How Amazon.com Is Building Customer Loyalty With 32 Cents

It doesn't cost much to exceed customer expectations and make them come back for more.
CEO & Founder, The Non-Obvious Company
November 15, 2011

When we're challenged to share our business philosophy, it often elicits a deeply held belief about how to treat customers and what people really want. For small business owners, this philosophy is a core part of their business and something that they take a lot of pride in.

A belief that Amazon.com has and shares with their customers is a guarantee of low prices. Last week I preordered a book that was about to be released and was waiting for Amazon to ship it when it was available. I didn’t think too much about the price, and the book arrived on time, just as I expected it.

Today, however, I got an e-mail that I didn’t expect from Amazon. The e-mail told me that since I had ordered the book, the price had gone down. Thanks to Amazon’s low price guarantee, they would be automatically refunding 32 cents to my credit card. No action was required from me, it was just an e-mail telling me about the refund.

Do I care about the 32 cents? Not really. But you can bet I’ll be talking about my interaction with Amazon and how they exceeded my expectations with something that I would never even think about.

I went from being a satisfied customer to a delighted one thanks to that one e-mail. A business philosophy that goes beyond satisfaction can do that. How much time does your business spend delighting your customers in unexpected ways? Once you do this, you have a story to tell customers about the added value that you are offering to them which will not only delight them, but will also likely inspire them to tell others about the positive experience they had with you.

Read more on customer service.