第十六封信: 主动服务客户,而非盯着竞争者

第十六封信中英文对照:

To our shareowners:

致我们的股东:

As regular readers of this letter will know, our energy at Amazon comes from the desire to impress customers rather than the zeal to best competitors. We don’t take a view on which of these approaches is more likely to maximize business success. There are pros and cons to both and many examples of highly successful competitor-focused companies. We do work to pay attention to competitors and be inspired by them, but it is a fact that the customer-centric way is at this point a defining element of our culture.

若你常看我们的致股东信,你会知道Amazon的动力来源是-想要打动用户的渴望,而非击败竞争者的心态。我们不会花时间去研究如何能够最大化商业上的成功。那些成功的竞争导向企业,本身存在着不少利弊。我们不会花心思在如何击败竞争者,我们只会从竞争者身上汲取灵感。以客户为中心的价值观,已经深植于我们的文化之中。

One advantage – perhaps a somewhat subtle one – of a customer-driven focus is that it aids a certain type of proactivity. When we’re at our best, we don’t wait for external pressures. We are internally driven to improve our services, adding benefits and features, before we have to. We lower prices and increase value for customers before we have to. We invent before we have to. These investments are motivated by customer focus rather than by reaction to competition. We think this approach earns more trust with customers and drives rapid improvements in customer experience – importantly – even in those areas where we are already the leader.

以客户为中心的其中一项优势(或许是最微妙的优势)是「主动性」。在还没有外部压力、还没有确切的截止期限的情况下,我们也能持续改进服务、增加服务和功能。虽然非必要,但我们会降低价格,为客户增加价值。我们会先于一件事成为必要之前,就进行发明创造。这些动力不来自竞争关系,而是来自于客户导向。我们认为,这种方法能够赢得客户的信任,并且快速改善客户体验。最重要的是,即使我们已经是所在领域的领先者,我们依然能够不断进步。

“Thank you. Every time I see that white paper on the front page of Amazon, I know that I’m about to get more for my money than I thought I would. I signed up for Prime for the shipping, yet now I get movies, and TV and books. You keep adding more, but not charging more. So thanks again for the additions.” We now have more than 15 million items in Prime, up 15x since we launched in 2005. Prime Instant Video selection tripled in just over a year to more than 38,000 movies and TV episodes. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has also more than tripled to over 300,000 books, including an investment of millions of dollars to make the entire Harry Potter series available as part of that selection. We didn’t “have to” make these improvements in Prime. We did so proactively. A related investment – a major, multi-year one – is Fulfillment by Amazon. FBA gives third-party sellers the option of warehousing their inventory alongside ours in our fulfillment center network. It has been a game changer for our seller customers because their items become eligible for Prime benefits, which drives their sales, while at the same time benefitting consumers with additional Prime selection.

「谢谢你们!当我在Amazon首页看到白皮书时,我就知道我的钱将更有价值。出于运费考虑,我注册成为Prime会员,而现在我可以用它来看电影、看电视和看书。你们持续增加更多价值,但没有收取更高昂的费用。感谢你们的持续进步,为客户带来许多价值。」现在,我们的Prime服务涵盖超过1500万种商品,比2005年推出服务时增加了15倍。在一年多的时间里,亚马逊Prime影音(Amazon Prime Video)的选择增加为3倍,一共有3万8千部电影和电视影集。Kindle Owners’ Lending Library的书籍量增加超过2倍,超过30万册书籍,其中包括我们投入上百万美元购买的《哈利波特》系列。这些改进并非「必要」,但我们很积极地在做这些事情。另一项「非必要」的重要投资是Amazon配送服务。Amazon配送服务为第三方卖家提供我们的仓储空间和配送网络。对我们的第三方卖家来说,这大大改变了游戏规则,因为他们的商品可以搭配Prime服务,消费者因此可享受运费优惠,从而提升商品的销售量。同时,Prime服务也因此扩大了商品类别。

We build automated systems that look for occasions when we’ve provided a customer experience that isn’t up to our standards, and those systems then proactively refund customers. One industry observer recently received an automated email from us that said, “We noticed that you experienced poor video playback while watching the following rental on Amazon Video On Demand: Casablanca. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and have issued you a refund for the following amount: $2.99. We hope to see you again soon.” Surprised by the proactive refund, he ended up writing about the experience: “Amazon ‘noticed that I experienced poor video playback…’ And they decided to give me a refund because of that? Wow…Talk about putting customers first.”

