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Customer Obsession == #1 Market Position

Posted on May 17, 2011 , by Steve Bernstein

Here’s more evidence that focusing on the customer – not yourself – is the key to winning in business.  This quote from Jeff Bezos, CEO  of Amazon.Com, caught my attention:

Amazon’s main driving principles are “customer obsession,” long-term thinking, a willingness to invent, but also “a
willingness to fail and be misunderstood,” Bezos says.  When asked what competitors he worries about, Bezos replied
that Amazon decided early on that it would be “competitor alert, but not competitor obsessed,” Instead, his company is customer obsessed.

And it’s paying off.  In a May 2011 study published by ForeSee Results, Amazon.Com is #1 in

  • Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction
  • Internet Retailer’s Top 500 list
  • Site visitors’ likelihood to purchase

I’d like to better understand why so many companies are so focused on their own internal operations, and yet give only lip-service to acting
on their customer feedback and delivering what customers need.  Is it because they don’t know how (or why) to properly prioritize, or is there something more sinister at work?
By the way, here are a few older “how-to” posts on the topic of utilizing customer feedback:

Is your company executing on what employees want to do, or delivering what the customer wants?
Do you have the tools to know if those 2 things are different?