Something popped up on my Linkedin feed today, and I am glad it did. It was a clip from the 1999 interview of Jeff Bezos. I was watching that interview after a long time today, and the first thought in my head was how relevant Bezo’s words were then, as they are now, and as they will be for years to come.
…his nearly unmatched focus on customer service…
That is how a CNN profile on Jeff Bezos started. This line came up in the first ten seconds of the segment. That is how driven Bezos is to customer service. The first words from the Amazon CEO in the segment were “We know customers like low prices, we know customers like big selection, and we know customers like fast delivery”. But what was even more important was the immediate next words:
…and those things are going to be true 10 years from now, they are going to be true 20 years from now. So you can count on those things, and we can put energy into them…
You pick up a point on Amazon’s timeline, and you would always find “great customer service” as the cornerstone of everything they have done. That is what makes great companies. Customers that swear by the service they get from the businesses they transact at. And it is not just a talking point for Bezos or Amazon, it seems to be so hard etched in their DNA and the core fabric of who they are that this comes up more frequently than anything else.
This segment aired shortly after Bezos bought The Washington Post in a $250M deal, and he is asked about it as well, and when talking about it here, once again, it gets down to customer service.
What has worked at Amazon is focusing on the customer, putting the customer first — which is easy to say but difficult to do.