Case Study for Customer-Centric Growth

World’s Best Case for Customer-Centric Growth

Alex Allwood ALEX ALLWOOD, Customer Experience, customer-centric culture, CX, CX Strategy, EMPATHY

Ever read an article that makes you see red? Perhaps one that includes an opinion like this:

“But some of the norms have become more than that, more like fundamental beliefs that are accepted without challenge. CX is a commercial discipline – or it should be – not a religion. In commerce, there are no givens (beyond legal and ethical considerations), just choices. And when there is zeal for absolutes, good strategy development suffers.”

Throughout the article, the author maligns customer centricity, points to a lack of commercial results and denigrates current CX practices and management.

To rebut this view, I’d ask the author to take up his argument with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s founder attributes his company’s performance to its customer-centric practices. For Bezos, and for Amazon, customer obsession remains the priority.

Bezos delivers Customer-Centric Growth:

  1. Amazon shares have risen 30% in 2020 compared with the S&P 500’s 11.7% decline (CNBC, May 2020)
  2. Amazon’s US e-commerce market share at the end of April 2020 was approximately 40% – compared to the nearest competitor, Walmart at 5% (CNBC, May 2020)
  3. CEO Jeff Bezos named the wealthiest man in the US for a 3rd consecutive year (Forbes 400, 2020)

Had the author dug a little deeper he may also have come across the statement delivered by Jeff Bezos to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, published on Amazon’s website on July 28th, 2020. In Bezos’s statement he says:

“I’m Jeff Bezos. I founded Amazon 26 years ago with the long-term mission of making it Earth’s most customer-centric company.”

“As a result, by focusing obsessively on customers, we are internally driven to improve our services, add benefits and features, invent new products, lower prices, and speed up shipping times—before we have to.”

“Customer trust is hard to win and easy to lose. When you let customers make your business what it is, then they will be loyal to you… we work hard to do the right thing, and that by doing so again and again, we will earn trust.”

“As I have said since my first shareholder letter in 1997, we make decisions based on the long-term value we create as we invent to meet customer needs.”

For the majority of organisations developing a culture of customer centricity there’s a long road to reaching the heights of Amazon’s performance.

So what are Amazon’s CX practices that are driving their customer-centric growth?

  1. CX remains a top priority for Bezos – ‘he walks the customer obsession talk every day’
  2. Amazon knows their customers’ needs and anticipates their ‘new world’ needs
  3. Amazon creates customer trust and maintains trust through delivering their promise
  4. Technology is the conduit not the strategy
  5. Pay it forward – support issues that are important to society

For Bezos, CX excellence is much more than just a commercial discipline. Being customer obsessed is a religion that has enabled Amazon to thrive; becoming the world’s leading retailer and delivering customer-centric growth beyond expectation.