“Who knows where inspiration comes from? Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses” ~ Amy Tan, author

This list is a co-operation between iCity Magazine and Tenfore Associates

  1. — Customer centricity is a strategy that aligns a company’s development and delivery of its products and services with the current and future needs of a select set of customers in order to maximize their long-term financial value to the firm ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  2. — In the age of the customer, executives don’t decide how customer-centric their companies are — customers do ~ Kate Leggett, Analyst (CRM), Forrester
  3. — Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them ~ Kevin Stirtz, author of More Loyal Customers
  4. — The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new ~ Socrates, Greek philosopher (4790399 BC)
  5. — Marketing is theatre ~ Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple
  6. — Without great employees you can never have great customer service ~ Richard F. Gerson, author of Positive Performance Improvement
  7. — For us, our most important stakeholder is not our stockholders, it is our customers. We’re in business to serve the needs and desires of our core customer base ~ John Mackey, co-CEO Whole Foods Market
  8. — The internet makes human desires more easily attainable. In other words, it offers convenience. Convenience on the internet is basically achieved by two things: speed, and cognitive ease. If you study what the really big things on the internet are, you realize they are masters at making things fast and not making people think ~ Ev Williams, Twitter co-founder
  9. — Welcome to the uberification of our service economy ~ Steve Schlafman, RRE
  10. — Ideas are commodities. Execution is not ~ Michael Dell, Founder/CEO, DELL Computers
  11. — At a certain point, there’s only so much a success team member can do to prevent churn when a customer was a bad fit for your product right from the start ~ Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer, Hubspot
  12. — Customer equity is the sum of the customer lifetime values (CLVs) accross a firm’s entire customer base ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  13. — CLV is the net present value of the profits linked to a specific customer once the customer has been acquired, after subtracting incremental costs associated with marketing, selling, production and servicing over the customer’s lifetime ~ Robert C. Blattberg, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management
  14. — It’s not about coffee. It’s about passion and an experience ~ Howard Schultz, Founder and CEO, Starbucks
  15. — CLV is the unit of measurement that creates customer equity, which in turn creates greater firm value ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  16. — Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the present value of the future (net) cash flows associated with a particular customer ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  17. — To achieve consistently terrific customer service, you must hire wonderful people who believe in your company’s goals, habitually do better than the norm and who will love their jobs; make sure that their ideas and opinions are heard and respected; then give them the freedom to help and solve problems for your customers. Rather than providing rules or scripts, you should ask them to treat the customer as they themselves would like to be treated — which is surely the highest standard ~ Richard Branson, CEO, Virgin
  18. — Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do, if you are to bring it to your customer interactions ~ Betsy Sanders, former storemanager, Nordstrom
  19. — Customer centricity is a strategy to fundamentally align a company’s products and services with the wants and needs of its most valuable customers. That strategy has a specific aim: more profits for the long term ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  20. — I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been ~ Wayne GretzkyFamous NFL hockeyplayer
  21. — The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding customer service ~ William H. Davidow, founding partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
  22. — Culture eats strategy for breakfast ~ Peter DruckerBestselling management author
  23. — There is never a good sale unless it’s a good buy for the customer ~ Stanley MarcusFounder of Neiman Marcus
  24. — Customer centricity requires that a company be willing and able to change its organizational design, performance metrics, and employee and distributor structures to focus on this long-term creation and delivery process ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  25. — There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else ~ Sam WaltonCEO, Walmart
  26. — Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game ~ Tony Alessandra, best-selling author on sales and marketing
  27. — When the customer makes you or your business the centre of what they do in your solution area, you have achieved customer centricity ~ John Stanhope
  28. — A customer culture is as fundamental to your business as breathing is to living. It is the life force of your business ~ Dr Linden R. Brown, Chairman, MarketCulture
  29. — By putting forth the effort to better understand the habits, tendencies, and value of each and every one of our customers, you can build better, stronger, and more profitable companies ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  30. — Knowing our highest-value guests allows for more laser focus, giving 15-20% of guests the best possible experience so they have a higher propensity of coming back ~ Greta Wilson, VP Brand Strategy, Pitney Bowes
  31. — The customer’s perception is your reality ~ Kate Zabriskie
  32. — Customer centricity is about identifying your most valuable customers and then doing everything in your power to make as much money from them as possible and to find more customers like them. These customers give you a strategic advantage over your competitors; it’s a strategic advantage that could be the best path forward for many companies ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  33. — For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny ~ Tony Hsieh, founder and CEO, Zappos
  34. — Integrated marketing communications is a way of looking at the whole marketing process from the view point of the customer ~ Philip Kotler, author/professor/consultant, Kotler Marketing Group
  35. — The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer ~ Jeff Bezos, Founder/CEO, Amazon
  36. — Customer centricity requires major organizational, structural, strategic and cultural changes ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  37. — The ways of yesterday are not enough to understand the world of today ~ King Zhao
  38. — Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers ~ Seth Godin
  39. — Almost all innovation happens by making connections between fields that other people don’t realize ~ Robert J. Langley
  40. — You don’t need a big idea. You need a little idea you can make big ~ Jeremy Gutsche, Founder/CEO, Trendhunter
