Let's say you order a PlayStation on Amazon, as a Christmas present for your son. This was delivered to your doorstep; your neighbor signed for it, and left it on your front porch.

But then it mysteriously vanished. Now you have to fork out a few hundred bucks more and reorder the same PlayStation, right?

Well, when this happened to an Amazon customer a few years ago, Amazon sent him a new PlayStation for free--he didn't even have to pay for shipping. The best part? They got it to him in time for Christmas.

Now, imagine if you were that Amazon customer. Would you tell all your friends and family how awesome Amazon is, and how it saved your Christmas? Yup. You might even end up a loyal Amazon customer for life.

Amazon gets that, which is why it goes the extra mile for customers (even when they don't have to). I came across a Forbes interview the other day, and found in these two sentences spoken by Jeff Bezos a perfect summary of why they are so customer-obsessed:

"It used to be that if you made a customer happy, they would tell five friends. Now, with the megaphone of the internet, whether online customer reviews or social media, they can tell 5,000 friends."

Bezos's insight is spot-on. The power has indeed shifted to the hands of consumers.

Make a customer angry, and you will feel the wrath of the internet.

On the flip side, make a customer happy, and his/her entire social media network will hear about it.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that customer service can make or break a company. If you want to take your customer service game to the next level, here are a few things that I do at my company that you should be thinking about as well:

1. Make sure the customer is happy from start to end.

It starts with the first call--when they reach out to us to book an appointment--and ends when our technicians finish their jobs and leave their homes. Every employee that this customer interacts with is courteous, friendly, and knowledgeable. We even use a checklist app to make sure that every step in the process is done without mistakes.

2. Survey customers and address any hiccups.

After we're done servicing our customers, we survey them about their experience. We encourage them to leave positive reviews, if they are happy with our services. If there are any customer complaints or negative experiences, I reach out to them personally and make sure that I resolve their complaints right away before it blows up on the internet.  

3. Make highly personalized Amazon-style recommendations.

Using our CRM software, we record all interactions we have with our customers. Based on these data, we follow up systematically, including sending our customers personalized gift cards and offers.

4. Keep an eye on review sites and address all complaints.

We don't just focus on addressing customer complaints. It's about going the extra mile to convert critics into fans. We comment directly on the negative review itself, encouraging the unsatisfied customer to leave his or her phone number or email address, so that we can make things right again.

5. Be customer-obsessed.

Jeff Bezos hits the nail on the head when he explains Amazon's dominance:

"There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality."  

In fact, I would say this: If you can nail customer experience, you will naturally be more innovative in business. Since you want to make your customers happy, you will think about delivering better products and services that meet their needs. Now, that's the true genius of being customer-obsessed.

How Amazon's Jeff Bezos Built a Multibillion-Dollar Retail Empire
Published on: Nov 17, 2017