Do People Heart Your Organization?
Here's a question for you. Would anyone in your organization feel like they had the authority to do this?
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.
I'm guessing no. I'm guessing that there are probably a lot of layers of authority and permissions in place that would make most staff not even consider this an option. I'm also betting that your organization would feel like you didn't have the resources to do something like this.
But here's the thing. This is the kind of activity that sets people's expectations for how organizations SHOULD behave. Once you've had this kind of experience, mediocre service just doesn't cut it anymore. And people are talking about it so even if they haven't had the experience themselves, they see what's going on with other people so their expectations are higher, too.
The bar is being raised.
What are we doing to keep ourselves in the game? What are we doing to make sure that people heart us?
I've been impressed with Zappo's customer service, but that story is way above and beyond. Amazing.
Posted by: Robin Reagler | October 18, 2007 at 01:01 PM
Aside from almost making me cry too, this is one the most powerful example of word of mouth marketing I can think of. Why everyone isn't blogging and saving their hard-earned (yes, even corporate) dollars in pursuit of customer relationships is beyond me.
Posted by: Lisa Gates | October 18, 2007 at 08:28 PM
This story almost made me cry, too. And Lisa, I'm with you on wondering why people aren't spending more on building relationships and less on "marketing." This is really the best marketing Zappos could get--this kind of thing creates customers for life.
Posted by: Michele Martin | October 19, 2007 at 07:32 AM