Tricks to nailing it at customer service: a lesson from Amazon


Customer service can be a daunting process for a startup, especially when you are growing very fast and required to attend to the needs of thousands of people, writes Damilola Aransiola, lead consultant on content marketing at Lagos co-working space Leadspace.

This can be a very difficult thing to handle, but imagine a company like Amazon dealing with about 244 million active customers. They have not only nailed it at customer service but also have exceeded customer expectations.

Great customer service and experience has always been the core of Amazon’s success story. They have kept customers at their heart and this has led them to become the biggest e-commerce store in the world. Amazon’s vision statement “is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company”, which I think is the secret to their dominance in the e-commerce space.

Amazon is the trailblazer of awesome customer experience, and many companies around the world have emulated them. There is a lot you can learn from Amazon’s customer-centric approach, but I will only be mentioning a few in this article.

Listen more to understand your customers

Learn to listen more to your customers because this is the only way you can learn from them. Customers will naturally give you feedback if they feel connected to your product, and if you listen you will learn a lot from them. When you listen, you understand, and through understanding you can take the appropriate steps to meet the needs of your customers.

At Amazon, whether at entry level or an executive, employees have opportunities to attend two days of call-centre training. The incentive here is for employees to immediately understand that Amazon’s philosophy is about listening, and most importantly, understanding the customer.

Strive for a DIY approach

Amazon’s DIY approach has always worked. They made sure customers can easily do things on their own. They have an incredibly detailed but yet easy-to-navigate help centre, which lets you drill deep into a number of specific concerns. Customers save time and feel empowered when they find solutions on their own. You can make your help section very detailed where a customer doesn’t need to call you to find a solution to whatever they are looking to solve.

Introduce customer reviews to your platform

Amazon was among the first to display customer reviews and add transparency to the e-retail space. Customer reviews have helped potential customers learn about different buyers’ experiences and opinions when looking to buy a product, which makes it easier for the potential customer to trust the merchant and decide whether or not to buy from that merchant.

“We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards.” Jeff Bezos.

Companies like TripAdvisor, Uber, Wakanow,, Talking Bookz and Leadspace have now adopted this initiative, and it has worked well for them.

Know almost everything about each customer

Knowing everything you can about your customer is a gold mine because you can tailor your product or service to each customer at a particular point in time. For example: if you sell books, you need to know the customers that are interested in business books and non-fiction books. This would be a plus for you, and ensure you would see more conversions.

For example, an Amazon company would send you daily deals every day, selling a particular audiobook at a ridiculously cheap price. This is a fantastic way to sell to targeted customers who are more likely to convert.

Create a loyalty programme for your customers

When you are a Prime member on Amazon, you are not only entitled to fast and free shipping but also to ridiculous offers. This way, Amazon allows customers to thrive on frequent and repeated purchases. Another added advantage is that for an upfront fee, customers are relieved of inconveniences that could impede future purchases. According to research, Prime members spend an average of US$1,500 per year on Amazon, compared with the US$625 per year spent by customers who aren’t Prime members.

When you create a loyalty programme for your customers, you make them stick to you and keep them coming through the doors for years to come.

A great customer service will always win. You need to understand that how you handle your customers before, during and after a purchase speaks a lot about you and your brand.


About Author

Key players from Africa's startup and investment ecosystem post on issues close to their heart for Disrupt Africa.

Leave A Reply