Learn the Top Customer Service Skills Used at Amazon.com


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Amazon.com’s rise to a $75 billion/year com­pany did not hap­pen acci­den­tally. At the helm, CEO Jeff Bezos has strate­gi­cally crafted his cus­tomer ser­vice prac­tices, busi­ness prowess, and atten­tion to met­rics into every facet of the com­pany. A recent Bloomberg in-depth arti­cle pro­files the man who leads Ama­zon and sheds light on the cus­tomer ser­vice skills that have made the com­pany leg­endary. Accord­ing to the arti­cle, three key cus­tomer ser­vice skills are val­ued and have helped set Ama­zon apart from the rest.

Ama­zon cus­tomer ser­vice skill #1: The customer’s opin­ion trumps data

Ama­zon employs sophis­ti­cated algo­rithms to sort through mas­sive amounts of cus­tomer data. The items a cus­tomer clicks on the most, the pages that cus­tomers favor, and a customer’s buy­ing habits all shape the detailed pro­files that are respon­si­ble for fea­tures such as “Ama­zon rec­om­men­da­tions.” How­ever, within all of this data, the customer’s voice is still not lost. If a cus­tomer sends an email to Jeff Bezos with a com­plaint, chances are, he will read it and for­ward it on to the appro­pri­ate depart­ment. Bezos has a pub­lic email address, and he often combs through cus­tomer griev­ances. If Bezos for­wards an email to a depart­ment head, the teams are tasked with drop­ping their projects until the cus­tomer com­plaint is resolved. As one exec­u­tive at Ama­zon notes, “every anec­dote from a cus­tomer mat­ters … it’s an audit. We treat them as pre­cious sources of information.”

Ama­zon cus­tomer ser­vice skill #2: Keep your mes­sage sim­ple and customer-focused

Tech behe­moth com­pa­nies are known for their showy prod­uct unveil­ings, packed con­fer­ences, and fre­quent media blitzes. At Ama­zon, things are less pre­ten­tious, and Bezos him­self takes a red pen to every press release dis­trib­uted by the com­pany. He dis­tills the mes­sage down to the clear and sim­ple brand plat­form: You won’t find a cheaper, friend­lier place to get every­thing you need than at Ama­zon. Bezos’ insis­tence that this mes­sage per­vades every brand touch­point keeps the company’s image unam­bigu­ous and customer-focused.

Ama­zon cus­tomer ser­vice skill #3: Being the best at cus­tomer ser­vice means your com­peti­tors can’t be better

Ama­zon keeps its edge by assid­u­ously study­ing what its com­peti­tors are up to. A group within Ama­zon called Com­pet­i­tive Intel­li­gence is tasked with study­ing the mar­ket­place by buy­ing large amounts of mer­chan­dise from other com­pa­nies and mea­sur­ing how these com­pa­nies employ cus­tomer ser­vice skills. How easy was it to shop with the com­pany? How speedy was the deliv­ery? How does the com­pany han­dle cus­tomer com­plaints? The group com­piles data on each com­pany and presents the find­ings to Bezos and his lieu­tenants. When the team finds threats in the mar­ket­place, they quickly respond by alter­ing any cus­tomer ser­vice gaps, prices, or ship­ping logis­tics that another com­pany is doing a supe­rior job at.

Even when you have 97,000 employ­ees, you need to keep the focus on the customer

Apple is known for its prod­uct design and craft­ing a user expe­ri­ence. Microsoft is known for its ubiq­uity. Ama­zon wants to be known for its cus­tomer ser­vice skills. As a pur­veyor of basi­cally every­thing you could ever need to buy online, Bezos and the lead­er­ship team at Ama­zon real­ize that to stay suc­cess­ful, offer­ing a great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence will be the main dif­fer­en­tia­tor that keeps cus­tomers from shop­ping on other web­sites or in phys­i­cal stores. No mat­ter how big Ama­zon gets, and no mat­ter how many employ­ees the ranks swell to, Ama­zon keeps the basics of lis­ten­ing to the cus­tomer, hav­ing a clear mes­sage, and beat­ing the competition’s cus­tomer expe­ri­ence as the dri­ving force behind Amazon’s growth.


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