  41. — Customer-centric companies don’t make or sell the products they think customers will want; they make and sell products they know their customers will want ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  42. — Transformation of an enterprise begins with a sense of crisis or urgency. No institution will go through fundamental change unless it believes it is in deep trouble and needs to do something different to survive ~ Louis V. Gerstner, Former CEO, IBM
  43. — The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing ~ John Russell, former VP, Harley Davidson
  44. — Instead of marketing to the masses, be irrisistible to a specific group of people ~ Jeremy Gutsche, Founder/CEO, Trendhunter
  45. — It’s the style of the climb, not the attainment of the summit, which is the measure of personal success ~ Yvon Chouinard, Founder Patagonia
  46. — Technological barriers have been broken down. Geographic barriers are all but nonexistent. But what remains are the relationships that companies have-or don’t have- with their customers ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  47. — 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 ~ Joel Gascoigne, Founder and CEO, Buffer
  48. — We are experiencing history’s highest rate of change. So push harder, act sooner and never give up ~ Ray Kurzweil, Founder, Singularity University 
  49. — Customer-centric firms acknowledge the heterogeneity among their customers. More than that, they celebrate it – because they understand that heterogeneity offers them opportunity ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  50. — 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 ~ Ben Chestnut, Co-founder and CEO, Mailchimp
  51. — Customer service shouldn’t be a department; it should be the entire company ~ Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
  52. — Once you have identified your right customers teh next stps are obvious. You mine those customers for information. You find out what they want, what they need, and what they will demand going forward ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  53. — Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game .. it is the game ~ Louis V. Gerstner, Former CEO, IBM
  54. — 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 ~ Bruce Ernst, VP of Product Managment, Monetate
  55. — 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 ~ Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon
  56. — Customer equity is the total outcome of all transactional and non-transactional customer interactions througout the entire 360-degree customer journey ~ Edwin Korver, Founder/CEO, Tenfore
  57. — 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 ~ Mark Roenigk, COO, Rackspace
  58. — The ends of customer centricity may be conventional; the means of customer centricity, however, are radical ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  59. — 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 ~ Ted Hoy, CTO, AtTask
  60. — In a world that’s changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk ~ Mark Zuckerberg, Founder/CEO, Facebook
  61. — The biggest threat to innovation is internal politics and an organizational culture, which doesn’t accept failure and/or doesn’t accept ideas from outside, and/or cannot change ~ Gartner
  62. — The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand ~ Sun Tzu
  63. — You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last ~ Mike Markkula, Investor, Apple
  64. — In a customer-centric company, as we spend more and more of our time and money focussing specifically on the right customers, it turns out that we actually need those other customers quite a bit ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  65. — You want these other customers to keep right on being your customers; you just don’t want to burn any calories worrying about them. What I’m suggesting is that you should view these other customers as low-hanging fruit. They are, in essence, the ballast that will allow you to continue on your path to long-term customer-centric success ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  66. — 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? ~ Dharmesh Shah, CTO, Hubspot
  67. — By 2018, 70% of siloed digital transformation (DX) initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing, or project management ~ IDC
  68. — A customer-centric model is based not on expertise in the realm of product development, but rather on a deep understanding of what customers actually want, when and how they want it, and what they’re willing to give you in exchange ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  69. — You can’t talk about disruption credibly if you can’t disrupt yourself ~ Brian Solis, Principal, Altimeter
  70. — The adoption of customer centricity demands nothing less than a complete restructuring of your organization that will position it to serve precisely the right customers at the expense of pretty much everything else ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  71. — Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader success is all about growing others ~ Jack Welch, former Chairman/CEO, GE
  72. — Overall, 20-30% of a business provides all the profits, sudsidizing 30-40% of the business that loses money ~ Jonathan L.S. Byrnes
  73. — If you’re in sales and your social media strategy is not built around creating one-to-one conversations, then you’re not in sales. You’re in advertising ~ Mark Hunter, Author, The Sales Hunter
  74. — We should celebrate customer heterogeneity by using the customer lifetime value (CLV) to drive acquisition strategies and tactics ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  75. — The real objective of direct marketing is to convert sales to relationships, because relationships bond the customer to the company and the brand is the total of all that ~ Lester Wunderman
  76. — The sharing economy is commerce with the promise of a human connection ~ Joe Gebbia, Co-founder, Airbnb
  77. — Opportunities multiply as they are seized ~ Sun Tzu
  78. — A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better ~ Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin
  79. — The ultimate aim of a customer-centric model is the same as the ultimate model of a product-centric model: to make the company as profitable as possible in the long run ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  80. — Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team ~ John C. Maxwell
  81. — 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 ~ Ted Hoy, CTO, AtTask
  82. — Everything is now everywhere, all at once. Consumers are smarter than ever before. The market is more saturated than ever before, more competitive than ever before, and changing more quickly than ever before. It is the perfect storm, and it explains why today’s teens -and many adults- are so demanding: they can be ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  83. — It is all about the survival of the fastest ~ Jeremy Waite, Evangelist, IBM
  84. — Good service begins at the top. If your senior people don’t get it, even the strongest link further down the line can become compromised ~ Richard Branson, Founder/CEO, Virgin
  85. — Customer centricity can allow your organization to make far more money from your most valuable customers who will buy from you more often and spend more when they do buy from you ~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University
  86. — Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat ~ Sun Tzu

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