In a new December 2013 Foresee Experience Index report, retail giant Amazon stands at the top of 100 globally-known brands across seven major industries for best customer experience. The report, which crunched the numbers from 75,000 satisfaction surveys, quantifies customer experience by calculating customer satisfaction scores on a 100-point scale, with Amazon receiving an 87 in satisfaction. The report shows that highly satisfied customers of the top brands at an aggregate level (80 or above) are:
- 75% more likely to prefer the brand overall
- 60% more likely to continue doing business with the company
- 83% more likely to purchase more
- 77% more likely to recommend the brand to others
- 76% more likely to trust the brand in general.
So what makes Amazon’s customer experience so satisfying? With more than 225 million customers, what does the big brand deliver (by drone or the old-fashioned way) that others don’t? Here are five items that create the total package for Amazon:
1. Customer First Culture: Amazon’s customer-centric focus emanates from the top starting with CEO Jeff Bezos and runs throughout the company with all employees (no matter what their department) having to work the customer service lines for two days every two years – even Jeff Bezos – to make sure that no employee loses sight of who’s the most important person in the company: the customer.
In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Bezos told Charlie Rose that the customer comes first even before Amazon’s focus on innovation. “I would define Amazon by our big ideas, which are customer centricity, putting the customer at the center of everything we do, invention,” said Bezos.
“If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that,” said Bezos. And the focus on the customer experience is pervasive in the company’s culture from Amazon’s mission statement which begins, “We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” down to Amazon’s logo which incorporates a customer smile.
2. Convenience: Obviously convenience has a great deal to do with the online retailer’s customer experience. Amazon is not only a leader in availability, but its online customer experience is such so that nine times out of ten, a customer can complete his or her transaction without ever having to interact with a live person. Empowerment through time, availability, self-service, search, knowledge (for example, product reviews or Amazon’s help topics knowledgebase), and even frustration-free packaging, makes being an Amazon customer easily satisfying.
Bezos compares delivering satisfying customer service to being a good host, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” And convenience never fails to please.
3. Personalization: Amazon is an early adopter of using big and small data for personalization. Probably the most common example is Amazon’s use of a customer’s real-time browsing and overall buying history to recommend products. And if Amazon is designing drones for delivery, then it can probably amaze when it comes to big data, but being thoughtful to the customer who finds use of too much personal information creepy, delivers just the right amount.
4. Proactivity: Most brands don’t get a shout-out on Forbes for saving a customer 16 cents, but Amazon did, and it was all about the way that they did it: proactively. When a brand as big as Amazon reaches out to an individual customer to save them money, well, all customers can say is wow. (Read Amazon Earns Customer Loyalty with Integrity, Not Rewards)
5. Trust: The previous four points all lend to Amazon’s care for its customers. Collectively, it lends to a high level of trust and loyalty for the brand. And Bezos has said he is even glad to forego additional profits for these two things. In the 60 Minutes interview, he told Charlie Rose that even though the math shows that the company should raise prices, Amazon won’t be doing it anytime soon, “because doing so would erode trust,” says Bezos. “And that erosion of trust would cost us much more in the long term.”
To read the full list of Foresee Experience Index customer service winners and losers, including Amazon, AVON and Nordstrom at the top and WalMart, Facebook, HSBC and Santader at the bottom, click here.
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