You will lose if you don’t care about customer experience

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to look after them and make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

 

We all are either customer or have been in their shoes at any given point of our busy lives. Thus, we all realize that when we don’t get served appropriately how disappointed and ungainly we feel about the entire situation. Similarly, in our business or work we have customers who do not need to feel the same way and it becomes our whole and sole job profile to keep it that way.

Gone are days when businesses could be big and powerful without bothering much about its customers.

Gone are days when businesses could be big and powerful without bothering much about its customers. Take the case of Bank of America when it was forced to withdraw a proposed debit card fee after widespread customer backlash. They have also been seeing customers leaving their bank and opting for smaller ones to get more personalized service. (read more)

So what we see above is a clear case of poor customer experience driving business out. Well you might continue to sell more and earn profits but at the same time you will keep observing that customers don’t stick with your brand and they are always looking to change. A small analytics will reveal that new customers coming in is higher than repeat customers which really does not usher in loyalty. Because business is not just building relations with partners or vendors but also with customers.

 

Another clear case of not building healthy relationships was realized by Comcast when they lost nearly 400,000 subscribers in a year. That’s a large amount of defection for any company. Though poor customer experience might not be the only reason but it will be one of the reasons for this loss. (read more)

 

So what makes a customer stick? Well if we make any person valued and hold them in high esteem you have got yourself a new brand ambassador without spending millions on celebrities. Case in point is the story of how a 3-year old’s question about the name of a bread in Sainsbury Super Market went viral and the company acknowledge the response to change the name. They could have been rigid and stuck to the old name after all what’s a 3-year old’s suggestion matter but that was not the case for Sainsbury. Now they have thousands of people as their customer because these folks followed Sainsbury’s response to the suggestion online.

The age old adage “Customer is the king” should be changed to “Customer is the God.”

The age old adage “Customer is the king” should be changed to “Customer is the God.” In today’s world if businesses do not build a strong customer centric model then they lose everything in matter of minutes.

I covered a few points on this crucial subject, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Are you obsessed about your customer? Here are 5 takeaways to get into that culture

Here are the top five lessons for companies that want to learn from Amazon’s customer- obsessed culture — one that helped the company bring in around $100+ billion revenue:

 

Customer service starts at the top.

Bezos’ public email inbox (jeff@amazon.com) receives many customer complaints, and he often forwards them to appropriate department heads for explanation with a single character: “?”. Stone reports: “When Amazon employees get a Bezos question mark e-mail, they react as though they’ve discovered a ticking bomb. They’ve typically got a few hours to solve whatever issue the CEO has flagged and prepare a thorough explanation for how it occurred, a response that will be reviewed by a succession of managers before the answer is presented to Bezos himself. Such escalations, as these e-mails are known, are Bezos’s way of ensuring that the customer’s voice is constantly heard inside the company.” Why does this matter? It’s the responsibility of everyone in an organization to ensure customers receive great service, and this focus on the customer needs to be frequently reinforced by leadership. No executive should ever be exempt from servicing customers and being their top advocates internally.

 

No amount of revenue is worth jeopardizing customer trust.

Emails marketing “a variety of gels and other intimacy facilitators” were sent to certain customers who had browsed the personal lubricants section of the Amazon website, and when this was brought to Bezos’s attention by a customer, he demanded they shut down the email marketing channel all together to investigate — despite the fact that they were bringing in hundreds of millions in revenue for the company.

 

All customer feedback matters…

Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s senior vice president for North American retail, is quoted in the excerpt as saying “Every anecdote from a customer matters. We research each of them because they tell us something about our processes. It’s an audit that is done for us by our customers. We treat them as precious sources of information.” The answers are likely in the details, so pay close attention to what your customers are saying about the experience with your brand.

 

But don’t forget about metrics.

According to Stone, “Customer anecdotes have no place at these [Amazon review] meetings; numbers alone must demonstrate what’s working and what’s broken, how customers are behaving, and ultimately how well the company overall is performing.”

 

Build customer service into your company’s DNA.

“Frugality” is one of 14 leadership principles at Amazon. The rationale? “We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers.”

 

Source: Brad Stone, Author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon”