Thanks Nik for the heads up to this article about looking after your customers. The founder of Amazon.com has always had a love affair with his customers, despite customer love not being a general metric of business success.
The example was of a xmas present gone astray in the post and the absolute non-hesitation of an Amazon staff member to send out a new one immediately at no cost. They made a customer for life and have now sparked a bunch of people to spread the news (I am wondering if maybe the old 1 tells 100 customers is incorrect these days – people can tell thousands of others!). So what if Amazon lost a couple of hundred bucks on a missing item, they will have made that back in the five minutes it took for the guy who got another one to tell his first five friends.
When people talk about creating customers who love you, it always sounds a little contrived, like you only want them to love you so they spend more… But I find that it’s more than that. I got an email this morning from a customer who simply wrote to thank us and say how proud he was of his new website. It made my day. Other customers who ring to ask about something, then stick around chatting for a bit are also cool. I’m fascinated by the business who we help and the people who build them and feel like I’ve made some good friends out from the initial customer/supplier relationships.
Having customers you enjoy working with is one of the reasons we come to work in the morning and the key reason to keep us inspired and excited about the work we do. This means it’s in our interests to keep our customers really happy. I suspect people like Jeff Bezos from Amazon approach their business in much the same way and because their key aim is to have fun and make friends while working, they’ve been mighty successful.
I think what some business forget (and so do we in the bad times) is that, like the movie stars say, ‘without your fans, you’re nothing’. on those days when you’re rushing around, everything is falling down around you and you can’t quite see how you’re going to fix everything, I think the key lesson the likes of Amazon teach us is to prioritse keeping your customers happy, then go from there.