Thursday, August 28, 2008

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"The goal as a company is to have customer service that is
not just the best, but legendary."

-Sam Walton

We can send a man to the moon, construct a canal to connect two oceans and create cars powered by electricity, yet it's funny how most shoe sizes conveniently stop at size 13. Why can't shoe companies follow the "bigger is better" mantra? It sounds trivial, but have you ever walked into a department store and witnessed store employees shaking their heads? Watch them scramble to the find only one pair of shoes that will fit your feet? Recommend you pursue a career in barefoot water skiing? Yes, there are advantages to being tall, but you can easily stub your toes with size 15 feet.

Sympathizing with Godzilla, Shaquille O'neil or any other Bigfoot, Zappos.com is resizing the way consumers experience shoe shopping. The world's largest shoe store offer selections that satisfy every whim, need and size from Tinkerbell to King Kong. What's remarkable about Zappos is they charge no sales tax, offer free premium shipping and provide excellent customer service. Don't like the style you purchased? No problem. Want to try on two different sizes of the same shoe? No problem. Zappos.com provides free shipping for returns and allows customers to return items with no hassle.

Our digital era encourages slick advertisements, marketing campaigns that dazzle your imagination and viral videos that highlight your company's product, but how many companies still focus on the basics? Zappos' banal advertisements will not win a Clio, but the company's superior customer service impresses the masses, increases repeat shopping and encourages customers to spread the word. It's one thing to watch a funny viral video on Youtube highlighting a company, but it's another thing to provide excellent service that encourages consumers to share their shopping experience with friends. Now, that's a legendary quality that will fit all sizes.

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