Exceptional Customer Service For Non-Customers

Suppose you are a call center representative. You sit in your cubicle all day answering the phone.

Then a customer calls up and orders a pizza.

Now, mind you, you don’t work for a pizza place. Your company sells widgets or some other product.

What would you do?

Would you hang up on the customer?

Would you laugh hysterically at the customer?

Or would you just order the pizza?

This is what happened at a company called Zappos. I’ve talked about Zappos before and their amazing customer service.

The CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh told an interesting story at a conference I attended. (Ann Krause at World of Usability recounts a similar story on her blog.)

Tony recounts that he and some colleagues were out of town at a conference one night. It was late and they wanted some food. Room service was closed so one of the group suggested they call Zappos since they have great service.

They called up the 24/7 number and said they were hungry and wanted a pizza. The agent put them on hold and came back with a list of pizza places that were still open in their area.

They thanked the Zappos agent for the help and were told “we’re happy to help any way we can.”

Why would Zappos do this? Remember, they sell shoes. Not pizza.

It comes down to their core philosophy and values as a company. They understand if they put the customer first, everything else will naturally follow.

Financial, employee, and company success are all derivatives of customer success.

Zappos first considers themselves a service company. They just happen to sell shoes, handbags, clothes, and a bunch of other stuff to the tune of $1 billion in revenue this year.

That is an amazing number and it is all due to the golden customer experiences that the Zappos employees provide for each and every customer.

Imagine what a stellar, word-of-mouth-generating customer experience would do for your business.

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  • http://www.makeorbreakmoments.com/blog Deborah Chaddock Brown

    This is just what I talk about – putting aside the words written on some dumb job description and just thinking about the customer.

    When we work for the customer and not for the paycheck – all the rest falls in line. And you know what else? It is fun. Because as many times as you or Ann Krause or now me – retell this shoe store/pizza ordering story, think how many times the actual Zappos employee who took the pizza phone call has retold the story. too fun!

    What a great example of putting the customer first. It didn’t take a whole lot of time. It didn’t take any fancy training. It didn’t take any expensive equipment. Just a genuine desire to be helpful.

    Beautiful. thanks so much!


  • http://www.returncustomer.com Joe Rawlinson


    I like your comment about putting aside the job description title and focusing on the customer. Definitely a core principle to great customer service.