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10 Zappos Stories That Will Change the Way You Look at Customer Service Forever

Companies that are devoted to their customers’ satisfaction reap loyalty and recognition that will reverberate across the business sector and beyond.

Such is the case with Zappos.com, an online shoe and clothing shop based in Nevada. The e-commerce website raised the bar high in terms of providing the best client experience, you’ve most likely heard about them too!

They have stood by their core values which includes giving their customers a WOW service—being unconventional and innovative in their approach. They have modified their customer service metrics from the usual call time, tickets opened, tickets resolved, response time, and the like to what they call a Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Personal Service Level (PSL) for each of their service reps.

Its goal is to identify how customers will frequently shop with them and share the experience with others as well as qualify the time spent with customers. And because they have invested time with their clients, the good feedback about their company and their services just kept pouring in.

So we have rounded up the Top 10 inspiring Zappos customer service stories that will challenge businesses how to become better at offering first-rate customer service experience:

1. The Best Man and his shoes

Jay purchased his shoes off Zappos.com for his best man stint mainly because they were the cheapest. Unfortunately, the courier routed his package to the wrong location and won’t be arriving on the day he’s supposed to wear it. So he called Zappos about his dilemma and immediately got his issue solved in no time. Not only did Zappos settle the problem by offering to overnight a replacement pair of shoes at no cost, but he was also even upgraded to a VIP account and given a complete refund.

Jay, blown away by the great customer service he received only has this to say, “Zappos has earned a customer for life — In addition to all of this, I originally ordered from them because they had the cheapest deal on the shoes I needed.

2. Free Toll for Massachusetts Turnpike Motorists

Zappos spreads good cheer for Thanksgiving. They teamed up with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to cover the tolls on a particular section of the road from 5-7 PM back in November 2011. Massachusetts Department of Transportation CEO and Secretary Richard Davey said they wanted to make the drivers’ travel less stressful due to the holiday. Ain’t that thoughtful?

3. Record-Breaking 10-hour Customer Service Call

Contrary to the accepted call duration metric, Zappos doesn’t hurry its customers just to beat a call time requirement. This particular customer service phone call on December 8, 2012, was not even about a complaint. The Zappos customer service rep took time to have a conversation with the caller about living in the Las Vegas area which clocked in at 10 hours and 29 minutes!

While the phone chat may have gone beyond clothes and shoes, it still ended with the caller purchasing a pair of Ugg boots. One Zappos rep explains, “Sometimes people just need to call and talk…We don’t judge, we just want to help.

4. Refusing a Shoe Exchange

No, it is not bad feedback. Truth is, Sarah was a happy Zappos customer. She emailed Zappos to have his son’s Keen Kids Newport H2 sandals exchanged because one of its straps broke. A prompt reply was sent back to her saying that they will be overnighting her order for free and she doesn’t have to send back the defective pair.

When the shoes finally arrived, it was actually the wrong pair. She tried sending it back to Zappos but they refused. Instead, they told her to donate the shoes to charity while they overnight the correct ones to her.

5. Leather-Free Shoes for Vegans

As per Wikipedia, “veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals.” Hence the very limited options vegans have when it comes to purchasing food and other items like clothing and footwear. But Tabathia S. was so delighted for Zappos to consider vegans like her.

She posted this on Zappos Customer Testimonial page, “I just found out that Zappos added a category for Vegan shoes and products! You don’t even know how happy this makes me to find leather-free goods. I just forwarded the link to a group of about 150 people. Thank you so much. Keep it up and please continue to increase your offering.” How’s that for effective marketing?

6. Six Pairs of Shoes and a Bouquet of Flowers

This customer, whose mother’s left foot was numb and sensitive to pressure due to recent medical treatment, bought six pairs of shoes for her in hopes that one of them would work. But after receiving the orders, the mother called Zappos to explain her medical condition and to ask how to return the shoes.

