The Proof is In The Pudding: The Customer-Centric Recipes of Zappos

Customers buy less in an economic recession, but they still buy—customers are just choosy about where they spend their money. With 75% percent of business coming from repeat customers, online shoe retailer Zappos has certainly cracked the customer loyalty nut.

Zappos made headlines with a customer named Zaz Lamarr. Zaz wanted to return a pair of shoes however she was busy dealing with the death of her mother. She didn't have time to send the shoes back and phoned the call center to notify them of the delay. Zappos arranged for UPS to come retrieve the shoes and send them back to Zappos headquarters. Zappos also sent her flowers. Here is what Zaz wrote:

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. So...if you buy shoes from Zappos you get shoes from Zappos. With hearts like theirs, you know they're good to do business with."

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