Talk by UK Country Manager for Amazon, Doug Gurr

Amazon is much maligned for the effect it has on small retailers (not just bookstores), how it treats its warehouse workers, tax avoidance and other controversies. But one thing is true: it has amazing customer service.


I have been on the receiving end of great customer service from Amazon on numerous occasions and, again, this Christmas. When something went wrong with an order, they were absolutely incredible in solving the problem, and ensuring that we received the item before Christmas. So, it was with much interest that I listened to Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager for Amazon, talk about how addressing customer pain points was the number one operational principle at Amazon, informing everything that the company does and how they do it.

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The talk was recorded at an event that took place in London Business School, and you can access it here. I recommend listening to it. It runs for under 30 minutes, and the points covered in the talk include:

  • 1 minute in: Amazon’s operating principles and how they inform what the company does and how
  • 1 minute 44 seconds in: Addressing customer pain points
  • 2 minutes 46 seconds in: How the first Kindle came to be
  • 4 minutes 58 seconds in: The passion for invention
  • 6 minutes 23 seconds in: Commitment for operational excellence
  • 6 minutes 40 seconds in: The importance of customer trust
  • 7 minutes 20 seconds in: Learning from when things go wrong
  • 8 minutes in: Learning from customer feedback
  • 9 minutes 18 seconds in: Long term view
  • 9 minutes 58 seconds in: Improving the shopping and entertainment experience for consumers
  • 11 minutes 10 seconds in: Role of friction
  • 11 minutes 35 seconds in: Role of choice
  • 12 minutes 33 seconds in: The discoverability problem
  • 14 minutes 40 seconds in: Role of hardware devices (Kindle, Alexa, etc…) in improving the shopping experience
  • 16 minutes in: Failure as part of innovation
  • 17 minutes in: Marketplace as a bridge between small businesses and customers
  • 17 minutes 58 seconds in: Call down, web based services for B2B (e.g., machine learning, big data analytics…)
  • 22 minutes 30 seconds in: How self-publication services address the bottlenecks in the publishing industry
  • 24 minutes 28 seconds in: UK numbers for marketplace and self-publication
  • 26 minutes in: The importance of workforce diversity
  • 27 minutes 10 seconds in: Transformations taking place in the world of work, and associated dislocation of particular groups of people

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