Jeff Bezos: The Empty Chair

Jeff Bezos: Empty Chair

Every year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) surveys 70,000 people about the products and services that they use most. They survey data is inputted into an econometric model that benchmarks customer satisfaction for 230 companies in 43 industries. Over the last ten years, Amazon has dominated the Internet Retail industry by consistently demonstrating one of Jeff Bezos’ favorite mantras, “obsess over customers.”  As a consequence, customers have rewarded Amazon employees and shareholders with a 796% return over the last decade.

How can companies be more customer-centric? How can companies be more customer-focused? How can companies be more customer-obsessed? In the early years of Amazon, Bezos would bring an empty chair into staff meetings to represent “the most important person in the room,” the customer. The empty chair ensured that everyone remained conscious about how their decisions impacted customers. According to Bezos, “If there is one reason we have done better than our peers in the Internet space … it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.”

In the simplest terms, customer experience is the perception that people have about a company when they interact with it. Companies that deliver positive customer experience before, during and after a sale attract and retain more customers. They sell more to them too. In fact, on average, customers spend 30% more with companies where their experience and view is positive. In addition, it costs eight times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, so ensuring positive customer experience is good business. Obsess over customers.

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Jeff Bezos: The Empty Chair

  1. Floy Bettencourt says:

    Thank you for the terrific post!

    Like

  2. Arielle Barak says:

    I enjoy this article.

    Like

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