Interview: How Customer Obsession Can Drive Your Bottom Line

Published: April 20, 2017

Shep Hyken – Amazing Business Radio with Amy Downs

Amy Downs on How Customer Obsession Can Drive Your Bottom Line

Are you obsessing about taking care of your customers? If not, maybe you should!

Shep Hyken interviews Amy Downs, Chief Customer Success and Happiness Officer at Lifesize, a connected video conferencing company, about why you should be obsessed about taking care of your customers.

First Up:

Shep Hyken’s opening comments focus on April being customer loyalty month. Customer loyalty should be a year-round focus, and not just a monthly effort, but let’s take this month to celebrate. We need to obsess about creating such an amazing customer experience that our customers will want to do business with us and nobody else.

When Shep talks about creating an amazing customer experience, it’s important to remember that amazement is not always an over-the-top, blow-me-away, most incredible service you have ever had type of experience. It is more about consistently and predictably being just a little above average. Consistency is the key word. That’s the hard part. That’s what the best companies in the world do. They execute their service consistently.

Further to the point, any company that decides they want to obsess over their customers has an opportunity to not just have a transaction, but to build a relationship. At the end of the day, all things being equal, what tips the scale in that company’s favor, is the relationship.

Featured Interview:

Shep begins his interview by asking Amy Downs what does it mean to be customer obsessed? Amy responds by saying that Lifesize has four core values, and that customer obsession is number one. Many companies talk about “treating customers great,” but you must make sure that you have the right people on board. People with customer service DNA and customer service hearts. Then you must have the right systems and processes in place that allow these employees the ability to understand what is important to your customers.

Top Takeaways about Customer Obsession:

  • Customer obsession can be the foundation for growth in your business. Amy stressed the importance of customer retention. You can link an increase in customer retention or a decrease in churn directly to the overall bottom line. If you lose a customer, it is usually very hard to get them back. The easiest customer to sell is the one that you already have. Regardless of what industry you are in, your customers are talking to each other and to other potential customers. When word of mouth starts getting out there, you start to better references and referrals that convert to customers at a much higher rate than traditional marketing.
  • How you can know that your customer obsession efforts are paying off. Amy said there are a lot of data analytics that they use to help understand the relationship they have with each of their customers. It is important to capture both qualitative and quantitative data to determine how you are doing in your relationships. For example, with quantitative data you can examine Net Promoter Scores as well as churn rates.
  • Best tips on how to become customer obsessed. Amy suggests to set a strategy and educate your people. Everyone in the company must understand the importance of building a customer-first company and how it impacts the bottom line. Continually share with them the results of the positive change in your customers’ lives, so that they can feel proud of the work they do. Be sure to make course corrections when needed, but do them in a super positive way. The front-line employees are the most critical piece of any business, but ensure that you are listening to all of your employees. Create an environment and a culture where employees can thrive, and where they’re empowered to drive change on behalf of customers. This can help reinvent a business. And, this helps people to feel like they have a much greater purpose in they work they do.


Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, best-selling author and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

 “You can’t just tell an employee something once. You must continue to educate and to communicate that information.” – Amy Downs