Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon knows better than to see his customers as a series of transactions. To him, the success of a business is dependent on the ability to achieve customer satisfaction.
- “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
In todays’ internet driven world, customers are listening to peers, researching online and posting complaints on social media and other feedback platforms more than ever. It is changing the type of relationship businesses have with their customers and it is now more important than ever to ensure you have a plan on how to respond to both negative and positive reviews. Learning how to turn a negative review into a positive one can ensure loyalty and customer growth for many years.
- “Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”
Amazon places a lot of emphasis on customer service and ensures that managers understand the mindset and philosophy of what the company stands for – to always listen and understand the customers.
Jeff Bezos even places himself in the call center and gets recertified every few years. This is to ensure that he is always understanding the customers needs directly and can effectively anticipate needs, preferences and what each customer struggles with.
- “We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”
Customers presume that a company will know and understand their individual needs and they expect this throughout the buying journey. Amazon is continually raising the bar on meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Take The Kindle for example – it was created purely by the customer’s desires rather than an idea. Jeff Bezos built the Kindle product for the customer after listening and understanding what they needed.
- “We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”
In 2009, Amazon experienced backlash from customers who had copies of their books ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ deleted from their Kindles. Users did not like this as it felt like there was a dark ‘big brother’ side to Amazon. Amazon went ahead and made an apology but it was not received well by customers as it was an inhuman and dry statement.
In order to recover from such a negative response, Jeff Bezos made a heartfelt apology to all Amazon users. This was a good business decision as it turned people back on to Amazon.
“This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and their novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”
- “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.”
If you were at a party and you were not having a good time, you would automatically assume that it was the host’s fault. The same goes with a customer at your business or store. Think about how minor alterations to your current customer service can make a huge difference to a customer’s experience.
No matter what type of industry you are in, no matter the size of your business, whether you are a fan of Amazon or a direct competitor, Jeff Bezos certainly makes some very important and strong points in all of his quotes that I am sure we would all agree on – the customer always comes first.