Amazon does not ‘deliver customer service’, they build powerful partnerships.
By Ron Kaufman
Yet another customer satisfaction survey has rated Amazon as #1 among all online retailers.
Amazon’s customer service has always been recognized and applauded as world-class. This is remarkable, especially since it is a purely online retailer. Amazon has hardly any ‘human’ interactions – often considered crucial perception points for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty – in the value delivery chain.
Many companies try to emulate Amazon and cost-effectively provide higher levels of service through leveraging technology. But Amazon does not only ‘deliver customer service’ – they build powerful partnerships with their customers.
Every service cycle is a series of interconnected conversations: Explore, Agree, Deliver and Assure.
1. EXPLORE: find out what is important to the other person.
2. AGREE: make a promise to do something on their behalf.
3. DELIVER: do what you promised.
4. ASSURE: check and make sure they are satisfied.
5. EXPLORE to start a new cycle again
To build powerful partnerships with ever growing levels of trust, a service provider must become excellent in all four stages. Most companies are chronically weak in at least one, which jeopardizes this accumulation of trust.
How does Amazon do it?
How does Amazon help you EXPLORE?
- Search by any topic or title. View related titles, other titles by the same author, and titles of books purchased by people who also purchased this book.
- Amazon provides book reviews from other readers as well as the publisher and author.
- If you are a member of a specific community, company or affinity group, Amazon tells you what books people in that group are buying now.
How does Amazon AGREE?
- You can have products sent to multiple locations, request individual giftwrapping, pay either by credit card, wire transfer or check.
- You can choose standard, express or overnight delivery and see the costs of each before deciding. If a product is not in stock, you can have each item sent as it becomes available, or hold and ship all your items at once. If you choose the first option, Amazon guarantees shipping costs will be no more than if you chose the second.
How does Amazon DELIVER?
- As soon as you place an order, you receive an e-mail confirming all the details. You can change it if you reply right away.
- When your order is filled, you get another confirmation by e-mail. Your credit card is charged only when the order is actually shipped.
- Products are packed in strong boxes with extra padding to ensure they reach you in good condition.
- You can track your orders in process and see your complete order history at any time.
- Inside each box is a complete description of the order and an attractive bookmark, useful information or gift.
How does Amazon ASSURE?
- Amazon is committed to your complete satisfaction. If you have a problem, they will reply to you quickly by e-mail and take remedial actions right away.
- If you have any suggestions to help improve the service, Amazon enthusiastically welcomes your ideas.
By continuously Stepping UP! in all four stages, Amazon earns high levels of customer satisfaction with every purchase, builds extraordinary levels of loyalty and converts ‘one-shot’ deals into powerful partnerships.
How can you do the same? In the next blog post, we will highlight the key questions and action steps for you.
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