我们建立了自动化系统,以找出不符合客户体验标准的情况,这样的自动化系统会主动退款给客户。有一名行业观察家近期收到一封系统信件,内容如下:「最近,我们注意到你在Amazon Video On Demand上观看《Casablanca》时遇到视频播放不良的问题。我们为此感到很抱歉,已将2.99美元退款至你的账户。我们希望能在短期内再见到你。」主动退款让他很惊讶,他对这样的体验写了以下评论:「Amazon注意到我遇到视频播放问题,因此他们就这样决定退款给我?哇…… 把客户放在第一位。」

When you pre-order something from Amazon, we guarantee you the lowest price offered by us between your order time and the end of the day of the release date. “I just received notice of a $5 refund to my credit card for pre-order price protection. . . What a great way to do business! Thank you very much for your fair and honest dealings.” Most customers are too busy themselves to monitor the price of an item after they pre-order it, and our policy could be to require the customer to contact us and ask for the refund. Doing it proactively is more expensive for us, but it also surprises, delights, and earns trust.

当你从Amazon订购商品后,你就会享有我们的最低价格保证机制,我们保证你购买到的价格是订购时间到发货时间期间的最低价格。「我刚收到退款5美元的通知,退款原因是返还价差,实现最低价格保证。非常好的客户体验!感谢你们的公正诚实的交易机制。」多数客户的生活都很忙碌,他们没有时间随时查看价格变化,因此我们可以要求客户自行买贵退差价,但我们没有这么做。我们采取主动退款的方式,对我们来说需要花费更高的成本,但这可以让客户惊艳,并赢得客户的信任。

We also have authors as customers. Amazon Publishing has just announced it will start paying authors their royalties monthly, sixty days in arrears. The industry standard is twice a year, and that has been the standard for a long time. Yet when we interview authors as customers, infrequent payment is a major dissatisfier. Imagine how you’d like it if you were paid twice a year. There isn’t competitive pressure to pay authors more than once every six months, but we’re proactively doing so. By the way – though the research was taxing, I struggled through and am happy to report that I recently saw many Kindles in use at a Florida beach. There are five generations of Kindle, and I believe I saw every generation in use except for the first. Our business approach is to sell premium hardware at roughly breakeven prices. We want to make money when people use our devices – not when people buy our devices. We think this aligns us better with customers. For example, we don’t need our customers to be on the upgrade treadmill. We can be very happy to see people still using four-year-old Kindles!

我们的客户也包括作家。Amazon自助出版刚宣布新政策:每个月都向作家支付版税,版税拖欠不超过60天。出版业施行已久的行业标准是每年支付版税两次。当我们访问这些作家时,经常被诟病的问题就是版税支付频率低。想象一下,如果你每年只会收到两次薪水会造成什么问题。我们的确没有必要提升支付频率,我们可以仿效行业标准,每年支付版税两次,但我们没有。顺带一提,我最近在佛罗里达海滩上看到不少人在使用Kindle。Kindle目前有五代,而我看到人们在使用第二代到第五代。我们的业务方针是「以打平支出的方式卖出硬件」。我们不在售出设备时就赚钱,而是在用户使用设备时才赚钱。我们认为这样的方式,可以使我们和客户的利益保持一致。打个比方,靠用户使用设备才赚钱的我们,不需要仰赖用户不断购买新装置,不断升级硬件。对于用户仍在使用一台高龄四岁的Kindle,我们感到很高兴。

I can keep going – Kindle Fire’s FreeTime, our customer service Andon Cord, Amazon MP3’s AutoRip – but will finish up with a very clear example of internally driven motivation: Amazon Web Services. In 2012, AWS announced 159 new features and services. We’ve reduced AWS prices 27 times since launching 7 years ago, added enterprise service support enhancements, and created innovative tools to help customers be more efficient. AWS Trusted Advisor monitors customer configurations, compares them to known best practices, and then notifies customers where opportunities exist to improve performance, enhance security, or save money. Yes, we are actively telling customers they’re paying us more than they need to. In the last 90 days, customers have saved millions of dollars through Trusted Advisor, and the service is only getting started. All of this progress comes in the context of AWS being the widely recognized leader in its area – a situation where you might worry that external motivation could fail. On the other hand, internal motivation – the drive to get the customer to say “Wow” – keeps the pace of innovation fast.

我还可以继续一个一个介绍Kindle Fire阅读器的内容服务FreeTime、客服工具Andon Cord和音乐服务AutoRip,但我想专注于内部驱动的最显著的例子-AWS。2012年,AWS宣布了159种新功能与服务。自7年前推出以来,我们已经将AWS的费用降低了27倍,增加了企业服务支持,开发了创新工具为客户提升效率。AWS Trusted Advisor监控客户的设定,将设定与已知的最佳作法比对后,提醒客户哪里调整之后可以改善性能、增加安全性及节省成本。你想的没错,我们正积极告诉客户「他们支付给我们的钱太多了,比他们需要付的钱还多。」虽然AWS Trusted Advisor才刚上线,但仅仅在过去90天内,客户就透过AWS Trusted Advisor节省了数百万美元。以上所有改进,其动力都来自于内部,而非外部。这些改进都是在AWS成为该领域的领导者之后才进行的。另一方面,内部动机能促使客户不断对我们的服务感到惊叹,让我们保持快节奏的创新步调。

