customer experienceBased on numerous web articles about Zappos

Online retailer Zappos is at a different level from everyone else when it comes to providing a positive customer experience. A long time ago, Zappos decided that one of its fundamental core values would be to deliver a WOW through service…

Here are 5 key insights from Zappos that can can help your organization to also deliver a WOW customer experience:

1. The Core Value in the Culture is Service

Irrespective of what business or sector you are in and irrespective of what products or services you offer (and yes this applies to non-profits also), the core of what your organization does is about how you interact with your customers and stakeholders. So customer service is not something that is just bolted on; it has to become an integral part of the organizational culture.

2. It Starts With Employees

It is simply not possible to deliver positive customer experiences with disgruntled employees. When employees are satisfied and engaged and enthusiastic (because they are respected and taken care of), this transmits to customers as well. A second consideration is to then train the employees so they can make decisions in favor of customers without having to constantly check with their bosses.

3.  Each Customer Interaction is an Opportunity to Create Impact

Organizations have many different kinds of interactions: customers who are ready to buy, people calling to make inquiries via email and the ‘phone, disgruntled clients who have a complaint to make, someone who is just browsing/exploring and everybody in between. When customer facing staff know that EVERY one of these interactions is an opportunity to make an impact, they act in a way that provides a sample of what it will be to deal with your organization.

Someone walks in to ask questions about your product/service/organization and within a minute you realize this guy is not your type of customer. But you don’t let go just yet; you have been trained to create an impact in EVERY transaction. So you treat this walk-in with the kind of enthusiasm reserved for important clients and this person will never forget the experience and will talk about this with 10 other people.  It is the word of mouth that creates a reputation and drives results.

4. Listening Makes the Difference

In order to create an extraordinary customer experience, it is necessary to become an extraordinary listener. Rather than using canned scripts common in call centers, listening is the tool that provides the customized experience. Asking a question like “How can we help you?” and then really listening no matter what the situation is – it is this that sets the scene for creating extraordinary impact.

5. ASAP, Any Time 

Customers don’t want to wait for your timelines – they want rapid answers and resolution even for minor problems. A culture that emphasizes “now” instead of later, “as soon as possible” instead of at least 4 working days and “call anytime” instead of please call between these hours is what is needed to drive above-average customer experience.