At MentorCruise, we will discuss how this company-wide guideline operates and manages to retain customers through various strategies. If you need help with your Amazon interview, we have experts from the company ready to mentor you.
The principle, in Amazon’s words
“Leaders start with the customer and work backward. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.”
What does this principle mean?
According to Amazon, customer obsession is all about gaining a deep understanding of the wants and needs of their customers. Colocating teams that work with each other gives them a better chance of meeting consumer expectations.
In addition, a collaboration between various departments encourages better problem-solving for product quality issues. Individual personalization also helps create a unique experience for every customer.
Getting to know each customer well makes Amazon work harder to meet their needs - whether that means expediting the shipping process, providing more information about a product or delivering digital content immediately. By grasping an in-depth understanding of clients’ desires, Amazon can provide high-quality products and superior service levels, which keep customers coming back for more.
It is also important to emphasize that Amazon remains competitive with other companies. It does this by paying attention to its competition and looking for ways to improve its services based on trends in the marketplace. However, they obsess over what customers want rather than getting distracted by competitors’ movements.
Customer obsessions impact of Amazon
At Amazon, customer obsession is a company-wide belief that every individual employee has responsibility for delivering the best possible service to customers. By working together as a team, they ensure that their business becomes even more efficient and productive.
Customer obsession ensures that Amazon is constantly evolving. It provides them with an advantage over their competitors because they are willing to go that extra mile to meet the expectations of their clientele. By being so focused on customer service, Amazon retains customers more effectively than any other company in the same industry.
Customer obsession at Amazon is about achieving competitive advantage through an unwavering focus on helping customers find what they are looking for. Delivering high-quality work is one way of retaining customers, but Amazon believes that the best way to do this is by offering what they want before they even know they need it.
Why is this principle important?
Companies need to watch their competitors and stay abreast of current trends in today’s highly competitive market. However, by doing this, a business may lose sight of the fact that it needs to focus on its target audience – the consumers who drive demand within a marketplace. This principle ensures that Amazon never loses touch with its consumer base.
Putting their customers first allows Amazon to establish a competitive advantage over other companies focused on short-term gains rather than long-term customer satisfaction. By placing this principle at the center of everything they do, Amazon can foster good relationships with consumers and producers as well as achieve high levels of productivity at all levels of the business.
As Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos puts it: “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.”
What do other companies think of this principle?
Many Fortune 500 CEOs also share the same sentiment about customer obsession as Jeff Bezos, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said that “customers are smart, they expect you to do more than they could ever imagine … The customer is your compass; never lose sight of that”.
Visionary CEO Richard Branson also believes that companies should consider their competitive advantages to succeed in the marketplace. He states that it’s essential to “understand what makes your business special so you can shout about it from the rooftops.”
What are they looking for?
Amazon is looking for people with a deep appreciation of the customer’s needs. They are seeking employees who have an innate understanding of how to delight their customers by going above and beyond what they expect at all times.
How can I stand out?
When facing an interview with Amazon, it’s crucial to remember their “customer obsession mindset.” However, it’s also important to show some initiative and personal flair. If possible, offer examples of how you would improve their service by borrowing some ideas from other successful companies.
Sample questions related to ‘Customer Obsession’
- Why do you think customer obsession is essential?
- Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. How did the customer react to your service?
- What role do you think the customer has in the business world?
- How would you rate yourself out of ten for being a customer-obsessed individual?
- Do you have any examples of how you have been successful at putting customers first?
- Which companies or products that are popular in today’s marketplace do you believe focus on customer obsession?
- What do you think is the one thing that sets certain companies apart for their customer-obsessed mentality compared to other companies that don’t seem to give priority or value to their customers?
- How would you suggest Amazon make further improvements or changes to ensure they are always focusing on the needs of their customers?
- What are some examples of companies that have successfully generated brand loyalty/consumer trust, and why do you think these brands have been able to garner such admiration?
- How would you go about changing the way Amazon does something in order to make it better for their customers?
- What do you think is the most critical element of a product or service? Why?
- How would you make Amazon better than it already is, and why would that be beneficial to the company’s prospects?
- Why did Amazon decide to focus on customer obsession as their top leadership principle?
