Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
I’m unashamed in my love of Amazon.
Amazon , for my money , provide the best low cost customer experience in the world.
Amazon.co.uk isn’t a website – it’s a living breathing eco-system. The reason Amazon are lousy at social media is they don’t have to be good at it. It’s all contained in Amazon World.
Amazon got to know me on our first date. They discovered what I like and since then have made some really helpful recommendations. They never let me down. When one of their suppliers has messed up they have taken full responsibility without us arguing.
They never , ever , talk about themselves. Only about me.
I have only spoken to the mythical Amazon people once. I broke my Kindle. It was my fault. But they didn’t even want to know that. All they said was – ” Mr Taylor – our priority now is to get you a new Kindle as soon as possible”. That was on a Sunday evening in a telephone call from somewhere in the US.
I had a new Kindle the following morning.
I love them and it feels like they love me too.
I love holidays. And there was a time I was in love with Thomson. But Thomson don’t pay me much attention except when they want my money.
I used to spend a lot on them. I don’t have kids and am lucky enough to travel fairly often. I always complete their surveys on the flight back. But I’ve never once heard back from them.
I arrive home and they send me an email to say “When are you booking again?”.
Once they asked me to take part in an exercise to design a new loyalty scheme. I told them that I didn’t like their proposals but had lots of ideas I could share with them. They never got back in touch with me.
Last year I forgot to pay the balance on my holiday. By one day. It was the first time in 10 years I had ever done this.
They said they were sorry but they had resold the holiday. They had a new policy on late payments as a lot of customers were letting them down. I pointed out that I was a loyal customer with two other holidays booked with them at that time.
They said the policy applied to everyone regardless of loyalty.
They said I should speak to complaints and see if I could get my money back.
I’ve never had a bad holiday with them. But sometimes in a relationship you can get taken for granted.
It was time to call it a day whilst we were still friends.
What do these two experiences tell us?
Generation Y are no different from you or I . They like companies to engage with them and treat them like they are special. They hate companies talking about themselves – they thrive on being part of an experience. A relationship that matters.
But this post isn’t really about Amazon or TUI.
- It’s about the Charity who takes £5 out of a donors bank account every month and keeps asking them to pay a bit more.
- It’s about the Housing Association tenant who has been resident for 20 years without a thank you for paying their rent each and every month.
- It’s about mobile phone providers who don’t proactively offer you reductions in your contract before your renewal date.
It’s about organisations not listening to what people are saying about them when they are not in the room.
So listen to Jeff Bezos.
Be in the room.