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How Amazon is Driving Change in Consumers

Technology has made a profound impact on who we are as people, how we interact as society and what we expect from the companies we do business with. Big technology companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon has changed the way we attract, service and retain our clients. For better or for worse…

A recent interaction with (one of) my favorite tech giants – Amazon – had me thinking about the impact of greatness. Bear with me while I tell the story.

A proud member of Amazon Prime, I recently decided to try Amazon Fresh – their grocery delivery service. To my great disappointment, the first order with them was four and half hours late. Leaving a tasteful note with customer service department inquiring on the status, I received a note back from customer service just as the order arrived saying they would rebate the entire order (total of $73). I wrote back telling them that the order had arrived, yet they still refunded the entire order AND credited my account with $35 for my next order. Now, is this the kind of service that every business can afford? It may have to be if you want to survive in the tech-driven, instant gratification, and consumer driven marketplace…. In fact, a recent survey showed that 62% would switch to a competitor after a bad customer service experience. It’s time to start channeling your inner-Amazon.

Similar research conducted on customer expectations found that 82% of consumers reported that the number one factor they looked for in a customer service situation was speed of resolution. Even if you aren’t in the place where you can give away free products and give a beefy discount on trying you again, the speed in which you respond typically nips irritated complaints in the bud.

It’s also apparently not just about a refund. In fact, only 37% of customers were happy after receiving compensation on top of a refund after a service error, but this number jumped to 74% when the compensation was followed by a formal apology. In fact, I tried to tell them I received the order so to not worry about refunding the order. I had received the goods and just wanted to note the issue. Amazon must have been going for the 74% satisfaction rate as they insisted on that and more.

Retaining customers by any means, even taking a short term financial hit in the process, is invaluable. Anyone that has had a run-in (or two) on Yelp! can attest to this. Why? A customer retention rate increase of 2% has the same financial benefit as a 10% cut in running costs.

What procedures do you swear by in handling complaints?

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