What Forrest Gump Teaches Us About Customer Service


Blogging can be fun.  A good movie can inspire and renew your perspective. I love hanging out with friends so why not blog about a movie with a friend? That’s just what Jeremy Watkin and I decided to do. This time around we chose the iconic movie, Forrest Gump. Forrest had that magical free spirit about him that was able to teach many things about ourselves and each other, if we just chose to listen. He even knew a thing or two about customer service, but you wouldn’t know it from the looks of him.

We found so many fantastic quotes and lessons that we decided to turn this into a two part series.  In this first post, Forrest has a few things to teach us about life on a customer service team.

Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: Where are you boys from in the world?

Forrest GumpBubba: Alabama, sir!

Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: You twins?

Forrest Gump: No, we are not relations Sir.

AL: No two reps are the same, even if they are from the same company. Common training and a strong corporate culture can get similar messages out, but different employees delight Customers differently when personalities are allowed to shine.

JER: Very true! All agents should abide by the same general standards and undergo the same training but there should be freedom within that system to be themselves.  I am a huge fan of Strengthsfinder and believe that allowing employees to play to their strengths makes a customer service team stronger.

Forrest Gump: We was like family again and it was the happiest time of my life.

JER: Aim to know your team and your customers on a deeper level.  Working in a family type atmosphere even as your company grows makes work so much more fun.  I currently work on a small team and will let you know how it goes as we grow.

AL: I’m excited to watch your team-family grow! I’ve been on big teams and small teams. One trend has always been true: when we get along as a family our work and Customers see the difference.

Forrest Gump: My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

AL: This is not how you want your company’s frontline reps to be. Customers want consistency from your brand. They don’t look forward to opening a new box of chocolates every time they reach out for service.

JER: True for both customer service and life.  In customer service you really have no clue what problem or situation will present itself next but like chocolates, every one is an opportunity to make something sweet.

Forrest Gump: Sometimes there’s just not enough rocks.

JER: This work is not for the weak.  If you have worked in customer service long enough, sometimes you want to throw rocks.  Find a healthy outlet outside of work.  I choose exercise and it has made a big difference.

AL: Yes, Customer service can require a very thick skin. I also don’t recommend throwing rocks at Customers to relieve stress. I prefer the indoor activities for my relief, so I have taken to building Legos and meditation. My doctor would rather me be more like Jeremy and go outside, though.

Forrest Gump: Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.

AL: We should all try to be like Forrest’s Mama.

JER: This is foundational to customer service.  This is pretty self-explanatory.  Need we say more?

Stay tuned for part two for a few things Forrest teaches us about business.

Quotes and Image from IMDB.com.


5 thoughts on “What Forrest Gump Teaches Us About Customer Service

  1. Pingback: What Forrest Gump Teaches Us About Customer Service | Communicate Better Blog

  2. Pingback: What Forrest Gump Teaches Us About Customer Service (by Al Hopper) | BRANDLOVE

  3. Pingback: More Customer Service Lessons From Forrest Gump « Al Hopper said it here first...

  4. Pingback: More Customer Service Lessons From Forrest Gump | Communicate Better Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s