Customer-centricity – a strong strategic story

When Amazon.com launched in 1995, it was with the mission “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company” that’s quite a claim.

It’s unsurprising therefore that the single most important thing Amazon focus on is Customer Obsession (Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customer.) Amazon not only espouse this, but they tell this as a strategic story. Laying out clearly how customer-centricity will drive growth and profits.

True Customer Obsession - From the 2017 Letter to Amazon Shareholders:

There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality. Why? There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but here’s the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great. Even when they don’t yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf. No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it, and I could give you many such examples. Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen

Customer obsession is not doing what customers want. Nor is it about pleasing them - this is customer service. Customer obsession is about transforming your customers; it’s about leading them to a better future

A strong strategic story - the cornerstone of ensuring the business understands the win:win of customer-centricity

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Nicola Craig

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