This is an experience so worthy of honorable mention that it has sparked the idea to create a segment on this website dedicated to excellence in customer and human services as well as to document our efforts after creating Let's Talk Excellence in the Workplace, the corporate seminar service offered by LTOCZ to teach excellence in customer and human service fields of employment. Our first honoree is Zappos.com!
For the first time in my Christmas shopping history I decided to do most of my holiday shopping online. It might sound strange that a person trying to create an online magazine and who depends on online viewership would not shop exlusively online but I'm the first to remind my readers that I am new to the cyber universe and my purpose here is deliberate- To share biblical truth, unconditional love, human interest and excellence globally. This is why Zappos.com is the perfect fit for this first segment. So here's my story...
I was looking for a special Christmas gift for my husband and decided a pair of authentic cowboy boots would be his gift this year. After searching Google for direction on where to find my purchase, I was re-directed to Zappos.com where the perfect boots was showing in stock, on sale, and to boot (pun intended) qualifying for free shipping. I thought I was having the perfet experience until I found myself struggling with my shopping cart at payment making me have to place a call to their customer service department. The first thing I noticed and found impressive was the visible sign on the front page banner which reads, "24/7 Customer Service (800) 927-7671." With Zappos, if you have a problem you can expect to find a real person waiting to address your concerns without the hassle of contact us forms or searching online for a corporate number with a live person.
I couldn't believe how wonderful the customer service experiene was. I told the young man on the phone the experience I had speaking to him was exactly the experiene I was trying to create with my company and until talking to him, the idea was starting to feel like seeking a unicorn in a world of wild horses. Not only did this young man create a zappos.com account for me, he further offered a $5.00 coupon on top of the already very low sale price I had found. Next, he upgraded my shipping to next day at no additional cost! I was so excited, I almost blew the surprise of the gift trying to explain to my husband how amazing that customer service experiene was but I managed to keep the surprise.
The next day, the boots come in and I checked the box for the correct size before wrapping them and under the tree it went! My husbands response on Christmas morning was like a child receiving a favorite thing he never asked for but Santa just knew he wanted and my reputation as Mrs. Claus extraodinaire was solidified! And then it happened, my husband showed me the scuff on the left boot that was nubuck and became immediately disappointed. In trying to repair the scuff, the damage became even more prominent and now we feared the company would give us problems with a return especially on a discontinued, discounted sale item right after Christmas. Since I had dealt with so many customer services teams which were seemingly trained to run customers away I gathered my documents- item numbers, order numbers, pictures of the damage, etc. and prepared to make the call. I wanted to be armed with anything they would need to resolve the situation. Prepared for the worse but hopeful of a repeat experience like the first time, I called-with dread and literally had my mind blown and belief that we as humans can do better expecially in areas of human and customer services confirmed!
The young lady who took my call, Kaela B. was an optimistic, kind-hearted delight. She listened attentively and before I could exhale a sigh of dispair she was ready with a list of possible outcomes. First she checked to see if the same item was available. I told her at the time I ordered I was aware it was a clearance item and I had gotten the last pair in his size but she proceeded to check anyway "just in case." After confirming the item would not be available she offered for me to keep the item and she'd refund the full price of the item OR to shop and they would cover the difference on a higher priced item. After repeating her twice out loud, waiting for her to correct the mistake she was making she further offered for me to take my time assuring me the offer would not expire. I offered to send pictures with a written explanation and she assured me that none of that would be necessary and then she apologized that we had a less than perfect experiene while shopping Zappos.com. In the end, we kept the damaged shoes, received a full refund and even had the original $5.00 discount credited back to my account. As if that were not enough we were given a gift card to shop Zappos again with their gratitude for or patronage and their apologies for our expeienece.
What I explained to Ms. B and what I hope to relate to you in this article is that I could not have had a more perfect experience than I did shopping at Zappos.com. Make no mistake, this was an above and beyond online retail experience. Although the item was blemished the superior customer service, heartfelt and genuine kindness and abandonment of corporate profit over human concern made me a Zappos.com shopper for life! In fact, I can't think of an occasion which will not be celebrated with a purchase from zappos.com! Please visit this online shopping catalog and discover what I have experienced first hand- beautiful products, a huge inventory (I eleted to shop clearance so I knew I was shopping limited inventory but the general inventory was wonderful), and customer service destined to make you a life long Zappos.com shopper. Also know that we will hold Zappos.com, their leadership team and entire staff in prayer asking God to honor their servant leadership approach to online retail with longevity and prosperity refletive of their good will. Great Job Zappos! You're setting the standard of excellence we hope others will aspire to!
Merry Christmas and thanks for letting me share,