Simply great service at Zappos

My son lost one of his dress shoes at school the other day.  Don’t ask.  I don’t know how you lose one shoe.

So last night (Tuesday) he and his mother went to the store where he bought them.  Nothing in his size.  They get home and for a variety of reasons they don’t get online until about 10 p.m.  They find the shoes and my wife calls Zappos to confirm that we’ll get the shoes by Thursday with one-day shipping.  I’m not clear on the rest of the conversation, but Zappos waives the overnight delivery charges.  No reason given, but it sounded like it was because we were first-time buyers.

It's like Tony Hsieh was sitting outside the house when we ordered Tyler's shoes.
It's like Tony Hsieh was sitting outside the house when we ordered Tyler's shoes.

So we get up this morning to find an e-mail with a tracking number.  The doorbell rings at 9 a.m. It’s the UPS guy with the shoes.  That’s right.  Eleven hours after ordering the shoes, we had them.  The customer survey arrived shortly after delivery, and guess how my wife filled out the score.  She’s now a customer for life.

Zappos has gotten a lot of great press in recent months and was purchased in July by Amazon, which says it’s leaving management in place after the sale closes.  Smart man, that Jeff Bezos.

As a first-time buyer, Zappos didn’t just exceed our expectations.  They obliterated them.   And that leaves me with two questions for you, regardless of whether you’re a retailer, a consultant, or a person within a large company…

When was the last time you obliterated a customer or client’s expectations?

How can you “Zappos” someone’s expectations the next time you deal with them?


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