August 20, 2014

Extraordinary customer service inadvertently becomes blogger outreach

Anyone who knows the online retailer of shoes and handbags, Zappos will know that they are renowned for their stellar customer service. But this story blew me — and many other bloggers (such as Seth Godin, Jason Kottke, and the folks at 37Signals) — away:

I Heart Zappos

In this post, Ms. LaMarr shares a poignant and heartfelt story that brought tears to my eyes. She described how she bought shoes for her mom that didn’t fit, didn’t get around to returning them, then her mom died. Out of her heartache came one ray of light: from Zappos, the online shoe store where she bought the shoes. Not only did Zappos arrange for a UPS pick-up, they sent her a bouquet of flowers along with their condolences.

Guess what? The customer that Zappos treated with such care and concern happened to be a blogger, and one with some readership. The word of Zappos good deed spread like wildfire. It’s still spreading. This was no PR stunt, it was simply a genuine act of human kindness, and it earned Zappos a ton of kudos in the blogosphere. This is inadvertent blogger outreach at its very best.

Contrast that with the slap in the face that Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza issued to one of their supposedly valued customers by inadvertently CCing the customer in his email reply to his employee:

Please respond, Pasquale, but we owe him nothing as far as I’m concerned. Let him tell the world how bad we are. He’s never flown us before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny.

As you can probably guess, word of the Spirit Airlines CEO’s affront got out to the blogosphere. And boy did it turn into a blogstorm. Now this post is number 3 in Google for “spirit airlines.” Classic. I don’t feel any sympathy for the airlines. Ben Baldanza literally asked for it — “Let him tell the world how bad we are.” Oh brother.

All this just goes to show, one good (or bad!) turn deserves another. Karma is alive and well in the blogosphere.

3 comments for Extraordinary customer service inadvertently becomes blogger outreach »

  1. YES! Customer service is the main differentiator in this day of mass competition and internet savvy shoppers. I also referenced Zappos in my blog and continue to extol their virtues in my training classes. What a thing if we can “virally” help cos who provide excellent cstomer service to grow and prosper.

    Comment by Adrian Miller — October 24, 2007 @ 5:33 am

  2. My next pair of shoes will absolutely come from Zappos. Absolutely amazing story.

    Comment by Alex Rudloff — October 24, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

  3. Zappos is a hub in shoes market becuase it kindness customer services the above story tell that what zappos actually build.

    Comment by Online Shoes Stores — July 10, 2008 @ 11:47 am

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