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The Digital Service Revolution at your Front Door

In the age of acceleration, innovation, transparency, iteration are key to success. To address evolving consumer demands, Amazon pushes to meet growing customer expectations for accurate information (with some seriously impressive mobile app updates).

Growing Customer Expectations

With the rapid advancement of mobile app technology, we’re accelerating into the new service economy faster than ever. You can pick up groceries, catch a ride to the airport, or even have a 6-pack delivered effortlessly—all in an instant, without having to interact with a single human being. But bells, whistles, and one-click checkouts are no substitute for a flawless experience and top-notch customer service.

Proactive Service

According to Harvard Business Review in their delightfully provocative article, Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers:

“First, delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does. Second, acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.”
Source: Harvard Business Review

And Amazon’s no slouch when it comes to customer service. The occasional package delivery error aside (which is more often the carrier’s fault than Amazon’s), my experience in getting those issues resolved has been seamless and simple.

But I’m delighted to say that Amazon has recently solidified their place in the forefront of this growing service revolution—with a combination of their Amazon Logistics “Photo on Delivery” service and some incredibly customer-centric mobile app features.

• • •

It all started with the order of a delicate piece of electronic musical equipment. Embattled by a particularly blustery Chicago winter cold front, I’d opted to stay home and receive the package in person. Being an otherwise typical work day, I’d been in several hours of meetings while I attentively awaited the chime of the doorbell.

Halfway through one said meeting, I opened the Amazon App Delivery Status screen which, to my amazement, introduced an Uber-esque, real-time map view of my delivery driver’s location—giving me just the advanced notice I needed to gracefully step away and save my package from its fate as a popsicle.

But wait, there’s more.

Before I was two steps out of my office, I received another notification. This time, a picture of my package and its location on my front porch.

Perhaps I’m easily amused—but I was so blown away I felt the need to take a screenshot (and eventually write this piece).

The Future

So I think there are a couple of interesting lessons here for service-based businesses to think about:

  1. Truly understanding and anticipating your customers’ needs is critical for securing your place in this new-age, digital service economy.
  2. Actively investing in customer experience improvements, such as iterative app updates and experimental features can help give you the edge you need over fierce competition.

The spectacular fall of Toys ‘R’ Us was just the latest unfortunate example of seemingly invincible brands neglecting consumer demands and bypassing emerging technological leg-ups to improve accessibility and customer experience…

…And so begs the question:

Is your business on the front lines of the digital service revolution?

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