What We Can Learn About Customer Service from Zappos Shipping Program

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Zappos highly successful shipping program is based on a number of customer service strategies proven to lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Companies that satisfy their customers and provide helpful return and shipping resources will inevitably build a solid reputation and customer base. Here is a look at five ways Zappos has mastered good customer service through their shipping program.

Reliable Partners are Key
By committing to one shipping partner (UPS) from an early stage, Zappos was able to get great discounts on all their volume shipments. This reduced shipping rates for customers, which helped Zappos build a solid base for their online services. Additionally, they were able to get their vendors to ship through UPS, which further reduced the rate they had to pay per shipment.



Associate Shipping with Brand Marketing
Zappos did not think only of the bottom line when they added overnight shipping to their online services. Similarly, they looked beyond the numbers for their policy of free returns up to a year after the purchase. These policies helped build loyalty among their customers—everyone who shops at Zappos knows they are getting fast deliveries with a flexible return policy.

Location, Location, Location
When Zappos first started selling shoes online, they were asking their vendors to send the items directly to customers. This helped lower their costs, but it meant that customer experiences were inconsistent and unreliable. Zappos made the decision to place their warehouse within 20 miles of a major UPS shipping center. This drastically lowered their shipping expenses and waiting time for deliveries. While other retailers can only request daily pick-ups from UPS, Zappos receives an hourly service, thanks to the short distance between the two centers.

Free Returns Lead to More Sales
Zappos always tells their customer service staff to talk up the company’s free return shipping policy. Not only does this help a customer who may be hesitant about buying a shoe online, but it allows them to buy more than one size. Since they know that one (or both) of the shoes can be returned for free, they do not mind selecting multiple sizes in their order.

Rapid Delivery, Relaxed Returns
Customers were immediately drawn to Zappos when they learned that the company offered overnight deliveries on all orders. The luxury of ordering a shoe and receiving it the next day means that customers will always turn to Zappos for online footwear shopping. While the company places great importance on rapid shipping, they are more relaxed with returns. All returned items are shipped through the UPS ground service, which saves Zappos a lot of money.



Zappos has found the right combination of offering great products alongside quality services. Customers enjoy the experience of shopping at Zappos and dealing with their staff and shipping policies. A specialist from Jamieson Car and Truck Rental, who regularly works with business owners looking for efficient delivery solutions, says that customer satisfaction often determines how successful a shipping strategy is. Every company could learn a lesson from their excellent customer service techniques.

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