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Relentless Customer Service Pays Off

I read many financial releases monthly on service leaders. All my research over the last 40 years shows firms who have awesome relentless customer service do much better than other firms. What was shocking to me is very few firms focused on customer service for their lifetime.

In 1979 I saw firms spending millions on advertising and then chasing the customer away with bad service. The same thing is happening today. TD Ameritrade spends $100 million a year on advertising. Charles Schwab recently purchased them and also spends millions on fake advertising.

Two firms featured in my book Relentless are and

Chewy the leader in pet e-commerce, announced a new telehealth service today, called “Connect With a Vet,” that allows pet parents and veterinarians to leverage the company’s proprietary tele-triage platform to preserve continuous veterinarian care and support amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this service, Chewy makes it possible for pet parents to connect directly with a licensed veterinarian to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, to receive advice, discuss concerns they might have regarding the health and wellness of their pet, and even get referrals to their local vets or emergency clinics. The vets are not diagnosing medical conditions, providing treatment, or prescribing medications. During the pilot phase of the “Connect With a Vet” program over 80% of users rated the service 10/10.

“We have focused our efforts into developing an easy to use and convenient tele-triage product that we anticipate will have a positive impact given the current environment, and also extend beyond that,” said Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy. “We are always looking to enhance our customers’ experience. Visiting a local vet continues to be a challenge for many pet parents during this time. Similarly, the vet community has also been impacted via clinic shutdowns or reduced clinic hours. So, we thought, why not come up with a solution that can help both communities, our customers and veterinarians, in this time of greatest need.”

The “Connect With a Vet” tele-triage service was initially launched in Florida and Massachusetts in May, and Chewy has expanded it to over 35 states with plans of offering it nationwide. The service is currently available exclusively and free of charge to customers who are subscribed to the company’s popular Autoship program, which is responsible for nearly 70% of its net sales.

Fiscal 2nd quarter net sales ending August 2 were $1.70 billion and grew 47 percent year-over-year.

My wife raises show dogs. She loves her dogs (probably more than her husband )+) and spends a fortune on vets. All pet owners love their pets. This is disruptive marketing by Chewy.

Amazon plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers in the U.S. and Canada for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It has promoted more than 35,000 operations employees across North America and pays at least $15 an hour. It will have over 700,000 employees in the U.S and over 1 million worldwide this year.

Sales during the 2nd quarter were $88.91 billion and profit of $5.24 billion

I just finished reading “The Bezos Letters” by Steve Anderson. It does a nice job of explaining Jeff Bezos’s 14 principles. Amazon is the fastest company in history to reach $100 billion in sales. Bezos started Amazon in July 1994.

I believe if you follow service leaders and copy their ideas and principles you can learn a lot. Both Amazon and Chewy understand the power of Relentless Customer Service. The challenge is for you to drive Relentless Customer Service so you also will be wildly successful. Almost all CEOs believe they provide superior customer service and most customers have trouble identifying more than a handful. The challenge is for you also to become a service leader.