Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the strategic management of the organization-customer relationship with the aim of fostering customer retention, attracting new customers, and enhancing sales growth. Amazon's success is tied to its focus on Customer Relationship Management, which has enabled it to tower over all its competitors. The CRM approach is based on the business mantra that "Customer is King." Amazon has been able to embrace and implement technology in its operations, and this has enabled it to offer its services conveniently. Amazon's successful execution of its CRM has enabled it to be a world leader in not only the e-commerce industry but also ranks amongst the most successful companies in terms of sales, technological growth, customer service, and market value.
Customer satisfaction is the main reason why Amazon enjoys high customer retainment over the years. According to research conducted in 2018, Amazon had 310 million active subscribers where 90 million of them are prime customers based in the United States of America (Hufford, 2018). Customer retention is the key to customer attraction in the business world through referrals and good reviews. CRM allows Amazon to customize its products to suit different tastes of current and potential customers. The wide of range of products on Amazon's e-commerce platform ensures that every customer is satisfied with the options available. Amazon has valued a customer's viewpoint in such a way that the customer has a wide variety of products to choose from its online store. Amazon boasts of high customer loyalty, which is one of the reasons why the platform attracts high numbers of new subscribers every day.
Amazon's CRM system has ensured that customers enjoy shopping through their user-friendly platform. Amazon has invested heavily on software enhancements to make sure that they can manage the high volume of data. To the customers, the interface might seem straightforward, but behind the scenes, a lot is being done to ensure that with a click of a button one can purchase a product with ease. Customers are able to create accounts, access orders and track parcels using the friendly user-interface. The profiling of customers by Amazon enables it to respond to certain buying decisions and consumer behavior. The convenience goes a long way since customers are able to access the platform through mobile devices. Amazon has been able to keep up with technological advancement which includes smartphones and tablets. Amazon has tailored apps for platforms such as Android and Apple gadgets where the apps can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play. Such efforts ensure customers can enjoy accessing the service at their convenience without being locked out of the platform. Mobile CRM ensures that customers can access real-time services at all times. Customers are in a position to manage the purchases, window shop, track orders and this enables them to have a sense of belonging within Amazon.
Amazon has improved its customer experience through creating the Amazon Spark which is a social media platform designed for its customers (Tawater-Tiedemann, 2017). The platform allows the customers to share and access information through stories and ideas from the whole Amazon network. Customers are in a position to learn more about their interests from the Amazon community, and this helps them in making shopping decisions. Amazon Spark lets the customer go on a journey of discovery through following people who share common interests or who are passionate about a common product. Some of the areas of interest include fashion, beauty, home decor, books, video games and recipes among others. The platform also allows satisfied customers to inspire others through sharing information that would be of help to the Amazon community. Shopping then comes in at this point since the customer has discovered a product and has been inspired by other customers' experience. Amazon Spark is not only a sharing platform but also allows you to shop from products embedded on the conversations. Amazon Spark is a platform that uniquely connects all Amazon subscribers since they share common interests in one way or another. The personalized aspect lets the customers share feedback and information on various areas of interests. Amazon, on the other hand, is able to learn a lot from the data that their customers share on Amazon Spark. Understanding customer needs has helped Amazon in making the shopping experience very convenient for their customers.
Customer Support and Interaction
Jeff Bezos who is the Amazon CEO is renowned for his campaign towards making Amazon a customer-centric organization. In order to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, Jeff Bezos believes that Amazon has to serve the needs of its customers exhaustively (Baldacii, 2013). Amazon's 24/7 customer care support and interaction have enabled the company to address issues while improving their operations. According to CRM guidelines, customer support contributes to high levels of customer retention. Amazon offers quick solutions in order to empower the customers so that they don't have to rely on customer support at all times. A customer is able to track a package or even change the payment method without necessarily going through customer care. Besides the call center and emails, Amazon developed the Amazon Alexa which is an automated virtual assistant (Cohan, 2018). The Amazon Alexa App is also available and serves functions such as home automation, ordering, music management as well as handling calls and messages.
