Amazon's key to success: Customer Obsession

Companies often talk about “customer centricity”, but what does it mean for start-ups and entrepreneurs? Here, Amazon shows how score a Home Run.

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Amazon is obsessed with their customers.

They want to understand their customers to a degree that other companies don’t go to. This doesn’t mean customer alignment using focus groups and external surveys – to Amazon, it results in a superficial understanding of customers. And that's not good enough.

What they’re looking for is deep insight that can only be driven by thinking in a customer centric way, developing solutions and innovations which customers want and need, even if they don’t know they need it yet.

The customer experience is a key part of Amazon's growth.
In an Amazon keynote, Adrian Luca (ASPAC AWS Head of Solution Architecture) explains that they are not afraid of disrupting themselves if the end result helps the customer. Despite knowing it would cannibalise the sales of physical books, Amazon pushed out and popularised the Kindle e-book reader because they knew it provided a superior customer experience. In other words, they're more than willing to fight for their customers.

To do so, Amazon needs to know what their customers want. These insights often come from the front line, and so Amazon encourages and has channels to report customer anecdotes rapidly up the chain. What may seem like a throwaway line may result in some critically important insight, enabling Amazon to even better serve their customers.

In one particular example, an off-the-cuff quip from a customer of Amazon Web Services (AWS) led to Amazon contacting the customer within 2 days to learn more about how they could help them and rolling out the solution to them within weeks.

Customer obsession means you are fighting for the customer, even if they don't know it yet. With that, you stop treating the customer as King. Instead, you treat them as God.



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K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Amazon's key to success: Customer Obsession
Amazon's key to success: Customer Obsession
Companies often talk about “customer centricity”, but what does it mean for start-ups and entrepreneurs? Here, Amazon shows how score a Home Run.
K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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