Zappos and Customer Service
I've heard of the site Zappos before, via the 37Signals blog showing how straight forward they are with shipping and disclosures, etc. But this story is pretty damn impressive -- it's from a woman who had bought some shoes for her mother, who was hospitalized and passed away -before the daughter could return them. In doing an order follow-up, Zappos asked why the items hadn't been returned yet, and this is what happened:
When I came home this last time, I had an email from Zappos asking about the shoes, since they hadn’t received them. I was just back and not ready to deal with that, so I replied that my mom had died but that I’d send the shoes as soon as I could. They emailed back that they had arranged with UPS to pick up the shoes, so I wouldn’t have to take the time to do it myself. I was so touched. That’s going against corporate policy.
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.
On Seth Godin's blog, he states that he's received numerous questions about whether or not Zappos did this as a PR initiative, and he correctly answers that the answer is, and has to be, NO. This is just good customer service, and a rare example of someone being human in a time of need.
On the other hand, as Public Relations, it works pretty well. They undoubtedly have a customer for life, and frankly, I'll check the site out if I'm looking for a new pair of kicks.