Amazon.com has built automated systems that detect when a customer hasn’t paid the lowest available price for a product, or when the playback of a streaming movie is shoddy, and doles out refunds. In one example cited by CEO Jeff Bezos, they detected poor playback for a customer who rented the movie “Casablanca” online and sent a $2.99 refund. The company also pays back the difference when the price of an item drops between the order and the time of shipment, he said.
Amazon pays refunds to customers even before they ask?!
Bezos explained that his company’s customer-centric focus has many advantages in terms of innovation, agility, competition, and investment priorities. According to Bezos:
“One advantage – perhaps a somewhat subtle one – of a customer-driven focus is that it aids a certain type of proactivity. When we’re at our best, we don’t wait for external pressures. We are internally driven to improve our services, adding benefits and features, before we have to. We lower prices and increase value for customers before we have to. We invent before we have to. These investments are motivated by customer focus rather than by reaction to competition. We think this approach earns more trust with customers and drives rapid improvements in customer experience – importantly – even in those areas where we are already the leader.”
Are you interested in being agile and innovative? Then proactively invest in your customer experience – don’t wait for external pressure and leap frog your competition.