Customer satisfaction…what would Jeff say?

He’s probably the most successful man in retail, certainly in the past few years.

Jeff Bezos, founder and driver of Amazon, the biggest retailer on the web and arguably the inventor of modern ecommerce. Oh, and recent purchaser of the Washington Post. he’s worth $28bn, was named Entrepreneur of the year 2012 by Fortune Magazine Jeff Bezos, and was ranked the 2nd best CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review, after the late Steve Jobs of Apple.

You think this guy might have something to say of note about retail? Sure has! Here are some quotes that apply just as pertinently to physical store operators:

I love improving the customer experience. I teach our staff to be really anally retentive in that regard – it’s just so important.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.

If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.

If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.

There are two ways to extend a business. Take inventory of what you are good at and extend out from your skills. Or determine what your customers need and work backwards, even if it requires learning new skills.

If we can arrange things in such a way that our interests are aligned with our customers, then in the long term that will work out really well for customers and it will work out really well for Amazon.

What’s striking is the total focus on the customer. Doesn’t sound like rocket science does it, but the fact is that most retailers are servants more to their operation than their customer.