Computerworld reports that the online shoe retailer Zappos.com has nabbed the top spot in online shopping sites by rating agency, StellaService LLC. The firm rated the 150 largest Internet retailers on 300 factors, such as online tools and their Web sites’ user interfaces. The evaluations included usability tests, orders (and returns) of several products, and more than a dozen interactions with customer service representatives via phone, e-mail and live chat.
This isn’t news for Zappos, who boasts numerous awards for customer service. So what’s the secret ingredient?
Fast Company recently interviewed Aaron Magness of Zappos, Inc. In the interview, Fast Company’s Brandon Gutman asked Magness about his position and about how marketing and customer service have changed business. Here are a few highlights that we thought were particularly interesting.
Fast Company- What is marketing really about?
There are five principles that I try to focus on in everything that has to do with marketing:
?? Customer service is the new marketing. The days of dictating your brand to the public are long gone. There is so much access to information; the customer is actually dictating your brand to you.
?? Communicate with your customers, don’t market at them. Customers get bombarded with marketing messages every day (practically every second). Find ways to interact with them. Discussions drive loyalty, not one way messaging.
Fast Company- How do you breed better customer service?
I’m really inspired by positivity. This can take many forms and isn’t the same for everyone, but it really stands out for me. I think it’s contagious and people build off it. It helps in personal areas the same as business. You can’t provide great customer service with a negative attitude or culture. My goal is to be as positive as I can, and hope that has an impact on those around me. I choose to surround myself with positive people and you tend to find that the majority of ‘success stories’ generally have a great attitude about life. It all comes down to the Golden Rule. It’s not difficult to understand and we all have it in us.
We encourage you to read the interview it its entirety.
Zappos’ Marketing Chief: ‘Customer Service is the New Marketing!’