Home > General Business, Startups, Strategy > Zappos is Delivering Happiness.. and Repeat Customers

Zappos is Delivering Happiness.. and Repeat Customers

I’ve read a lot about Zappos and have followed their journey for quite some time.  I’m very interested in the art of customer service and have found Tony Hsieh to be a great role model in that regard.  However, I’ve never actually bought anything from Zappos.  To be honest, I just don’t have that many pairs of shoes, nor do I buy new shoes frequently.  When I do purchase new shoes, online shopping isn’t generally what I think of first.

But there was a pair of shoes I really wanted and saw they were available on Zappos; so I placed an order.  The order included free regular shipping (4-5 business days).  The day after I placed my order I received a notification that the package was shipped and much to my surprise, the very next day my package was delivered.

Unfortunately when I opened the package I found the wrong pair of shoes (although the packing slip was correct).  I immediately called to tell them and what happened next was one of the best customer service experiences I have ever received.  First, after I gave them my information, they apologized and empathized that this wasn’t a good way to deliver my very first order.  Second, the customer service rep told me the truth: that they made a mistake labeling in the warehouse and my order was actually swapped with someone in New Jersey.  Third, they remedied the situation by shipping out my shoes next business day (which means I’d still get them even before I was even originally supposed to).  Lastly, they upgraded my account to free next business day shipping on all future orders and provided me with a coupon for my next purchase.

Zappos did things correctly every step of the way.  Many companies spend a lot of money on customer acquisition, but never think to spend a proportionate or even larger sum in customer retention.  It is much more valuable to keep a lifetime customer.  While I’m happy that I was provided some “freebies” for future orders, the real service was in acknowledging the mistake, being truthful (even though it was embarrassing to them), and working to solve the problem as quickly as possible.  Any company interested in delivering world-class service should follow Zappos’ lead.

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