I am a subscriber to Seth Godin’s daily blog, and today, when I finally got a chance to read some posts, I read his post “Do You Think They Did It for The PR?” It was a quick post referring people to another post called “I Heart Zappos.”
Seth is pointing out that when companies do good things for their customers they will reap rewards. People will talk, people will know. But they have to truly be doing things for their customers, and not some “campaign” to get PR. When a company gives their customer service agents the ability to THINK like people, and does not tie then into some ridiculous book of policies, customers get better service. PERIOD. The more rules, scripts, policies, etc. that you put in place, the worse off your customers are. I am a very strong supporter of hiring people with BRAINS and giving them space to make judgment calls about how to deal with specific situations.
Beyond that, I am tickled to see this amazing story about ZAPPOS. People who know me are tired of hearing me sing ZAPPOS’ praises. But I love them too, really I do. ZAPPOS is a great online shoe store (it looks like recently they expanded to sell more stuff) for anyone who likes shoes – but hates to shop (me!) Granted I have rarely found shoes on ZAPPOS that are a real bargain. But shoes are always fairly priced (not ovr priced) and you always get free shipping to, and back if the shoes do not fit. Last year I bought 3 different pairs of black boots, so that I could try them all on and see what fit me. I returned the ones that did not. Just a few weeks ago I bought a great pair of Dansko heels. They felt a little big — but i wasn’t sure. I really needed the next size down. So I went online and bam, the next day the other pair were there so that I could try them on side by side with the first pair. It turned out the 2nd pair I ordered was a better fit. I sent the other ones back — at no cost to me! I am about to go back and find a nice pair of walking shoes for a trip to Europe. I just love how quickly they ship to me, how easy it is to return shoes, and how promptly they answer any questions. This is a site that values me as a customer.