I am a long-time loyal Zappos customer. A while ago, Zappos has been kind enough to reward my patronage by granting me VIP status, which comes with 1-day free shipping option. Now, I get my size 15W shoes sent to me overnight—a valuable perk for someone, who is used to not having his shoe size in store at all. Over the weekend, I placed a new order with Zappos, but it has been slightly delayed. I would forgive my favorite shoe retailer for the mishap—things happen, parcels get lost, etc. I can wait for my new flip flops one more day. Yet something truly outstanding, very Zappos-like has happened today (anyone, who ever shopped with Zappos knows about their superb customer service and many have heard of the company’s innovative hiring practices). I received the following email signed by Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO:
Dear Aleksandr Zhuk-
So, this is embarrassing… behind the scenes, we had a perfect storm of things that went wrong at our warehouses and your order will arrive one day later than we originally promised. We tracked down part of the issue which was the result of human error which partly caused us to do the wrong thing. We just did the math and about 13,000 customers were affected by this, which frankly makes this completely unacceptable since we normally try to underpromise and overdeliver, but that clearly wasn’t the case today.
So, instead of your order being delivered by Tuesday, July 8th, as promised, it’s now expected to be delivered by Wednesday, July 9th instead. If this is causing you undue hardship, please call us at 800-927-7671 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will bend over backwards to make it right. We promise.
If this isn’t causing you undue hardship but is just extremely annoying, please call us and ask whoever answers the phone to do something weird or embarrassing, like sing “I’m A Little Teacup” or do their best audio impression of a cute little kitten.
You trusted us, and we failed this time…
Our goal is to always WOW our customers… while we can’t change the past and the human error, what we can do is change the present and the future.
If there’s anything we can do to get a little smile out of you, just let us know what it is and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
-Tony (Zappos.com CEO)
Have you ever seen something like this? Do you know anyone else, who is able so skillfully turn around a serious issue into a major win of customer loyalty and admiration? Can you do that? I tip my hat to Zappos and proudly remain their customer. Fantastic job!