Friday, January 14, 2011

Tips From Three CEOs: Obsess Over Customers To Make Fans Out Of Them

While I was taking a deeper dive from tweets that landed on my Flipboard, I came to discover three separate interviews with CEOs who recently have made headlines. To my surprise -- maybe it's not too surprising if you think about the final message -- I found a clear theme across these interviews: Obsess over customers to make fans out of them.

This lesson has been repeated so many times that it has almost become a cliche. But I think it's a lesson that we should hold close to our heart when we are building a company or service. We have to constantly think about how to improve the customer satisfaction, and turn the customers into advocates so that they can be viral marketing agents working for you.

For anyone who's aspiring to launch a service or create a company, these interviews are must watch.

Jeff Bezos of

Real simple messages from Jeff Bezos. To be successful, you have to obsess over customers, invent on their behalf, think in long term yet continue to iterate as if you are starting new.

One interesting anecdotes that Jeff mentions, which I think is the key, is how got their first orders from their family members. Then they started to get orders from outside their family members. This speaks to the power of turning customers into your fan. I'm sure after trying a few purchases their family member felt the value and built trust, and started to tell their friends about Amazon. Without winning first customers over and turning them into repeat customers, it would have been impossible to become the Amazon that we know today.

Andrew Mason of Groupon

Don't Ever Lose Focus (Message Around 9:30 Into It)

Andrew Mason has successfully pivoted his earlier startup,, to create multi-billion dollar revenue company in 2 years. During his recent interview with Charlie Rose, Andrew talks about the reason why MySpace and Friendster are having troubles: Taking their eyes off the customer focus and stop innovating.

Tony Hsieh of Zappos

Customer Obsession Needs Long-Term Vision To Work

Tony Hsieh was the founder and CEO of Zappos, Internet shoes and clothing store. He's known for his relentless focus on building great company culture to create a great customer experience. During his opening remark of 2009 SXSW, he talks about the importance of creating a fan out of every single customer, and changing the mindset around customer care to boost company brand in long term. It is inspiring to hear that 75% of Zappos customers are repeat customers.

What does your work experience say about this lesson? How well or poorly are they being followed? Are you making fans out of your customers now?

1 comment:

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