English: Jack Ma speaks during The Future of t...
English: Jack Ma speaks during The Future of the Global Economy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regardless of what you or your company does to pay the bills and turn a profit, ultimately all companies exist to serve the customer. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our generation have known that and built billion dollar businesses around the concept of “the customer comes first.” In this post, you’ll learn about how Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos put the customer first and how you can do it yourself with Service Design ideas from User Centric.

In a talk at the Columbia Business School, Jack Ma talks frankly about how he built the Alibaba group of companies. Alibaba’s six core values are :

  1. Customer comes first
  2. Teamwork and cooperation
  3. Embracing Change
  4. Integrity
  5. Passion
  6. Honoring your Job

If you don’t know who Jack Ma is you can read more in “Alibaba.com : A Smiling Community with a Dream.

Image representing Jeff Bezos as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

Fool.com published “The 20 Smartest Things that Jeff Bezos Has Ever Said.” Here are some customer-centric quotes :

 5. “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

10. “We’ve done price elasticity studies, and the answer is always that we should raise prices. We don’t do that, because we believe — and we have to take this as an article of faith — that by keeping our prices very, very low, we earn trust with customers over time, and that that actually does maximize free cash flow over the long term.”

12. “We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. That becomes the touchstone for how we invent.”

13. “When [competitors are] in the shower in the morning, they’re thinking about how they’re going to get ahead of one of their top competitors. Here in the shower, we’re thinking about how we are going to invent something on behalf of a customer.”

18. “If you’re long-term oriented, customer interests and shareholder interests are aligned.”

Ultimately, the sum total of whatever business you create, run, or grow, you will be serving customers. Shailesh Manga , previously of User Centric, gave a talk last year on the importance of designing an integrated service that improves customer experience.