When talking about entrepreneurial powerhouses, among the first names that usually come to mind are Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Unfortunately, not many recognize the success of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the most valuable worldwide brand – Amazon.
It’s hard to imagine that the top retail company with over 300 million active users on a global scale first started at Jeff’s garage. However, since Amazon has been voted number one in customer satisfaction for nine consecutive years, it’s easy to see that there is a lot to learn from the man. His customer centric philosophy made Amazon Mobile the most popular app and the second-most popular purchase channel in the US.
So what is the secret, or should we say a lesson to learn from the father of the leading e-commerce website in the world? Actually there are a couple of things Jeff Bezos can teach us about customer service, starting with this simple piece of advice: “Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.”
Practice Listening to Know Your Customers Better
“Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”
Jeff Bezos is known for his consistent acknowledgment of his customers. This happens to the point that he supposedly brings an empty “customer chair” to meetings with top executives. What’s more interesting is that Jeff, as well as all Amazon managers, attend two days of call center training once a year.
This practice shows that the mindset of entrepreneurs and everyone involved with the company should always be pro-consumer. The goal is not to just listen, but also to understand clients, their needs, likes and dislikes in order to build a thriving brand.
You first need to optimize your customer service to be able to acquire all vital customer data. Since we live in the age of social media, perhaps the solution your business needs is live support software. After all, 92% of customers feel satisfied when using a live chat support feature, and the customer is always right.
Focus on the Clients, Not the Competition
“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”
Bezos is right to ignore the competition and focus on what truly matters – building the business and creating strong relationships with consumers. Nowadays, due to the overwhelming competition in the market, we see companies in many industries competing by producing similar products. Reason? This is done in an effort to match and surpass the other.
This is a huge mistake, as customers are left behind instead of being heard. By listening to what the audience has to say, Amazon built Amazon Web Services, which is now worth over $10 billion.
It is a service designed to help solve the issues. Those of costly in-house applications and tricky open-source programs. This is done in order to provide more flexibility and scalability to growing businesses.
And how do you think this great service came to be? It’s all thanks to listening, understanding the problems of customers, and finding a way to help with those issues.
Motivate the Workforce
“We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.”
In other words, the key to quality customer service system lies in a motivated workforce. While the company was still in development, Amazon counted around 614 of employees. Today, Amazon has more than 500,000 talented and loyal workers.
Bezos’s approach to retaining and engaging employees has been to use stock options when hiring. But regardless of whether you offer stocks or other bonuses, workers need to feel appreciated. It’s important that everyone feels like they are a part of the company, if you want them to share the company’s mission and work hard on achieving your business goals.
Moreover, don’t forget to empower workers with efficient digital solutions to ease their efforts. This is especially true for the customer service representatives who handle customer requests on a daily basis via phones, emails, and live support chat. Yet again, we return to this useful tool. So be sure to select only the best live chat software to help workers respond quickly, accurately, and with the caring touch of a personalized service.
Be Clear and Straightforward
“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.”
Jeff understands that respecting the customer means nurturing the backbone of the business. So, get to know your target audience and never take them for granted. Otherwise, be prepared to face the consequences of negative reviews.
Did you know that a single negative comment about your organization puts you at risk of losing 22% of your potential customers? Since 90% of prospects read online reviews before purchasing something from a business, you need to raise the bar high. But this doesn’t mean that reps have to lose time and over-exhaust themselves trying to please each and every client.
Quite the contrary, Amazon customer service reps don’t waste time. They focus on listening, understanding, and providing an immediate solution. The customer service representatives need to have a clear communication with consumers that leaves no room for misunderstandings. This can be achieved by:
- Letting customers know early on what they can expect.
- Assuring clients that their issues will be resolved.
- Explaining the path to a satisfying resolution.
- Being patient with consumers.
Own Your Mistakes and Apologize
“We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”
Throughout the years, Amazon has had only positive press about their customer service and business practice in general. However, there was a big issue back in 2009 when Amazon suddenly deleted copies of the “1984” book and other novels on Kindle.
Kindle users went viral with negative comments, but Jeff quickly managed to win over the angry customers with a simple and honest apology. By admitting that Amazon’s actions were “stupid and thoughtless” and promising that the company will make better decisions in the future, Amazon was able to successfully return to its former glory.
The moral of the story is to own your mistakes and apologize if you make a wrong business decision. Some errors are bound to happen, but the way you handle the outcome is what counts the most. Never assume that people will forget – just admit your fault and work towards a better future.
“If you never want to be criticized, for goodness sake don’t do anything new.”
The final lesson is to never stop believing in yourself. Jeff Bezos proved that all your goals are possible to achieve if you put in a serious effort towards it. However, keep in mind that you can’t build a brand without first thinking about the customers.
What do people want and how can I help them? This is the formula that leads to success. And don’t forget those who helped you accomplish your objectives. Think about workers as well and build a positive and like-minded corporate culture.
Jason is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions.