Zappos Service

23:55 Tue 19 Oct 2010
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I’ve ordered shoes a few times from Zappos, and I’ve been quite happy with them. Everything has worked well, and I’ve had no complaints. Today, when I picked up my Zappos package expecting to see my brand new pair of Inov-8 F-Lite 195s (yes, apparently CrossFit trends get to me too), I instead opened up a pair of women’s shoes intended for someone in Seattle.

Zappos are famous both for their customer service and their focus on customer service—and it really showed. Minimal wait time on the phone, an extremely helpful phone rep, and fairly rapid action on sending out replacement F-195s resulted quite quickly. There may be some tricky parts about how I can return the other person’s shoes, but apart from that I’m quite impressed indeed.

Their founder, Tony Hsieh, was apparently dedicated to building a “happiness culture” in the company, and that really shone through in the customer service call I was on. I’m naturally skeptical about such things, and so was inclined to believe that the rep I talked to was feigning cheeriness and empathy, but if so they were doing it extremely well. I think they’re actually happy enough in their job to actually care about customers—which is what Hsieh was trying to achieve, of course. Even for a cynic like me, the difference between that culture and the culture of many other companies was striking, and definitely builds loyalty to their brand—and even generates positive and genuine blog coverage…

That being said, I’m still skeptical (not of that customer service rep) on a few levels, and I highly recommend Venkat’s excellent and insightful book review/essay on Zappos.

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