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Employees before customers: 12 inspirational quotes from titans

May 4, 2018 - 3 minute read

In today’s hyper-competitive retail landscape, customer obsession has become the most repeated phrase in boardrooms the world over. If you can predict what the customer wants, and provide a seamless customer experience, then you can stand out and win in this fierce environment.

But the true visionaries in this space know that real customer focus starts first with a passionate infatuation for all your employees.

But who are we to tell you this? Maybe it’s better if you hear it from some of business’ biggest and brightest minds who have witnessed the link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction first hand.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”

Doug Conant - former President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company

"Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."

Richard Branson - founder of The Virgin Group

"Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it."

Timothy R. Clark - founder and chairman of consulting and training organisation TR Clark Associates

“The responsibility of a company is to serve the customer. The responsibility of leadership is to serve their people so that their people may better serve the customer. If leaders fail to serve their people first, both customer and company will suffer.”

Simon Sinek - author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers."

Stephen R. Covey - author & businessman

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

Anne M. Mulcahy - former CEO of Xerox

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don't feel valued, neither will your customers."

Sybil F. Stershic - author & founder of Quality Service Marketing

"The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don't feel valued, neither will your customers."

Harold Schultz - founder and former CEO of Starbucks

Starbucks happy employee

“Employee engagement is an investment we make for the privilege of staying in business.”

Ian Hutchinson - Life & Work engagement strategist

“Create caring and robust connections between every employee and their work, customers, leaders, managers, and the organization to achieve results that matter to everyone in this sentence.”

David Zinger - author, coach & consultant

“People leave when they don’t feel appreciated. That’s why we’ve made recognition a really high value. Our business is people-capability first; then you satisfy customers; then you make money.”

David Novak - former CEO of YUM! Brands

“You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.”

Stan Slap - CEO and Founder of SLAP 

employee engagement retail report
Matt Warnock

Written by Matt Warnock

Matt is Content Marketing Director at Speakap. He's here to help you achieve corporate greatness.