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Customer Experience, Customer Service

Customer Service Principles from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Dreamforce was a memorable week for Salesforce as CEO, Marc Benioff and his team announced the future of cloud computing with Salesforce1. However, as bright as the spotlight was on amazing, new product, the discussion between Marc Benioff and Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer was a truly unforgettable experience.

Prior to Yahoo, Marissa Mayer was Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services at Google. She made her mark in the industry in 2012 when she was named CEO of Yahoo with the unbending determination to revamp the struggling company.

Throughout the discussion, Mayer shared everything from her passion for the company to overseeing the design and experience of Yahoo’s products and organization. As a Salesforce employee, and a three-year Dreamforce veteran, I couldn’t help but notice three critical principles she shared about what it means to truly support the customer.

1. Believe in the Voice of the Customer

“It’s not all about making the product pretty and functioning. It’s about finding what the customer needs and creating something where they will be successful.”

Since becoming the CEO at Yahoo!, Mayer has honed in on listening to the customer, especially on Twitter. She’s been known to proactively share news about the company and respond to customer complaints.

In her early years at Yahoo!, Meyer traveled around the world with product managers to get a better sense of the customer. Her incentive was to immediately be placed in the mindset of the customer, and figure out how to create a product that the customer could relate to. In the words of Mayer, “creating a product that can be used by the entire world is a daunting task.” By weighing in on the voice of the customer, Meyer was able to successfully built a better organization.

2. Support the Customer By Going Mobile

“We don’t think of ourselves as design first, we think of ourselves as mobile first.”

Since arriving at Yahoo!, Mayer has said that mobile is the “wave” of the future and that a focus on mobile technology is critical for the success of the company. With over 400 million mobile users worldwide, there is no doubt that her efforts have paid off in several dividends.

Although people may scrutinize that moving to mobile was purely a strategic move to catch up with the masses, I believe this decision was made to support the needs of the customer. In fact, I believe any company that builds a product or service through mobile is meeting the expectations of today’s customers.  According to Digital Trends, it’s been predicted that by 2014, the number of mobile devices will exceed the human population.  Mobile is the next wave of the future and all forms of business should consider how they can create a personalized, mobile experience for the customer.

3. Use and Love Your Product

“It’s all about the user. You have to be a user of the product to really be able to serve the customer.”

One can never fully grasp the needs of the customer unless they are a true user of the product. One of my favorite lines from Mayer was, “It’s not about making the product pretty and functioning. It’s about finding what the customer needs and creating something where they will be successful.” By doing so, you will know the customer in a whole new way – just as Mayer has in her role as CEO.

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