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amazonIt’s been said that nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising. After spending time and money carefully crafting your message, producing a professional campaign mailer, targeted PPC
 campaign, and enticed customers into your store, you can’t afford to lose that valuable customer—along with the potential for repeat and referral business they represent—to shoddy service. Make sure your company is able to deliver on the promise of your marketing message, every time.

Few companies have delivered on their brand promise better than Amazon. CEO Jeff Bezos built the company from the ground up based on an unwavering commitment to the customer. With a user base now totaling 164 million customers, Amazon is obviously doing a lot of things right.

The online retailing giant came out on top in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index in both Internet retailing and overall customer satisfaction. Businesses of every size can take a page from the customer satisfaction playbook developed by Bezos.

What follows are three key customer service lessons from Jeff Bezos that every business can take to heart, as recounted by Kevin Baldacci in a recent issue of Salesforce.

1. Don’t Just Listen, Understand Your Customers

“Everyone has to be able to work in a call center.”

Thousands of Amazon managers ­attend two days of call-center training every year, along with Bezos himself. The idea is for managers to develop the mindset that Amazon’s success is based not only on listening, but most importantly, understanding the customer. Working in the trenches, like in the call center, helps you understand the customer.

2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Customer

“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.”

The Kindle tablet was developed based on the wants of customers, not the preferences of engineers. Instead of thinking about how to make your product or company better, approach it the other way: think how your product or service can make life better for customers.


3. Remember The Most Important Person in the Room

“Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.” 

Clint Eastwood wasn’t the first person to use an empty chair as a prop. In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos used to bring an empty chair into meetings, telling his top execs they should make their decisions as though the customer—“the most important person in the room”—was seated there with them.

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