Self-Service Capabilities and Jeff Bezos’ Customer Obsession

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How innovative technology can satisfy even the most passionate CEO’s obsession.

source: shutterstock

I like to read – books, articles, posts. As President of Zappix, it’s important for me to stay on top of industry trends, customer needs, and our employees’ perspectives. A little while ago, I found a post that stood out. It was about a CEO I particularly appreciate: Jeff Bezos. The brief article highlights a particular interaction between former Amazon VP of customer service Bill Price and Bezos that shows just how passionate the CEO is about his customers’ experience.

According to “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone, during a morning meeting in the middle of the busy holiday season, Bezos asked his VP how long the phone support hold times were. Price told the CEO the wait was under a minute. Bezos didn’t just take his word for it. He picked up the phone called Amazon’s customer service number.

source: shutterstock

I can only imagine what followed was an incredibly tense delay. Bezos put the call on the meeting room speakerphone while he, Price, and the 30 other executives in the meeting waited for the call to be picked up. Seconds, then minutes ticked by while Bezos apparently grew more and more aggravated. When an agent finally answered the phone he angrily answered “I’m just calling to check,” and slammed the phone down. The wait was probably the longest four and a half minutes of Bill Price’s career.

Four and a half minutes. To most people that doesn’t seem like a very long wait. Put yourself in the position of a frustrated customer for a moment. Imagine paying for a product or service, but then one day you hit an unknown snag. You can’t figure out what’s wrong so you call a 1-800 number listed online. Immediately you’re ignored. No one picks up the phone, you’re simply dumped into a queue, staring at your broken product listening to cheesy elevator music praying someone comes to your rescue soon. You have no idea how long you’ll be stuck here, doing nothing, waiting for someone to help you. In our instant gratification society, even a 30 second wait under these conditions can feel like a long time. Four minutes quickly feels like an eternity.

source: shutterstock

It was unacceptable for Bezos, but talking to contact center executives and consumers, I’ve heard of much worse wait times. A long wait means a disappointed customer who is much less likely to keep using your service or ever buy your product again. Customer service sits at the heart of one of the most important problems executives need to solve:

How do we as business leaders make sure our customers enjoy the best experience possible?

I ask myself this question every day. Bezos’ intense commitment to a superior customer experience resonates with me. It’s the main the reason I joined Zappix. Every day we work harder to combine self-service technology and robotic process automation (RPA) to create the customer experience enterprises need today. There are three key areas that every great customer experience excels in:

1. Speed & Efficiency

No one likes wasting time. The best CX gets callers to answers ASAP. On average, Zappix technology reduces the average handling time of customer service calls by 300 seconds.

2. Ease of Use

In our mobile-first world, devices are being built with more and more screen real estate. Visual, touch screen based interfaces are necessary for an intuitive user journey. When surveyed about the experience, Zappix earned an NPS of 90 for ease of use.

3. Successful Interactions

The worst CX possibility is waiting for an indefinite amount of time only to have an agent inform you they are unable to solve the problem. Zappix users don’t end up in unhelpful dead-ends. Self-service technology creates an average containment rate over 75% (the number of calls concluded successfully inside the platform without any live agent interaction).

My obsession is all about excellence in these three areas. Like Jeff Bezos, I am obsessed with making sure customers don’t have to wait. They don’t need to struggle. They need their answers, and they need them now. The Zappix self-service platform focuses on providing immediacy, simplicity, and above all a great customer experience.

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