Customer service with extra everything
One night, a customer service agent on the Zappos hotline received a call asking for help with finding the nearest late-night pizza delivery. Since Zappos is a company that sells shoes online, the customer service agent was a bit confused. She returned, however, two minutes later with a list of the five closest late night pizza restaurants.
Who was this misguided midnight caller? Tony Hsieh, the Zappos CEO, who had bet a friend that if he called his own customer hotline with a request for pizza, he would get it.
Hsieh is not actually deranged, he just believes passionately in good service. In fact, Zappos' slogan is “Powered by Service”.
The pizza incident was not an isolated case. Customer service agents at Zappos are not measured by how many calls they take, but by how happy each customer is at the end of the call. They can take as long or short as they need to on the call, as long as the customer is happy (the longest call so far was 10 hours 29 minutes).
Although Zappos doesn’t directly earn money from transactions like this, they gain customers for life who tell all of their friends about the unbelievably good experience they had with this one online shoe store.
They did this so well, that they were bought by Amazon for over a billion dollars.
Companies like Apple, Virgin, and Zappos succeed because they’re truly customer centric organisations. Right from the start, they each set customer happiness as their number one metric, gaining loyalty as they grow.
They know that having loyal fans reduces “churn” and guarantees a steady flow of income over long periods of time.
Service design doesn’t just improve the customer experience, it adds value to the business. By 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator. In other words, superior service is the best way to win over more customers and keep them.
You can learn all about it though fun stories like this in Service Design, a short, practical masterclass that really packs a punch from Thomas Cornwall, Rainmaker’s head of Service Design, at 42courses.com