The real "Amazon experience"

I don't think the President and his henchmen really want the true Amazon experience as much as they think they do.
Mr. Stone describes a meeting during the 2000 holiday season when Mr. Bezos tested a claim by Bill Price, his vice president for customer services, who said hold times on Amazon's phone lines were less than a minute. 
"'Really?' Bezos said.  'Let's see.'  On the speakerphone in the middle of the conference table, he called Amazon's 800 number. . . .  Bezos took his watch off and made a deliberate show of tracking the time.  A brutal minute passed, then two. . . .  Around four and a half minutes passed, but according to multiple people at the meeting who related the story, the wait seemed interminable."  Less than a year later, Mr. Price was gone from Amazon.
 Whatever we may think about Amazon's goals, there's no denying that Bezos is fanatically devoted to testing the truth of claims about the progress toward those goals.  It's not an "Emperor's New Clothes" atmosphere over there.


Gringo said...

Were competence the criteria for remaining in office, the Obama Administration's upper echelon would be decimated.

Billary Price: "What does it matter if a customer has to wait 4 1/2 minutes?"

Texan99 said...

Right! When things don't matter, why get excited by lying about them?

Bezos is an unusual CEO. He may or may not tolerate failure depending on the circumstances, but he rapidly punishes both lying and indifference to the truth. Dogma surrenders to facts, and the facts that interest him are whether customers are satisfied enough to keep feeding their own money voluntarily into his enterprise. He seems to spend almost no time trying to induce customers to believe they should be happy with something they're not. It goes to show you how someone can be ambitious, confident, and hopeful without engaging in wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

But, but, Bezos is teh antichrist!! He's destroying publishing, and ripping up small businesses, and puts unicorn tears in his coffee and eats kittens for breakfast!!!

Ahem. Or so you'd think from reading some of the trade publications. Because the customer is never right unless they are buying what someone else says is good for them.