Our heavy investments in Prime, AWS, Kindle, digital media, and customer experience in general strike some as too generous, shareholder indifferent, or even at odds with being a for-profit company. “Amazon, as far as I can tell, is a charitable organization being run by elements of the investment community for the benefit of consumers,” writes one outside observer. But I don’t think so. To me, trying to dole out improvements in a justin-time fashion would be too clever by half. It would be risky in a world as fast-moving as the one we all live in. More fundamentally, I think long-term thinking squares the circle. Proactively delighting customers earns trust, which earns more business from those customers, even in new business arenas. Take a long-term view, and the interests of customers and shareholders align.

我们在Prime、AWS、Kindle、数字媒体和客户体验上的巨额投资,甚至到了过于慷慨的程度。股东对此漠不关心,甚至认为这不是营利性公司应该有的作为。一名外部观察家写到:「据我所知,Amazon是一个由投资界人士运营的慈善组织,旨在为消费者带来益处。」但我不这样认为。我认为,在这个瞬息万变的世界中,试图以「看到什么就实时调整什么」的方式做事,只是一件耍小聪明的事,甚至会有风险。从根本上来说,我认为长期思考可以解决这个问题。主动积极满足客户,可以赢得客户的信任,并带来更多的业务。在新的业务领域,这样的作法依然可行。从长远来看,客户和股东的利益是一致的。

As I write this, our recent stock performance has been positive, but we constantly remind ourselves of an important point – as I frequently quote famed investor Benjamin Graham in our employee all-hands meetings – “In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” We don’t celebrate a 10% increase in the stock price like we celebrate excellent customer experience. We aren’t 10% smarter when that happens and conversely aren’t 10% dumber when the stock goes the other way. We want to be weighed, and we’re always working to build a heavier company.

在我撰写本文时,Amazon最近的股价表现良好,但我们还是不断提醒自己,要以著名投资者Benjamin Graham的观点来看待股价:「短期而言,市场是一台投票机器;长期而言,市场是一台秤重机。」我经常在员工全体会议中提到这句话。我们不会像庆祝改进客户体验那样庆祝股价上升10%。当股价上升10%时,我们并不会变聪明10%;当股价下降10%时,我们也不会因此变笨10%。我们希望Amazon是一间被秤重的公司,我们一直在努力打造一间更有份量的公司。

As proud as I am of our progress and our inventions, I know that we will make mistakes along the way – some will be self-inflicted, some will be served up by smart and hard-working competitors. Our passion for pioneering will drive us to explore narrow passages, and, unavoidably, many will turn out to be blind alleys. But – with a bit of good fortune – there will also be a few that open up into broad avenues.

我为我们的进步与发明感到自豪,我明白我们一路走来一定会犯错-有些源自于我们自身,有些则来自于优秀的竞争对手。我们对开拓未来的热诚,将驱使我们踏上困难的路,而且其中有些路是死胡同。幸运的是,其中有些路被证明是康庄大道。

I am incredibly lucky to be a part of this large team of outstanding missionaries who value our customers as much as I do and who demonstrate that every day with their hard work. As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, and it’s still Day 1.

这是一个珍视客户的杰出团队,日复一日,我们对客户至上的热情依旧。身为这个优秀团队的一份子,我感到十分幸运。如同往常,我把我们在1997年写的致股东信附在文末。我们的价值观依然不变,今天依旧是Day 1。

Jeffrey P. Bezos

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com, Inc.

April 2013

杰夫·贝索斯

Amazon创始人暨CEO

2013年4月

我的观点

这封信里面,我可以学到几个点。

要主动服务客户,而不是研究竞争对手。确实,要研究竞争对手,但是不要追随竞争对手。很多时候,竞争会把自己带到沟里去,因为你时刻对标的时候,大家都会犯一样的错,而且关注点在对手身上,而不是在客户身上。

主动性。 这个主动性其实就是服务客户的动机,这个动机不是为了得到一个好评这种功利性的,而是发自内心的。 亚马逊还建立一个自动的评价系统,遇到一些不符合客户体验的就自动退款。 这个确实是一个好口碑的方法,还有就是保价机制,也是自动退差价的。

这让我想起,在京东很无语的地方。我买了一个显示器,不到几天就跌了300块,这就需要你自己去看价格是否跌了,然后去售后退款。这和亚马逊发现价格降了主动退款是非常不一样的体验,京东这种就是利用你买了就不会去看价格,还有时效性来达到不退款的目的,这和保证你买到的是最低价没啥关联,没达到效果。

为消费者带来好处,这才是用户导向的价值,主动的去满足客户的需求,而不是坑客户。亚马逊这个确实做得很对。

第十六封信: 主动服务客户,而非盯着竞争者”的一个响应

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