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The Hallmarks of a Customer-Obsessed Company

Creating Loyalty through Customer-Obsession

Shep Hyken interviews Marbue Brown, an accomplished customer experience executive who has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including JP Morgan Chase,, Microsoft Corporation, and Cisco Systems. He is the author of Blueprint for Customer Obsession. He shares what differentiates customer-obsessed companies from the rest and the amazing business results that come with it.

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Top Takeaways:

  • There is a distinction between customer-obsessed companies and others. Customer-obsessed companies go to extremes and may do counterintuitive things from the perspective of their customer-focused peers. For example:
    • Costco is known for its extreme return policy that exceeds what other companies in the industry are willing to do. As a result, customers have total confidence that if they buy something from Costco and encounter an issue with the product, they can return it. Costco has over 100 million paid memberships, and its renewal rates are over 90%.
    • Amazon does not take negative reviews down. They leave it up so the customer can make the decision that is right for them.
    • Zappos has the largest selection of shoes, but if they don’t have the pair you are looking for, they will direct you to competitor websites to help you find them. As a result, 75% of Zappos sales come from existing customers, and 40% of their new customers come from recommendations.
  • Customer-obsession creates customer preference. Customer obsessed companies’ customers are not just casual customers. They think of these companies and brands first.
  • Customer-obsessed companies have deeply ingrained, pervasive cultures. Their customer service principles are non-negotiable and lived throughout the entire organization.
  • And, does every employee that works at Amazon know the 16 Amazon Leadership Principles? Tune in to find out!


“Customer-obsessed companies know how to give customers what they want before they know they need it. They understand what the inherent needs of the customers are even when they don’t articulate it.”

“Customer-obsession turns your customers from casual consumers into rabid fans. And because it does, it generates extraordinary business results.”

“I challenge companies to adopt customer-obsession as a business strategy. Companies that are customer-obsessed outperform the market by 3 or 4 times.”


Marbue Brown is a customer experience executive, sought-after keynote speaker, and author on CX, business strategy, and economic policy. His latest book, Blueprint for Customer Obsession, is available now on Amazon.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:

  1. What does it mean to be customer-obsessed?
  2. What is the difference between a customer-obsessed company from a customer-focused company?
  3. How do you create a customer-obsessed culture?
  4. What is personalized customer service?
  5. Can you create personalization with automation?

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