As someone who has always worked in service focused positions, I place great value on the quality of the service I receive. Where I do business, both in person and virtually, is heavily determined by the attention to positive service and making the consumer happy. Some companies put out a product just expecting that it will sell, no matter how little support is backing it.
This is why I enjoy open source software. The products are often supported by a community of volunteers who are really dedicated to the product and care about it. It’s not just a job. In fact, it’s often unpaid volunteer work. But when someone cares about the product and is passionate about it, they want to share that passion with others. They even give of their own time for that. It’s a wonderful thing to see. Now, once in a while you see a paid employee of a company truly passionate about their product or service and making it the best available.
So what inspired me to write this post? I have recently been reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. Though I have not finished the book, I can tell you that he is clearly focused on the importance of passion in your work. I had a recent interaction with Zappos customer service and I have to say that they exemplified everything that Tony talks about in his book and I agree with.
A while back I bought shoes from Zappos that unfortunately wore through the sole quite quickly. I literally had a hole I could look right through in the bottom of the shoe. That makes for some very wet socks! I contacted Zappos to let them know about the issue and they were happy to make an exchange. I wasn’t ready to pick a new pair of shoes, so they happily made a note on my account and left it for later.
Due to various extenuating circumstance it took me more than a year to get back to Zappos with my decision. When I contacted Zappos Customer Service by chat, they happily assisted me in arranging my exchange of shoes. Despite it being almost two years since my original purchase they took great time and care to make sure I was happy with their product and service. I finished the transaction by 5pm, and I had my shoes delivered the next morning.
Zappos truly delivered happiness for me. This is what real support and service is all about. Something that is lacking too often nowadays, but we need more of. The classic rule of support is, “The customer is always right.” One thing I have learned is that this is not true. The customer is not always right. But that does not mean the customer shouldn’t be happy! If you respect a customer and make sure they walk away happy, they will feel that they are right. That is the real rule in support and service.
What experiences have you had giving or receiving service/support? Do you find my outlook to be right or wrong? Let me know what you think!