I had the opportunity recently to attend Audible's Customer Appreciation Day at their headquarters in Newark, NJ. They hold this event occasionally to thank their loyal customers. The session consisted of meet and greet, a tour of their facility and dinner.
One thing that became apparent was that the Audible Customer Care team that hosted the event had no agenda but just to thank the customers who attended. At the end of the evening, you feel like you are part of their customer care team.
The interesting thing about the event was that the Customer Appreciation Day initiative was led by their customer care team. It was not a brainchild of some executive at Audible. This shows how much Audible management empowers its employees to be highly customer-centric. We spent close to six hours with Audible Customer Care team.
After spending that much time at Audible and their customer care team, I was left with the following impressions:
1) Audible has an outstanding culture. The people we met during the visit seemed highly motivated, happy, and passionate about their work.
2) Audible is playing an integral part in Newark. An excellent example of this is the major restoration work of the church where they turned an old, dilapidated church into a modern office environment for developers while retaining the architectural beauty of the church. It's amazing what they have done by blending the old with the new. Audible embarked on a four-year project to turn a church into a monastery for developers. Though I am not an architect, even I was left impressed by what they have done to this place. You can bet that Audible developers are going to be producing "blessed" code for a long time.
3) Audible has a lot to teach with the audiobooks they create. But I was surprised by how much they have to teach in how seriously they take customer care.
4) Last impression has to do with the conversations that companies need to have with their customers to know them better.
There were three levels of conversations that took place at the Audible Customer Appreciation Day.
Level 1 -- Meet and Greet Talk where you talk about the kinds of audiobooks you like to read. There is not much depth to the conversation at this level but to get to know the people.
Level 2 -- Tour Talk where you talk more about what kind of genres, books, and narrators you like. This is all about the kind of experience you have with their product.
Level 3 -- Dinner Talk where you get to talk about how their product is enriching your life. It is at level 3 that you find out things since dinner is an intimate setting where you know the people and your guards are down. So in my case, I said it is the classics audiobooks that I like to listen to. I added that I would not read classics if I could not also listen to them. Reading and listening to classics has made me smarter, wiser, and happier. Now there is a lot I provided that I could only provide during a dinner. Time allows you to get to know each other better. Today a lot of companies do not give this amount of time to their customers, let alone even their most loyal customers.
Audible knew me before as a customer data before the Customer Appreciation Day. Now they know me as a person. That is something a lot of companies can learn from Audible that you don't know your customers unless you are willing to spend time with them with no agenda.
Audible certainly knows that if you really care about your customers, it is not a bad idea to bring the loyal ones to your headquarters and spend some time with them. Audible has a very bright future since they understand that you can't succeed in business today if you don't focus on three important things: employees, customers, and community. Audible gets high marks on all three.
Jay Oza is a writer, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or an important speech. He is the author of the book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. Please download the speech checklist and the speech workbook to help you with your next high stakes speech.
Please contact him if you would like to attend his workshop or invite him to have it at your site or have him give a talk on Interviewing or High-Stakes Speaking. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-847-9877.