Want to hear a truly extraordinary customer service story?
Zaz Lamarr meant to return some shoes to Zappos, but her mom passed away and, naturally, she just didn’t have time. Zappos arranged to have UPS come pick up the shoes – and then send her flowers:
“When I came home this last time, I had an email from Zappos asking about the shoes, since they hadn’t received them. I was just back and ready to deal with that, so I replied that my mom had died, but I’d send the shoes as soon as I could. They emailed back that they had arranged with UPS to pick up the shoes, so I wouldn’t have to take the time to do it myself. I was touched. That’s going against corporate policy.
Yesterday, when I came home from town, a florist delivery man was just leaving. It was a beautiful arrangement in a basket with white lilies and roses and carnations. Big and lush and fragrant. I opened the card, and it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. I’m a sucker for kindness, and if that wasn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is.”
This is just one of the many, many, many heart-warming, happy, touching, funny Zappos’ customer service stories, and the reason why you can’t have a conversation about customer service without eventually mentioning (or even opening the conversation) with Zappos.
So how does Zappos do it? What is their secret of great customer service?
The North American Conference on Customer Management (NACCM) is pleased to have Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House, Chief Culture Ambassador, Zappos.com as one of the keynote speakers, on Tuesday, November 15th, Jamie will present:
As speaker of the House, Jamie works directly with CEO Tony Hsieh, focusing on the culture for which the company has become known. Her role is essential in creating and driving the architecture of the dynamic culture as well as focusing on culture R&D to ensure Zappos.com always stays relevant to both the employees and their customers. Learn the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand, including the importance of customer service and company culture.
Listen to our podcast with Jamie here for a sneak peek.
Plus, hear professional and personal stories from:
Dunkin’ Brands, GfK Customer Loyalty, Dell, The Disney Institute, Hilton Worldwide, Southwest Airlines, Verizon , Humana, Spring, American Cancer Society, JetBlue Airways, Symantec, Best Buy, Kaplan University, Volkswagon America, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Safelite Autoglass, Sears, Customer Care Coach, Mandalay Bay Entertainment, NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Peoplemetrics, Microsoft Bing, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse,and more!
Download the brochure to see why you can’t miss the year’s NACCM.
NACCM is less than a month away, register now to secure your spot. Register today as a reader of the Customer’s 1st blog and save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog.
We look forward to welcoming you this November 14-16 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando.
At Zappos!, customer service has no time limit. In fact, the record for longest customer care call currently stands at 8 hours and 23 minutes!
I had the pleasure recently of speaking with Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House at Zappos for the first of our 2011 NACCM Storyteller Spotlight Series. Jamie shared with me some of the secrets that keep her motivated, and the story of the 7+ hour customer call. To hear more, listen to the podcast here.
Jamie will be presenting “Delivering Happiness” at the 9th annual NACCM event. As Speaker of the House at Zappos, Jamie works directly with CEO Tony Hsieh, focusing on the culture for which the company has become known. Learn the different ingredients used by Zappos.com to build a long-lasting enduring brand, including the importance of customer service and company culture. Jamie’s one key takeaway: How to Deliver Happiness through Service! Learn more about her session and the NACCM event by downloading the brochure here.
Readers of the Customer’s 1st blog can save 15% off the standard registration rate with code NACCMBlog. Register here.
Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The National Retail Federation spoke with 8,000 shoppers and asked which stores they believed had the best customer service. The Top Ten listed were: Amazon.com, Coldwater Creek, HSN, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s department stores, Lands End, L.L. Bean, Nordstrom, Overstock.com, QVC and Zappos. A number of these recently spoke at the NACCM: Customers 1st Conference. Click to read more about Zappos’ customer service and HSN’s customer experience. The winner will be released on January 12. Read more here.
We’ve posted a while ago about how Twitter has made ‘customer service proactive rather than reactive.’ This morning I came across this post from Search Engine Guide in which Paul Jahn reminds us that businesses, especially those who have e-commerce sites, should be using Twitter as a customer service tool.
Customer service reps can simply do a quick search on Twitter for their company to see what people are saying about them. The result, reps will find either good feedback or bad feedback. Representatives can go above and beyond by thanking happy customers and help unhappy customers using Twitter as a medium. Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Frank at Comcast, and many others are just a few examples of people who have used Twitter to improve customer service practices within their company.
In a recent post at the Mavericks at Work blog, Bill Taylor sheds light on the customer strategy that the growing Internet shoe brand has to keep its customers. Tony Hsien, the president of Zappos, took time to explain the procedures that were taken to ensure customers were the first priority of the brand. Currently, Zappos ships over four million pairs of shoes a year and is expected to reach $1 billion in revenue this 2008 year. Since this is an internet company, Zappos focuses on allowing the customer have a good customer experience while never having an actual store, so they focus on the call centers. Contrary to most other internet sites, they have their 1-800 number on every page. When you pick up the phone and call, you’ll be greeted by a living, breathing, customer service employee. Zappos a different approach to training these customer service representatives. They are trained for four weeks while being paid a full salary. Two weeks into the process, every employee is offered what they’ve made the last two weeks as well as a $1000. Hsieh believes that those who turn down this truly show the characteristics of the employees Zappos wants to have behind their name. Zappos is a company that focuses on it’s relations with the customer. It also belives it’s employees happiness and availability to please the customer. As a result, in the call centers, there are no scripts and the employees can take any action in order to please the customer. The blog concludes with this thought: It’s a small practice with big implications: Companies don’t engage emotionally with their customers’people do. If you want to create a memorable company, you have to fill your company with memorable people.