More and more we’re becoming a consumer-driven society.
Custom products. Convenience. Consumer-centric service and product development.
The businesses who don’t walk to the beat of this new drum are the ones who will suffer.
There are too many options for people to have to suffer through sub-par service.
Amazon is a great example of someone who’s getting it right.
Right from the beginning, Amazon has strove to provide a vast selection of products to any customer with access to bandwidth. Not only that, but they’ve poured a great deal of training and effort into developing a top notch customer service experience by providing quick shipping and a no hassle return policy.
I’ve bought thousands of dollars of product through Amazon, and returned some of those orders without hassle or even expense. A trauma-free return experience alone is enough to keep a customer loyal.
In the last month, I’ve placed two or more online orders, and returned one of them because it wasn’t as pictured. I returned another item I’d bought in spring which, when I got and opened it, it emitted a noxious fume, which bothered my breathing. When I contacted Amazon, they gladly took it back. Not only that, but they sent me a prepaid shipping label so the return would be at no cost to me. All I had to do was tape the package and drop off. I was impressed.
We can learn a lot from Amazon.
Know Who They’re Serving
They started with knowing what their clientele wants, and giving a rat’s tail about that.
Amazon customers want variety, convenience, and speedy delivery of products. They also want to TRUST that what they’re ordering and paying for in advance will measure up to their expectations.
Do What They Say
They acquired that trust by meeting that expectation every time. If they say a product will be delivered in 5-7 business days, it arrives in that time. Often even earlier. If they say your satisfaction is guaranteed, they’ll work their faces off to make sure you’re happy with your purchase. This whole thing doesn’t work if there’s no trust, so they work to earn it, then work to keep it.
They Know the Customer is Always Right
Not satisfied with your product? They say yes sir. Let’s fix that. They don’t tell you how your feelings about it are wrong. They don’t say, “Well… it may not look as pictured, but it works just as well, sir.” No, they say ‘Yes sir, Mr. Customer,” and then work to resolve whatever your issue is. They do this because they know what too many businesses don’t – you will never argue a customer into satisfaction. They feel how they feel and want what they want. Especially in our consumer-centric climate. Any attempt to correct them is futile. Agree. Agree and make it better for them. That’s good business.
As business people, our experiences as customers can teach us a lot about how to serve our own clients well. Every time I go through a client experience, whether I’m (trying) to order a coffee at Tim's, dining at a fine restaurant, or ordering something from the shopping channel, I learn something new I can apply to my own business – something that will help my clients feel even more valued.