Jeff Bezos

10 customer experience soundbites from Jeff Bezos

Late last night I learned that Jeff Bezos had acquired the Washington Post, for what appears to be a very reasonable sum of money. I certainly didn’t see it coming, but then again I didn’t expect the Kindle to be a success. Never bet against Bezos.

I met the man himself in 2001: he was a ball of energy, despite just stepping off an overnight flight to London, and his vision for the future of his company, and the industry, was very impressive. 

A year early, Matt Kelly interviewed him – the first European interview with Bezos – and having just read it, I find it totally striking that Bezos was so customer-focused, back in the day. It’s easy to think that the phrase ‘customer experience’ is relatively new. It’s not.

Here’s one excerpt from Matt’s interview:

I love improving the customer experience. I teach our staff to be really anally retentive in that regard – it’s just so important.

That kind of focus on the customer is a big part of what makes Amazon – and other customer-centric companies – so successful. 

I thought I’d compile a few other nuggets of wisdom from Bezos relating to the customer experience.

Strategic analysis: Amazon’s Kindle Fire

The audience at the Kindle Fire press event yesterday erupted into a froth of mechanical action the instant Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walked onstage.  

Clicking, snapping, tapping; several hundred silent announcers began telegraphing details to the folks back home. A day later, and those details have been spread all over the mediasphere.

But what’s happening from a broader industry perspective?

The Amazon Way: is it OK to be misunderstood?

Little more than a decade ago, some wondered if might be a Ponzi scheme.

Today, the company has a market cap just under $85bn and has established a firm position as the 800 pound gorilla of online retail. But it has even bigger ambitions.

Jeff Bezos on the Zappos deal, and four other videos

I once had the pleasure of meeting Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, a man who is in some dictionaries the very definition of ‘Enthusiasm’ (with a capital E). He’s pretty hard not to like.

So last night when I heard that Amazon had very discreetly negotiated a deal to buy customer-centric Zappos I felt that it was a great fit for both companies. I also happen to think that Amazon has the better deal, with Zappos going for less than one year’s revenue (and about 95% of the $930m deal is to be paid in Amazon stock). But it’s obviously fantastic for Tony and the rest of the Zappos team. Congratulations all round.

At any rate, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has been explaining why he bought Zappos in a video, in which he also explains “everything he knows” in a series of flipchart ‘slides’. 

Bezos riffs on customer obsession, something that he says Amazon shares with Zappos, which he says has a “unique culture”. On Zappos: “I have a good feeling about how important that culture is to the Zappos brand, employees and customers.”

Anyway, here’s the video so you can see for yourself. I’ve added a few others for your viewing pleasure. Bezos FTW!