The Harvard Business Review has a fascinating interview with Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, who I’ve mentioned before is my favorite CEO. In the interview, Jeff discusses how the company’s culture is completely customer focused, and why it’s not easily reproduced by competitors.
Mr. Bezos offers a metric ton of insights and advice about running a customer centered company. One frequent technique they use when facing a tough decision about adding a new feature or making is framing it against the question, “Well, what’s better for the consumer?”. History backs-up their use of this strategy, as shown with their addition of 3rd party sellers on product pages, free shipping, and the Amazon Prime membership.
Internally, every employee – no matter how senior – spends a few days every two years working in one of Amazon’s call centers in an effort to stay close to their customers. They’ve also managed to bake testing and experimentation into their culture – two very powerful tools that speed innovation and remove all doubts about whether or not a new change is meeting expectations.
I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read the entire interview. It shows one of the best examples I’ve seen of a company that not only preaches customer service, but actually practices it.