One of the elements of interactions that Amazon has embraced is allowing peer reviews to be posted on its platform. Verified purchasers are free to share reviews whether one-star or five-star. Amazon is able to interact with its customers and customers are also able to communicate within themselves. Customer reviews play a crucial role in Customer Relationship Management since it portrays honesty and willingness to improve(Vega, 2017). Customer reviews also help Amazon in improving on its strengths and opportunities while changing tactics on the weaknesses and threats. Most of the customers rely on reviews in making purchase decisions since they trust the general view of other customers. According to Matt Mog who is the CEO of Power Reviews, a product with a single review has a 65% chance of being purchased compared to a product that has no review (Choi, 2016). Amazon believes in their products; that's why they are free to let their customers review all their products. On the other hand, other customers can freely access the reviews which will probably influence the purchasing decision. Amazon is also able to access the reviews and take action where necessary. The levels of interaction created by Amazon have therefore enabled its growth in Customer Relationship Management.
Protecting Customer Data
Amazon is an e-commerce platform which makes it prone to hacking and cyber-attacks. Some of the information that customers commit to Amazon include official names, physical address, email address, and credit card number among others. All these data are private and sensitive, and if it lands on the wrong hands, it will harm the customer. Amazon Macie is the tool used to protect Amazon Web Services through artificial intelligence(NSV, 2017. Amazon Macie monitor's Amazon's cloud and can detect unauthorized access thus curbing data leakage to the wrong hands. Cloud computing has been prioritized at Amazon, and the company has complied with cloud and security standards. One of the common security features that customers come across is the Amazon Cognito which allows customers to sign-in through platforms such as Facebook and Google(NSV, 2017). Amazon has invested heavily on customer protection through technology, and this has enabled to provide a secure shopping environment for its customers. E-commerce relies on online purchases, and failure to protect the platform would lead to catastrophic effects.
Information is Power
Online customers rely heavily on the kind and variety of information that they come across on the internet. Customer Relationship Management is all about interactions between an organization and customers whether current or potential. Brent Leary who is a famous CRM strategist confessed that for the 17 years he had been shopping at Amazon he has never been prompted to contact the customer care (Griffin, 2018). Amazon ensures that the customers have all the information at their fingertips which makes the discovery and shopping process enjoyable and comfortable. The Amazon platform makes it easy for customers to search for and track products of interest. Amazon has got almost 28 categories which include books, electronics, Prime Video, Kindle store, digital music, software and video games among others(Cloud, 2019). The classes are neatly outlined which makes it easy to search for products from each category. Once a customer access the categories, they have an option of refining the search into sub-categories such as Amazon Certified, Featured Brands, Packaging Option, Seller, Price, Availability, and Certifications among others. For example, the Computers Category has been subdivided into Monitors, Tablet Accessories, Networking Products, Servers, Data Storage, Scanners and Printers among others(Cloud, 2019). The shopping process is simplified in such a way that the customer won't waste time scrolling through many products. By clicking on the product, the customer can be able to view the price and ratings at a go. The reviews are a click away, and this helps the customer in learning more about the product. The product descriptions at Amazon are exceptional; all the details are there including color, weight, and size depending on the product. The customer is also able to roll over and zoom in on the clear images, and he or she can view the product from all angles. Within no time the customer has all the information about the product and a connection is established. Amazon also has the "compare with similar items" feature, which allows the customer to compare his or her choice with other available options(Cloud, 2019). The information package at Amazon empowers the customer to make an informed decision on the products. The reviews also as mentioned before convinces the customer to choose on a particular product. Empowering the customer through the information is one of the critical elements that has led to the successful implementation of Customer Relationship Management at Amazon.
Amazon Kindle Store
In the modern era, customers love when their areas of interest are simplified and presented as a package. Entertainment has become a major commodity for customers who want a wholesome package where they can access different products either free or at a cost. The two most popular digital libraries at Amazon include the Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Kindle Store. For those who can afford the Kindle Unlimited, they are able to access over a million eBooks, magazines and audiobooks. Some of the books categories include Children's eBooks, Law, History, Medical eBooks, Religion and Spirituality, Science and Math, Travel and Novels(Cloud, 2019). Refined searches allow the customer to search in terms of Author, Series, and Language among others. Customers prefer this approach instead of going to public libraries or visiting bookshops where they are not even sure if they will find the books. The database is so vast that it would be hard to miss a particular book since Amazon has liaised with authors and publishers to ensure they get most of the books online. Learning institutions such as universities nowadays prefer this approach since it is cost effective and efficient. A university would purchase a...
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