Serving clients and colleagues is central to who Mereo is. Because of this, we regularly spotlight organizations and individuals taking customer service to the next level. Through this we hope to learn from and applaud those who are making this counter-cultural way of business central to what they do.
Having the goods is just part of the equation to superior revenue performance — and Amazon.com has plenty of goods.
There is more to this Fortune 20 e-commerce company than its offerings, though. There is a reason why I visit Amazon.com to find my husband his birthday gift on a Tuesday that I want to arrive by the weekend. Or when I find a product I want, even if it is from another retailer and I’m looking at it on the other retailer’s website, I turn to Amazon to place my order.
I’m not the only person typing Amazon.com into my web browser.
- Amazon has 304 million active customer accounts
- The site receives an average of 4,310 unique visitors per minute
- One out of every 10 US citizens is a member of Amazon Prime
- The company reached $136 billion of net sales in 2016
Can you imagine seeing those numbers for your company?
So why has Amazon captured my business and so many others? How did Amazon come to lead the online retail market?
The answer is easy, but achieving this is not: From its start, Amazon.com has been about serving the customer, and it has done so even before the customer knew what they wanted or needed.
Amazon.com broke the status quo of online shopping.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com. If you remember anything about the Internet at this time, you may remember that nothing came easy. Webpages loaded slowly. Websites looked clunky, and about any link you clicked did not do what you wanted it to do. If you ordered things online, you would not expect them to ship for a week and you would not fathom seeing your purchase for another seven to 14 days thereafter.
The online interface at that time urged consumers to stick to brick-and-mortar shops. It called for frustrated keyboard clicking and mouse clacking until finally, you said, “I’m just going to go out and buy it.”
In 1995, Amazon.com launched its website as an online bookstore. Bezos soon after added DVDs, music, video games, electronics and clothing to Amazon’s offerings.
The Amazon.com interface was smooth, even for the 1990s. Prices were competitive. Customers found the products easily accessible, and shipping was reliable.
Bezos continues to make online shopping easy, safe and enjoyable for online customers up to this day.
Customers never before expected two-day shipping — especially not for free. Customers did not realize they needed buttons for easy everyday item purchases. Customers did not know they could find virtually anything they needed in one place. Customers never asked for a membership that provided access to benefits like on-demand videos, music, books and more.
But Amazon.com served all of these things to their customers, year after year. By doing so, customers have lost their desire for the status quo and have come to expect these benefits of online shopping so much so that other online retailers have had to scramble to survive and compete. Even more, customers expect Amazon.com and other retailers to bring innovation at a frenetic pace, leaving antiquated comforts behind for new buying experiences never even considered before
How can you serve your customers above and beyond to heighten their expectations and make them turn to you every time — because you are one of the few they can trust to deliver?