Bezos (& Amazon) Put Customers First

(Courtesy iStockphoto)

Its heartening to read articles that highlight customer centricity as a strategy has worked for organizations. They give a feeling of good guys can win too.

Once such recent article, that is being written about a lot, was published in The New York Times about Jeff Bezos & Amazon. A few excerpts from the article -
  • The author Joe Nocera wonders - "Maybe, just maybe, taking care of customers is something worth doing when you are trying to create a lasting company. Maybe, in fact, it’s the best way to build a real business — even if it comes at the expense of short-term results."

  • In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, the chief executive was asked an open-ended question about how he spent his time, and Mr. Bezos responded with a soliloquy about his “obsession” with customers. “They care about having the lowest prices, having vast selection, so they have choice, and getting the products to customers fast,” he said. “And the reason I’m so obsessed with these drivers of the customer experience is that I believe that the success we have had over the past 12 years has been driven exclusively by that customer experience. We are not great advertisers. So we start with customers, figure out what they want, and figure out how to get it to them.”

  • Anybody who has spent any time around Mr. Bezos knows that this is not just some line he throws out for public consumption. It has been the guiding principle behind Amazon since it began. “Jeff has been focused on the customer since Day 1”.

  • All of this, however, comes at a price. Indeed, as I’ve written before, customer service isn’t cheap. Certainly, a fair amount of the hundreds of millions of dollars Amazon has spent on R&D has gone toward developing, say, the Kindle, but a good deal of it has also gone toward improving the customer experience.

  • There is simply no question that Mr. Bezos’s obsession with his customers — and the long term — has paid off, even if he had to take some hits to the stock price along the way. Surely, it was worth it. Then again, there may be another reason good customer service makes sense. “Jeff used to say that if you did something good for one customer, they would tell 100 customers”.

Cheers to Mr. Bezos, Amazon & the spirit of customer centricity!!!

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