Two days later, a large bouquet of flowers was delivered at her doorstep from Zappos, with a sweet get-well-soon message. Two days after that, the customer, her mother, and even her sister were all given VIP memberships granting them shipping on all orders without charges.

7. Sympathetic Gesture for a Grieving Customer

Zaz Lamarr needed to return some shoes to Zappos but her mother just passed away and was still coping from the loss that she didn’t have the time to do it. When Zappos emailed her to ask about the status of the shoes, she replied about what happened. Zappos took care of the shipping and had the courier pick up the shoes for her at no extra cost.

Zappos didn’t stop their customer care there. Zaz writes, “Yesterday, when I came home from town, a florist delivery man was just leaving. It was a beautiful arrangement in a basket with white lilies and roses and carnations. Big and lush and fragrant. I opened the card, and it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. I’m a sucker for kindness, and if that isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is.” Now, that is what you call “going the extra mile.

8. A Handwritten Card to Remember

Beth, a blogger, first called Zappos because one of the zippers on the Ugg boots she purchased for an 11-year-old family member was broken. So Zappos arranged for the boots to be returned and will have the new pair shipped to them the next day. However, since the style was discontinued, they picked out a different pair which is cheaper than the first. Zappos refunded them the $30 difference and had the defective boots returned free of charge.

Two months later, the boot broke again so she called customer service once more. The replacement pair was actually $30 more than the defective one. But Danielle, the Zappos rep she spoke to, insisted that Zappos cover it, send a label with a free return of the defective shoes and ship the new ones the next day. And they followed through it.

You’d think the service ends there. Beth received a thoughtful thank you card in Danielle’s handwriting. She was so satisfied with the service she received that she blogged about it and encouraged her readers to pass along the story to others.

9. Timmy Wants to Chat About Timmy

This particular one was taken from Zappos Live Chat. The chat support was given to Timmy who had a quirky request which Zappos most happily indulged. He basically just wanted to verify the quality and flexibility of Zappos’s chat agents. Read on:

You are now chatting with Jonathan
Jonathan: Hello Timmy. How can I help you?
Timmy: do you know how wide the G-Shock Atomic Solar – AWG101 SKU #7403774 is?
Timmy: I mean, how big a wrist it would fit?
Timmy: Timmy has a big fat wrist
Timmy: Timmy need to watch grande
Jonathan: I’ll see what I can find out for Timmy.
Timmy: awesome. and can we please continue to talk about Timmy in the 3rd person? Timmy likes to boost Timmy’s ego by talking about Timmy that way
Jonathan: Jonathan would be happy to neglect the use of pronouns for the duration of this conversation.
Timmy: Jonathan and Timmy shall get along just fine
Jonathan: Will Timmy be able to measure Timmy’s wrist?
Timmy: Timmy’s wrist is big, but not Biggie-Smalls big. Timmy doesn’t have the required measurement instruments.

For sure both of them were all smiles after that chat support, as we were writing this. Just as you are smiling now, reading this.

10. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s Personal Story

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, has shared this story with almost all the presentations he was invited to. It was his personal story that he most fondly narrates to his audience.

Hsieh took his clients out for a night in the town so when the bar closed they all went back to their hotel room. One of his clients craved pizza but the hotel’s room service was closed for the night. Hsieh suggested that this client call Zappos for this request, even though his company is a fashion retailer. He was confident about his company’s customer service.

Of course, Zappos did not deliver pizza, but the rep who took the call at 2 AM, found three pizza parlors that were still open near the hotel and made the order for the client.

Our Takeaway

There are too many good Zappos customer service stories but we can only list ten. Zappos was able to cultivate a culture that offers only outstanding customer support. They make customers so satisfied that one actually describes Zappos as “Happiness in a box.”

Our takeaway: make every encounter with customers count. Give them a unique experience, and you’ll be sure to reap benefits from years to no end.

This curation is also available on Slideshare.

Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of networks such as online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!

