I have the standard small group of shoes when it comes to being a guy….
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 1 retired pair of sneakers for dirty work (digging in dirt, painting, etc.)
- 1 pair of brown dress shoes
- 1 pair of black dress shoes
- 2 pairs of hiking boots (1 winter, 1 summer)
- 2 pair sandals (1 summer, 1 water)
So after this past weekend of forgetting my retired sneakers when I was painting up at Camp, and getting lots of white paint on my almost 2 year old Sambas, I decided it was time to retire those and get a new pair. Besides getting paint all over them, the insides were well worn, and they lost their “bounce” as far as support goes.
I had head about Zappos for awhile now, and had wondered multiple times “how do you buy shoes online, but not try them on”? I tend to need a shoe with a wide foot and narrow heal or else my foot slips out the back when walking, so I usually have to try on multiple pairs of shoes before I find one that fits.
I decided to give the service a try and said “What the heck? I can always either return them or sell them online for the same as I paid for them.” I was pleasantly surprised how easy the site was, how simple the order process was to navigate, and that Zappos had a 365 day original condition return/exchange policy (with free return shipping!) for either Zappos credit, or origional payment refund.
The bigger surprise came when it came to shipping my order out. Not only do they offer free standard shipping on their orders, but the day after the order, I received an e-mail that said the shipping on my order was upgraded to priority shipping. Next thing I knew, I had a UPS tracking number and the package was waiting for me upon my return home from work Thursday night. From order creation, to delivery, the whole process only took 1 day 18 hours. Shoes fit, I was a happy customer, and will now highly recommend the site to all my friends.
Moral of the story…provide good customer service, and you will keep a customer for their lifetime. Better yet, they will spread the good word about your product service for free to others, and you get to spend less money on marketing. Even if something happens to an order, being in constant communication with your customer, and helping them through an issue will make them feel better about using you service in the future.
At least one online retailer gets this new world of marketing.