Marketing and business writers like Seth Godin, Tom Peters, Kevin Hogan and I regularly report on experiences with companies that just make you shake your head in amazement (and rarely the good kind. On Seth's blog today, he points to a site where someone memorialized their experiece with Zappos, the online shoe sales company. The blog post about the Zappos experience is very touching and a must read.
One of the most read posts on my blog is about how I was terribly mistreated at Best Buy. Best Buy still doesn't get it. Zappos on the other hand does and they did a lot of things right.
1. They recognized that a customer was important to them and they treated them like a valued friend, not a number.
2. The organization empowered their team to take actions that support customers and build brand. I'm confident not to build brand but to build relationships and because they understand that sometimes support comes from the most unexpected places in a time of need. Russell Friedman at The Grief Recovery institute will love this story.
3. They understand that marketing is about impressions . . . not multiple impressions in multiple media, but a single, highly charged emotional impression that stays with the customer forever. While I agree with Seth that Zappos didn't do this for the PR it will generate, look at the amount of PR it has already generated. Seth's blog, now mine and how many more before the end of the day . . . and the month.
I've never purchased shoes from Zappos but I'm going shopping right now because I can't wait to see what my experience is like with a company that is obviously obsessed with doing the right thing.
Congratulations Zappos! Keep setting the pace, one company at a time we can bring back service, relationships and marketing that makes good sense.