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3 Tips for Excellent Customer Service in the Ecommerce Industry

3 Tips for Excellent Customer Service in the Ecommerce Industry

There is a whopping 129%  growth in ecommerce orders in the U.S and Canada as of April 21 and 146% growth in overall online orders. With these numbers, it is safe to say that the pandemic has brought a rapid change in the ecommerce environment.  The buying and selling trade has radically shifted from physical stores to online stores and to pair up with the demand, businesses are now flexible and have adapted to meet with the changing needs of online business.

Since more brands and companies have transitioned to digital trade, you need to learn key strategies to successfully navigate your business in the new ecommerce climate. One major key strategy is having an excellent customer service because this directly affects the online shopping experience of your consumers.

We’ve rounded up 3 tips for excellent customer service that may help you excel in the ecommerce world.

1. Improve website and social media health through a great customer service team

About 51% of US adults are now more engaged in using the internet, especially social media platforms during this pandemic. Your company can leverage on this increased digital activity and engagement by taking care of the customers through your website and social media platforms. Since most people are online, they have more time to access your business’ online accounts to know your products, inquire, get customer support such as tracking of orders and even post testimonials or product feedback.

Shoppers are now more cautious in committing to a purchase as more brands are exploring online trade. They tend to research or ask questions before they buy. With this knowledge, you need to have a great customer service team that is prepared to answer pre-purchased questions. This is a crucial opportunity to establish a trusting relationship to your customers. They also equate as in-store customer service which adds a personal touch to their online shopping.

2. Important updates (order info, shipping fees, ETA, etc) should be clearly communicated

The supply chains have been disrupted because certain physical limitations are being imposed. Because of this, your customer service team should inform the consumers for any changes on the order and shipping information such as estimated time of delivery because transparency is key to manage their expectations. 

If your customer service team is proactive and reassuring, this will greatly impact customer experience and will result in high satisfaction ratings. A specialized customer service team called Track and Trace Specialists who track and record shipping information, update shipping status and most importantly verify shipping status to delivery providers are your best people for this job. Note that 70% of shoppers will seek a product elsewhere and abandon their shopping carts rather than waiting any length of time for back orders.

3. Turn customer reviews into opportunities

No matter how hard we take care of our business, we definitely can’t please everyone. One or two complaints will surface but this can be an opportunity for your brand to improve. Most of the customer complaints are delayed shipping and receiving wrong orders. It is crucial to be transparent and forthcoming about any disruptions and why they are occurring.

Infinit-O | Customer Service tips for Ecommerce

A team of customer service representatives will effectively explain why and what’s next about their order. Educating them is key to making them understand any disruptions. This can turn your customers as advocates because most consumers support brands that are honest and emphatic. You can extend your empathy through your customer service team.

As more and more businesses explore online trade, you can bank on a great customer service experience. You can partner with an outsourcing company who can round up a great team of customer service representatives who can communicate your brand well.  Your outsourcing partner can build these teams for you and handle the complexities of order management while you focus on your brand and your business goals.

Partnership with Infinit-O

Infinit-O’s mission is to create endless opportunities for your company to realize your full potential. We take pride in our >97% client retention rate and NPS score of 72 demonstrating trust and open communication. Having extensive and profound expertise in ecommerce support, we’re here to help you build a great Ecommerce Support Team who can address your unique needs with up to 70% operational cost savings. You will have access to world-class talent that will be meticulously sourced and screened through our A+ Recruitment process. As your business demands shift, so can your Infinit-O team. Guaranteed operational excellence thru collaborative Service Level Agreements, metrics-intensive performance, and open communication. We are ISO 27001 and 9001 certified, GDPR and DPA2012-compliant, so your company and client’s data are always safe with us. 

Below are some of the experts we can gather for the unique ecommerce needs:

  • Customer Care Representatives (Omni-channel)
  • Chat / Email Support Representatives
  • Social Media Managers 
  • Online Community Managers
  • Technical Support Representatives
  • Website and App Developers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Market Research Analysts
  • Bookkeepers
  • Other CX professionals

Let’s work together to build a great Ecommerce Support Team

Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.

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