Here's something interesting from this week. According to an article by CNBC Make It that ran on Monday, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has a customer-facing email address that he frequently looks at to engage with customers, stay in tune with what they want and need, and what their pain points are.
Most top dogs like that can be unreachable, but Bezos is apparently customer-obsessed. If he can't answer personally – the article gives the impression he has in the past – he has someone answer for him, or he spurs results by forwarding the email to his executives.
To me, that's impressive. We're talking about one of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world today. Per the article, Amazon has a market capitalization of almost $780 billion, and Bezos himself is worth $132.5 billion, according to Forbes. Every small-business owner can learn a thing or two from Bezos, who doesn't rest on his laurels.
Bezos said this in the article about customers today.
"Their expectations are never static — they go up. It's human nature. We didn't ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday's 'wow' quickly becomes today's 'ordinary." I see that cycle of improvement happening at a faster rate than ever before," Bezos said in his annual shareholder letter. "You cannot rest on your laurels in this world. Customers won't have it."
I'm not suggesting I know everything there is to know about being a successful business owner. I own a small writing and editing services company called Edit This®, certainly far from the level of Amazon. But in a blog post last year, I shared 10 easy ways to be a successful business owner. One of those was that we must respond to our customers.
It makes good business sense, but I am blown away when business owners do not follow up with existing or potential customers – regardless of how big or small their company is. Answering the phone, returning a call, or responding timely to a text or email should be standard practice.
To me, not doing so says you don't want their business. And if enough customers don't feel you're committed to a better way of doing business, they'll call someone else, right?
Bezos has his finger on the pulse of what matters to customers today. Do you?
Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, LLC, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.