to their customers’ needs.” Tweet this quote.

— Ben Chestnut, Co-founder & CEO of MailChimp @benchestnut

“Your website isn’t the center of your universe. Your Facebook page isn’t the center of your universe. Your mobile app isn’t the center of your universe. The customer is the center of your universe.” Tweet this quote.

— Bruce Ernst, VP of Product Management at Monetate

“We rely on [customers] to help guide our product development and business strategy. Before we had any customers, we sat down with prospects to understand how our software could help them. When we launched the first version of our product in August of 2007, we had a paying customer from day one.” Tweet this quote.

— Chris Savage, Founder & CEO of Wistia @csavage

“Satisfied customers will tell their colleagues about Rackspace, becoming promoters for our brand and an external sales force for our company. Therefore, fanatical support is essential to our business; it is what lies at the core of our company because we know it’s essential to our success.” Tweet this quote.

— Mark Roenigk, COO of Rackspace

“Customer support is an amazing reservoir of insights into what needs to change about the product…We prioritize our roadmap directly based on these insights. This has helped us to evolve our product and release features which we know in advance people will love.” Tweet this quote.

— Joel Gascoigne, Founder & CEO of Buffer @joelgascoigne

“We’re trying to do something really interesting and fun but we also need to be humble…because we know that everything is based on this foundation that we’re trying to do what’s right for the customer….you realize that these users make your livelihood possible.” Tweet this quote.

— Kevin Hale, Co-founder of Wufoo @ilikevests

“When you’re trying to make an important decision, and you’re sort of divided on the issue, ask yourself: If the customer were here, what would she say?” Tweet this quote.

— Dharmesh Shah, CTO of Hubspot @dharmesh

“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” Tweet this quote.

— Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin @richardbranson

Bonus Quote

How do you truly become more customer-focused? As Ted Hoy, CTO at AtTask explains in this video, it really starts with the values you build into your organization, internally.


“The organization at AtTask has been built around being positive, communicating with each other, being open, being transparent, being courageous, being accountable. You start doing all those things within the company and then you interact with customers, and all of a sudden you’re delivering all those values to the customer.

“It’s not that we ever even say we’re customer-centric. We don’t have to. What we say is we’re going to the right thing, we’re going to try as hard as we can, and that just spills over into the way we treat our customers.”


Take the Next Step: Download the Free eBook

To be truly effective, your company’s values and aspirations have to be more than just words on a page. It takes commitment from every member of your organization to live those aspirations each and every day. What Really Matters: A Guide to Defining and Realizing Your Company’s Aspirations provides you with everything you’ll need to clearly define and realize your company’s mission, vision, values and priorities.

Download this free eBook and here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Aspirations-web-cover-265x300The business benefits of company aspirations
  • A three-phase approach to the aspiration process
  • The key roles and metrics that really matter
  • Details on the challenges most companies face
  • Additional resources including an in-depth workbook and guide for getting started

From the Foreword

Tony_hsieh“At the end of the day, just remember that if you get the culture and aspirations right, most of the other stuff — including building a great brand — will fall into place on its own.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos


Photo by: agaumont


OpenView, the expansion stage venture firm, helps build software companies into market leaders. Through our Expansion Platform, we help companies hire the best talent, acquire and retain the right customers and partner with industry leaders so they can dominate their markets. Our focus on the expansion stage makes us uniquely suited to provide truly tailored operational support to our portfolio companies. Learn more about OpenView at openviewpartners.com.
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