- Who else do you know that follows a principle of customer obsession? What can you tell me about these companies?
- What do you think is the best way to foster loyal customers and create brand loyalty within a business environment?
- Tell me a time when you had to deal with an angry customer. How did you handle the situation, and what was the outcome?
- Give me an example of an outstanding customer service experience you have had.
Tips on how to answer these questions
Some of these Amazon interview questions might seem like they’re targeting a specific response, and you might feel tempted to pull ideas straight from your resume. However, it’s important to remember that Amazon doesn’t want to hire someone who has always done the bare minimum and will do whatever it takes to get by.
They strive for excellence in every position, so it’s vital for you as an interviewer to remember this. By showing you have a deep appreciation for your customers and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to provide them with good service, these questions can be answered effectively and efficiently.
Other most common tips include:
- Have examples ready to go, such as past work experience with customers and, if possible, the customer’s feedback.
- Be creative with your ideas and show that you are genuinely passionate about this principle.
- Be truthful when answering any questions because honesty will always be your best policy.
- Be confident when answering all questions.
- Have a smile on your face and be excited to answer their questions.
- Don’t panic. Even if you are nervous or under-prepared, just take a deep breath, exist in the present moment, remain confident in who you are, what you have to offer the company, and remember that they are interviewing you because they are interested in hiring you.
Using STAR to frame your answers
STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. When answering questions, it can be instrumental to outline your answers using this technique. This is because many of the most common interview questions can easily be answered using STAR. A few examples of how you might use the method are described below:
Question 1: Tell me a time when you had to deal with an angry customer. How did you handle the situation, and what was the outcome?
Situation: “I was working at a retail store, and this customer kept returning their items because they didn’t fit. The manager was very busy, so he asked me to deal with the customer and try to sort out the situation.”
Task: “My goal was to reimburse the customer for their items and ensure they left the store satisfied. I also wanted to learn from my mistakes so I could be better prepared if this happened again.”
Action: “I apologized to the customer, took back the items that didn’t fit, and offered them a refund or exchange on other products in our inventory.”
Result: “Even though the customer was not being fair, I wanted to make sure that they left our store satisfied. This ended up making the customer happy and taught me to deal with these kinds of situations more efficiently.”
Question 2: Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. How did the customer react to your service?
Situation: “I was working at a popular restaurant, and a customer that I recognized from my neighborhood came in. She seemed to be having a hard day, so I asked her if she wanted me to bring her something special just for being such a loyal customer.”
Task: “My goal was to give this customer an amazing experience, take great care of them, and make them feel special”
Action: “I went back to the kitchen and prepared some delicious appetizers for this customer. I brought the food out of the house, along with a dessert that our pastry chef had made.”
Result: “This customer was amazed and pleased by my service. She loved everything I had done for them and later told me that this experience had made her day. I was so happy to have been able to help her.”
Question 3: Give me an example of an outstanding customer service experience you have had.
Situation: “Once, when I was purchasing a vase from a well-known online store, I realized that the vase had been shattered during its trip through the mail.”
Task: “My goal was to get the vase replaced as soon as possible and ensure that my customer experience was a positive one.”
Action: “I contacted the company’s customer service team and explained what had happened. I then asked if they could ship me a replacement or issue a refund for the item.”
Result: “The company immediately informed me that they would ship out a replacement vase to my home. They took the issue very seriously and made it easy for me to get an exchange. That incident made sure that I would be a returning customer. Since then, as a product manager, I have strived to offer a similar experience at Zappos.”
Provide outstanding service
The bottom line is that when customers experience outstanding service from a business, they are often happy to be repeat customers. The same is true when a candidate in an interview delivers a stellar performance. By using STAR, applicants can ensure that their answers in an interview will come across in a clear and well-organized manner. It allows the listener to understand what tasks were completed, what actions were taken, and the outcome of the answer.
Using STAR, applicants can have a strong foundation for answering questions in an interview or presenting their achievements in a resume. It is crucial to make sure that the narrative is delivered professionally. By doing this, they will be able to ace any job interview with ease!
If you want to hire a great mentor who’ll guide you through your interview process, and help you find the perfect job, click on the links below:
- Amazon interview coaching and mentoring preparation
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) and mentoring preparation