Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos announced that he would step down as CEO of Amazon .
He was responsible for the enormous growth of online bookstore into the world’s largest brand and made Amazon the market leader in e-commerce, cloud computing, entertainment and parcel delivery.
Amazon is now worth billions and Jeff is said to have a net worth of about $200 billion. He has so much money that he now goes on space trips for fun.
How did he manage that? By excelling on the customer experience.
Below, we’ll show you five ways Jeff Bezos transformed the customer experience for good.
1. Obsessed with your customers
Jeff Bezos has always been renowned for his stance on the customer experience. Already in the early 2000s he realized how important it is to put the customer experience first.
“The reason we’ve outperformed our internet peers over the past six years is because we focus on the customer experience like a laser,” he said at the time.
And he went one step further, he developed an obsession. Just being customer-oriented is not enough, it is not an attitude that you can teach yourself. According to Jeff, your customers are never really satisfied. There is always a learning curve or a knowledge gap to close. Doing this will lead to more innovation and, in the long run, more sales.
Jeff: “We live in the age where the customer rules. You can no longer interrupt the customer experience by pushing your agenda. You have to learn to add something to the customer experience to ‘pull in’ customers. If you want it right understanding the customer’s point of view is really vital.”
2. Make customer needs the engine of innovation
When Amazon started in 1994, the idea that you could order something over the Internet was a tentative leap in the dark. However, Jeff Bezos realized early on that this was going to be a big need and built a company based on taking innovation risks.
Customers had to learn to rely on purchasing online, a challenge Jeff largely met by emphasizing customer service.
Although it started with books, this was never the endgame for Amazon. The company expanded into other products and services to meet customer needs, such as streaming and digital downloads. In addition, Amazon has its own hardware, such as the Kindle e-reader.
What do you learn from this? Never make yourself comfortable with your success. Customer preferences evolve and they continue to evolve, so let their needs drive innovation.”
3. Be there where the customer is
An important part of Jeff Bezos’s success is also due to a keen understanding of the need to be where the customer is.
Amazon took huge risks in its development, but took a complete omnichannel approach to the customer experience. For example, Jeff decided to try brick-and-mortar stores at a time when many other retail companies were shutting down brick-and-mortar operations. However, Jeff believed that Amazon needed to be more present outside of the digital space as well.
He also took risks in developing customer service tools, such as Mayday. Mayday promised to connect Kindle Fire tablet users with agents in just 15 seconds within video.
And the most important change? That was introducing new channels, such as the emerging voice assistant market. With Alexa, anyone can connect with Amazon, wherever they are in the world.
4. Provide a seamless experience
Part of Alexa’s appeal is how seamless it is. Amazon became famous for the seamless experience, and despite criticism, Jeff’s vision has always been about ease of use.
One-click checkout and Amazon Pay are examples of that seamless experience. They stand for the dedication to speed, choice, convenience and accessibility.
In 2020, Amazon launched a new chatbot. It doesn’t rely on AI or natural language processing, it doesn’t try to simulate a live conversation with the customer or solve a huge number of situations. He is vigilant enough to quickly lead the customer on the right path to the solution.
In an age where AI and voice assistants exist, you sometimes forget that the most efficient solution is often a simple one.
5. Give your customer a seat
Maybe a bit of a separate story, but it’s one that underlines the commitment to the customer experience.
Jeff always left a single seat empty in the boardroom.
It stood for the presence of the customer. Whatever was discussed at the table, it always came down to the question: ‘what is best for our customer?’
The empty chair represented much more than a void at the table. He emphasized that every business decision affects the most important stakeholder: the customer.
It is crucial to mention that the empty seat shows that the customer experience for Amazon was a main goal, but that that experience must be supported with action.
It’s a way for Jeff Bezos to visually force each meeting participant in the discussion to refer to the customers. Maybe a little strange, but you have to admit that Jeff’s habits have been good for the company.