My friend Jeremy Watkin and I recently set out on a journey to find out What Forrest Gump Teaches Us About Customer Service. What we didn’t realize is that we would have more fantastic quotes than we knew what to do with. In more general terms, we also found that Forrest Gump knew a heck of a lot about business and maybe a little more about customer service. Don’t believe us? Check these out:
Forrest Gump: My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.
JER: This quote immediately makes me think of the new wave in customer service that is social media customer service. Inevitably, customers will share a negative experience via social media. Whatever you do, don’t delete it! Instead learn from it and aim to fill that wall with a bunch of good experiences.
AL: Learning from mistakes is a skill we all need. This is true when on the front lines in a contact center. I can’t count how many times I’ve finished working with a customer only to realize I could have done something better. I can guarantee I never make the same mistake twice.
Forrest Gump: Stupid is as stupid does.
AL: Learn from your competition, but don’t do the same bad things they do. We don’t need to make our own mistakes. Be wise enough to watch others make them first, especially in social media.
JER: Agreed! This reminds me of how terrific experienced mentors are. Commit yourself to lifelong learning by constantly aligning yourself with people who know more than you.
Jenny: Run Forrest, Run!
Forrest Gump: From that day on if I was going somewhere, I was running.
JER: Let’s not be like Forrest in this case. You will deal with difficult customers and situations in business and the best way to face them is head on. Don’t run from them.
AL: Hear here! One thing I have learned in social Customer service is that it will make a mountain out of a molehill if you try to run from a tough challenge for the brand.
Forrest Gump: Bubba told me everything there is to know about shrimping. But you know what I found out? Shrimping is tough!
AL: This is where the true professional shines! They never stop learning the craft. My library at home has as many history books as ones written by thought leaders in social media and customer service.
JER: Make no mistake. Customer service, business and life are all difficult. There is a learning curve involved to becoming great at it. Don’t try to conquer it in one shot. Improve a little bit each day.
Jenny Curran: Why are you so good to me?
Forrest Gump: You’re my girl!
Jenny Curran: [pause] I’ll always be your girl.
AL: In business the new buzzword is ‘advocate’. These are the customers that have been through thick and thin with your brand because of the relationship employees have built with them.
JER: I love how committed Forrest is. In good times and bad we should be as committed to our work and to being awesome with our internal and external customers as Forrest is to Jenny.
There may not be a more profound quote in the entire movie than when Forrest says “I am not a smart man.” If we learn nothing else from Forrest Gump we learn that he doesn’t try to be anything or anyone more than who he is. He knows life and business (the shrimpin’ business) are difficult. What does he do? He keeps moving forward. What do you say we all do the same? -Jeremy
Quotes and Image from IMDB.com.