While it's hard to keep track of Jeff Bezos's current wealth, the last time I checked, he is still the world's richest person--worth somewhere around $110 billion. Bill Gates isn't far behind at about $102 billion.

Jeff Bezos earned his phenomenal wealth, of course, due to the success of his e-commerce juggernaut, Amazon. Founded in 1994 in Jeff Bezos's garage, Amazon has grown into a huge business with more than 647,000 employees and $232.9 billion in revenue in 2018. The company is remarkably diversified, with major focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

In a 2000 television interview, way back when his company had just 7,000 employees, Jeff Bezos set the stage by explaining that Amazon is "Earth's most customer-centric company." He then went on to reveal the 3 keys to the company's success, which are a direct result of Amazon's customer-centric focus:

1. Listen

"First you have to listen to customers. Companies that don't listen to customers fail."

2. Invent

"Second, you have to invent for customers, because companies that only listen to customers fail. It's not the customers' job to invent for themselves. It's our job at Amazon.com to invent...those kinds of things that customers really like."

3. Personalize

"Third is personalize. Take every individual customer and put them at the center of their own universe."

As Bezos explained, Amazon's goal was to "uplift the worldwide standards for customer service and customer centricity."

Mission accomplished. Customer service and customer centricity continue to be top priorities for Jeff Bezos and Amazon. In fact, the first principle in Amazon's list of 14 leadership principles is Customer Obsession:

Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

What about your customers? Have you put them at the center of your universe like Amazon does theirs?

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Published on: Aug 6, 2019
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