Take a Hint from Amazon’s Customer Obsession

Michael Rozbruch Shares Amazon's Customer ObsessionAmazon is the world’s top online retailer, and their CEO, Jeff Bezos, gives a ton of credit to his company’s incredible dedication to customer service.

“If there’s one reason we have done better than our peers in the Internet space over the last six years,” says Bezos, “it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word-of-mouth is so very, very powerful.”

Amazon cares so much about customer loyalty and trust that you might even call them a little obsessed. And they wouldn’t argue with you! In fact, the first item on Amazon’s official list of leadership principles is “Customer Obsession.”

“We’re not competitor-obsessed, we’re customer-obsessed. We start with what the customer needs, and we work backward.”

The trust of a customer is not just highly valued at their company, it’s their No. 1 concern. Amazon even trains each of its managers in the call center environment, to create a more solid understanding of customer concerns by listening and putting themselves in customers’ shoes. If it were up to Bezos, however, customers would never need to call customer support. “The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works.”

Bezos decided his company would be aware of and concerned about its competition, but would never obsess over it. Instead, they’d pay closer attention to their customers, try to better understand their patterns, and even anticipate their needs — which is why Amazon is working on a feature where order histories would help to predict a customer’s next purchase and ship that item to a nearby warehouse before the customer even clicks “purchase.” The service would mean Amazon customers would receive targeted items with much less waiting time. Now that’s innovative service!

In the company’s infancy, Bezos would bring an empty chair to meetings to represent the customer. He wanted to keep the customer top of mind for every single decision that was made.

Any successful business owner must first think about
who they’re really doing business for.

If you ask yourself this question and the answer is not definitively “for the customer,” it’s time to rethink your strategy.