Customer Service 101. A Lesson from Zappos.com

My trip to Las Vegas last week provided me with some very interesting customer service experiences.

I was in town for a seminar, on my own, but with a couple of important side issues to attend to.

We all know “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”…. But let me tell you, I’m bringing home some great customer service experiences to share.

So firstly, a visit to Las Vegas for me also means a visit to Zappos.com, Inc.

Now I’m not a customer of Zappos. I ‘ve never bought a shoe from them in my life. But I have bought their way of doing business. And if you’ve read the book “Delivering Happiness”, written by their CEO, Tony Hsieh, you’d understand why.

The reason I don’t buy shoes from Zappos is simple. They don’t deliver to Australia. That’s all. If I lived in the USA, I’d buy their shoes. And other stuff. Because I love their business model.

Zappos, and Tony Hsieh, are world renowned for their Service.

Their *Customer* Service.

“Most people know us as a shoe company, but we’ve always said we’re a service company that just happens to sell shoes”  – Alfred Lin, chairman, COO and CFO of Zappos.com

When I heard this statement several years ago, I thought “WOW!! I’m borrowing that!”

And I did.

“We’re not a Dental Office that does great Customer Service. We’re a World Class Customer Service Company that just happens to Do Teeth!!” – David Moffet

So my tour to Zappos is booked for 9:00am. And it’s a twelve-minute cab ride, from my hotel.

So I arrive at the hotel lobby at 8:34am. And there’s a line up for cabs. And no cabs. In a hotel lobby. A busy hotel.

At 8:56am I finally get a cab. And the cab pulls into a traffic jam. On the strip. At 9:00am!!

So I call Zappos. And Amy answers and I tell her my tale. That I’ll be late.

Amy says, “Don’t worry. We’ll hold your tour until you get here.”

I tell Amy I don’t know when I’ll get there and ask what time the next tour is. Amy tells me it’s at 11:00am.

Well, I figure that’s not going to work for me so I ask if there’s another tour of their operations at 1:00pm. And that suits me better. Except there’s one thing….

I have a private thirty-minute Q&A session booked for after the tour, and my Q&A host is not available at 2:00pm.

So I leave it with Amy, and she says she’ll get back to me.

Which she does. In like twenty minutes or so. And we’re on for 1:00pm!!

In the meantime, I’d jumped out of my cab, in the jam, and walked the five-minute walk back to my hotel.

Now Zappos.com has just moved to a bigger and better location only six weeks ago.

And I was keen to see the new site, and how it was working, because on my previous trip to Las Vegas last Easter time, I’d toured their previous site.

And I don’t buy shoes from them.

When Zappos.com relocated from San Francisco to Las Vegas in 2004, seventy of their ninety employees moved with them.

Now that’s employee loyalty.

Today they have over one thousand employees and they receive over thirty thousand job applications and resumes every month.

The feeling I get when I visit Zappos is that it really is such a fun place to work. Such a great place to work!

On the tour, you’ll see there are walls and chalkboards allocated for team members of Zappos to write on.

Yes walls!

And there’s even a stairwell where visitors and guests are encouraged to leave their mark!!

 

At the completion of my time at Zappos.com, they offer a cab voucher for a complimentary return back to my hotel. Which is nice.

But after my tour, they decided it would be just as easy to drop me back personally, which they did.

Which was just First Class!

Make me feel important? Make me feel special?

They sure did!!

 

And by the way, it was just me being dropped back. No one else!!

At Zappos.com, their aim is to provide service, not to sell shoes.

At their call centre, their aim is to help their customer. Not sell or upsell.

There are stories abounding where customers have rung for a particular shoe that Zappos doesn’t carry, and the person taking the call will go online and locate the shoe at another company, just to be of service.

Because they are so much more than a shoe retailer.

Zappos.com is a culture.

Zappos is a culture of service.

Customer service.

World Class Customer Service.

At my dental office, we often drop elderly patients home, and even personally go out and pick them up as well.

Another time, we helped locate, and then purchased for a patient, a small light with a magnifying lens, that he needed for a specific purpose. And with computers in every operatory and office, it’s no trouble at all to look up and solve a client’s non-dental query.

And it’s simple.

Are you taking every opportunity to go Above and Beyond your customer’s expectations? Because it’s those moments that create Customers for Life.

Brand Evangelists.

And we all could do with an endless supply of those.

So like I said, I don’t buy shoes from Zappos. Because I can’t.

But if I was going to recommend a shoe retailer to a friend, if I was going to recommend a *Must Do* in Las Vegas?

It would be Zappos…

And that’s how we want people talking about you. And your Dental Office….

Like there’s just no other choice…

 

The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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