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Business Opportunities And Ideas

Is Your Business This Good?

on October 16th, 2007

I read about this post over on Seth Godin’s blog. It’s the story of a ladies experience with a company called Zappos, here’s an abstract from her story:

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 not ready to deal with that, so I replied that my mom had died but that 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 so 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 isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is. So…

Now that’s great customer service and I could just end this post there and we’d have learnt a valuable lesson, but instead I took a look at the Zappos website which initially struck me as nothing special until I took a look at the about page. On that page the company lays out it’s vision:

  • One day, 30% of all retail transactions in the US will be online.
  • People will buy from the company with the best service and the best selection.
  • Zappos will be that company.

It goes on to describe it’s goals:

Our goal is to position Zappos as the online service leader. If we can get customers to associate the Zappos brand with the absolute best service, then we can expand into other product categories beyond shoes. And, we’re doing just that.

Internally, we have a saying:
We are a service company that happens to sell ________.

  • shoes
  • and handbags
  • and clothing
  • and eyewear
  • and watches
  • and accessories
  • (and eventually anything and everything)

We view shoes as just our foundation. We believe that as long as we are known for our service, then expanding into almost any category is possible.

The whole page is worth a read, then afterwards ask yourself “can I say the same about my business?” If not then perhaps now is the time to take the opportunity to become more customer service oriented.

As for Zappos it’s refreshing to see a company lay out such a clear vision and even more refreshing to see it actually living up to it – my congratulations to them.

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  • 1

    Wow, something we could all live up to!

    Alice on October 16th, 2007
  • 2

    I love the phrase “going against corporate policy.”

    It sounds like Zappos is putting the ‘personal’ back into business. Congratulations to them for creating such a great story.

    Thanks for posting it.

    Anon on September 12th, 2008


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