Before I start please note the super cute shoes I just got from Zappos. Adorable, comfortable and I didn’t have to step into a store to get them! It is like a win win all around (and when I say all around I mean for me not for the store that didn’t get my business). Here is the scoop I don’t like shopping. What? Wendy going against another female stereotype … shocking! Almost everything about it annoys me so there is no surprise that I am drawn to online shopping. The King of all Online Shopping is Zappos.com (I made up this title but I’ll fight anyone who thinks it doesn’t fit the brilliant online company). Above and beyond their great selection, easy to use web site, and super fast service the thing I love more than anything about them is their Grade A Customer Service!
Great customer service seems to be a dying art. As someone who was trained as an official Disneyland Guest Service Cast Member this hurts my heart. Zappos has the normal stuff you would expect when thinking “great customer service”, next day free shipping (I’m not sure if this is for everyone or just VIP members — like me), crazy easy return policy (which I used when I ordered “cute” boots that in person were only cute if you lived in a rural mountain community that required hiking through mud and snow), and easy to leave/read customer reviews for each product. What makes them special and gives them that edge (I’d say the “Disney Edge” but that seems corny …. and yet I did it) was the fact that they have empowered their employees to actually help customers and make their experience positive. THAT is what is hard for some companies. Giving up that power. LET ME TELL YOU PEOPLE — YOU NEED TO GIVE IT UP!
I have a number of Zappos examples of this. I am, after all, a very loyal customer. Ask me where I got the shoes I’m wearing (any shoes — water shoes, sandals, pumps, running shoes) and I’ll say happily, “Zappos.” I actually don’t remember the last time I bought shoes at a brick and mortar store.
Recently I ordered a blouse (oh yeah … not just shoes people … NOT JUST SHOES). When it showed up in it’s box o’ happiness I found that the packing slip said it was a size medium, the plastic bag around the garment said size medium but the shirt was a small. No biggie. It’s Zappos! I was confident that it would be easily fixed. I was right! The conversation that followed would have been horrific with any other company. Trust me. In fact call your cable company right now and tell them something is wrong …. let me know how that goes for you! When I call the cable company now the first thing I say is, “let me talk to your manager” because I already know the person who answered the phone can’t help me even if he/she wanted to. They aren’t allowed to. They aren’t empowered. Having that client service job must BLOW! You get yelled at all day by angry people and can do NOTHING to help them. Screw that! Zappos is the exact oppisite.
I called Zappos and a very nice lady answered the phone. She IMMEDIATELY apologized in the correct horrified tone and, after commenting on how cute the shirt was, made sure there was another one available and had it shipped out to me next day. She then offered to help me walk through the process of printing out a return label (which is a crazy easy process) and to find the closest UPS drop off point. So my problem was fixed. Little effort on my end to return the package. New blouse will be waiting for me when I get home the next day. DONE! BUT she was not just empowered she was super empowered. She, without asking — without having to be asked, sent me an email with a coupon for $10 for the inconvenience. BRILLIANT RIGHT? Super nice, super empowered, and since it was a good experience and I now have a coupon she is almost GUARANTEED I’ll go back and spend more money with her company.
I’m sure you aren’t surprised that I did. Once again turn your attention to the super cute shoes up top.
STAY CLASSY ZAPPOS. I HEART YOU NOW AND FOREVER.