Zappo’s wants you satisfied

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#397 in the Project was submitted by Joe Gascoigne:

zappos powered by service“As for an example, one that springs to mind is that if you try to order shoes from Zappos and they do not have the shoes you want in stock, they will actually recommend a nearby store that does. It seems counter-intuitive, but I think it really builds trust and it obviously works well for them.”

According to an interview with CEO Tony Hsieh in Chief Marketer, he refuses to see customer service as an expense. Rather, it’s an investment, “Our business is based on repeat customers and word of mouth. There’s a lot of value in building up our brand name and what it stands for. We view the money that we spend on customer service as marketing money that improves our brand.”

Here is another great example from an article in Footwear News:

“One of the craziest stories,” said Jerry Tidmore, who manages Zappos’ help-desk concierge service, “was that a guest checked in to the Mandalay Bay hotel [in nearby Las Vegas] and forgot her shoes.”

According to Tidmore, the guest called Zappos, where she had originally purchased the style, looking for a replacement, but they didn’t have any in stock. So the company found a pair in the right size at the mall, bought them and delivered them to the hotel — all for free.

According to Tidmore, the guest called Zappos, where she had originally purchased the style, looking for a replacement, but they didn’t have any in stock. So the company found a pair in the right size at the mall, bought them and delivered them to the hotel — all for free.

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: Zappos estimates they only touch 5% of their customers directly (e-mail or phone), but when they do . . . they make it count. Faced with the tough situation that they can’t directly help a customer, they’ll even look to a competitor to satisfy their needs. That’s GLUE – giving a little unexpected extra.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra) – Here is Tony Hsieh at SWSWi ’09 talking about the little extras:

Lagniappe defined: A marketing lagniappe, i.e. purple goldfish, is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure.

How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth? Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras?

What’s Your GLUE?

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