Customer Centricity: Learning from AmazonBy: Dimitris Semsis
Inspired by Vivie Chorianopoulou
About two years ago, during an Amazon convention, Blake Morgan—a renowned professional in the field of CX (Customer Experience)—asked an Amazon executive: “Who is in charge of customer experience at Amazon?”. The executive was baffled, as he could not understand the question—prompting Blake to repeat it. The executive finally answered, in a disarmingly honest fashion, shocking everyone in attendance: “What do you mean? Everyone is in charge of Customer Experience at Amazon”. The executive went on to explain his line of thinking, stating that it would be ridiculous to expect of one person to be in charge of customer experience—since everyone contributes to this, one way or another.
Why is Amazon considered the No1 company in the world, then? Everyone working at Amazon is customer-centric by default! As stated by themselves, their purpose is to be “earth’s most customer-centric company”!
What does it mean to have a customer-centric company culture? Every decision made—whether it’s related to design, business, or commerce—is made with the customer in mind! Everyone within this massive corporation radiates with customer-centricity—starting with the CEO, Jeff Bezos. Some of you would consider such a mindset to be normal—common, even. To that, we say: When was the last time you bought something as a customer and thought any of the following: “Wow, every single penny I just spent was completely worth it”, “I’ll recommend this to my friends”, “I’m definitely going back”. Perhaps the opposite reactions are more representative of your actual experiences.
The purpose of this article is to show that proper customer experience requires respect, commitment, and proving value to your customer-base. Customers expect—and rightfully so—to receive some sort of benefit from their interaction with a brand.
Such an initiative requires a customer-centric business cycle to form within a company!
In order to potentially achieve similar success, companies need to stop worrying about the competition and allocate more of their attention towards their customer experience efforts. Doing this will help them build a better relationship with their customer-base—increasing customer trust and loyalty towards their brand. Bezos himself said that, in the end of the day, customers are the ones that pay for a company’s products and services—not its competitors.
Companies should also stop spending both time and effort on activities that do not focus on the customer as a main point of interest. Lingering on such “internal” matters leads to poor allocation of time, effort, company resources, and the eventual mental and emotional burnout of everyone involved. In many such cases, companies are hesitant to admit such faults, but the opposite can be proven easily if we take a look at their CX track-record—which is, more often than not, filled with numerous cases of unhappy and non-returning customers.
Taking all the above into consideration—through the companies and businesses we work for—all of us can work towards a more positive, customer-oriented future. We need to show that we care—and act accordingly. From each of our varying professional fields, we can all contribute towards a better overall customer journey.
When making strategic decisions, do you focus on your competitors or on your customers?
Is every employee in the company aware of the customer’s needs and wants?
Don’t forget to join us on 06/10/2010, on our Facebook page, from 14.30 to 18.30, for our CX Day live event!
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