Marc Onetto is the former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations and Customer Service at Amazon.com. He’s one of the foremost authorities on customer service. Fortunately before he left the $80 billion retailer, we got to hear one of his last Amazon-themed talks while attending the Dent The Future Conference in Sun Valley, ID.
Onetto, like Amazon, is dedicated to customer service. His first statement set the tone for what we would experience over the next 30 minutes…
“Do good for our customers and they will do good for us.”
It seems so simple but a lot of businesses don’t understand this concept. The speed and reach of the Internet has changed the rules and if you do good for your customers, the world will know about it. But on the flip side, if you’re not good to your customers, it’ll be known and known fast. When you’re not good to your customers, those customers are more likely to share that information with their network, which can have a big time negative impact on your biz.
Onetto hammered this point home with a story of a longtime loyal Amazon customer who had purchased items on the site for years. His orders were always delivered on time and he was very vocal about his love of Amazon. But all that changed in an instant when a very important anniversary gift was not delivered on time. The trust and credibility that had built up over years was decimated in an instant…and the mistake was not even Amazon’s fault. But to the customer it was and unfortunately the relationship was forever marred.
It was interesting to get this kind of perspective from a hugely customer centric company. With Onetto’s closing thoughts we got a glimpse into why Amazon has some of the most loyal customers around…
” Perfection is not of this world!”
A simple, powerful statement from Onetto, but it revealed the secret to Amazon’s success. If you understand that you’ll never reach perfection, but you have to keep trying to improve your systems, processes and customer service, eventually the good you do for your customers will start to do good for you.
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