No matter what you think of Amazon today, you’ve got to wonder how did they get here and how are they moving forward at the pace they do. Being an avid Amazon customer with the Amazon Prime membership for years, I don’t recall a day of the week that I don’t visit Amazon to research and buy products. The amazing two-day shipping is a big draw. I often wonder how can this be true. The founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, had summed it up as one of Amazon’s core values:
According to Mr. Bezos, being customer-obsessed is the key to their success. He believes that a company has a few ways of aligning itself to the market and among them, two strategies are most common:
Obsessed with Competitors
A company that focuses its muscle on beating the competition may eventually do it. However, once it leads amongst its competitors, it may stall and become a lagger and not an innovator and eventually lose out to startups with lean and mean execution and new ideas.
Obsessed with Customers
However, according to Mr. Bezos, a company that focuses its energy and resources on customers will never turn dull. Why do you ask? Customers are never satisfied, he says. They will always demand more from your company and threaten to move away to a competitor when they don’t get what they think they should get. So focusing on customers automatically makes you agile and driven to excel.
As a Customer, Do I Feel the Obsession?
I think so. I see them improving everything. The website has never failed on me over the years except for that incident when AWS went down and took out one-third of the internet.
The purchase experience is effortless, and I often look at customer reviews, and videos before making purchase decisions. I know many Amazon vendors try to game the review system, but their efforts are easy to spot.
Over the years on numerous occasions, I would be in a brick and mortar store, and still check Amazon ratings, and reviews on a product in front of me. Just the idea of getting more information outside the product literature is very appealing.
When you see a genuine review of a complex product by a real buyer with videos and photos and hear the pros and cons, it helps in making the purchase decision — that’s the business Amazon is in. According to Mr. Bezos, Amazon is not about selling you a product. It is about helping you make a purchase decision. I think they are doing a great job and thus it shows!