I an earlier post I included a story about the ‘Face Game’ American footwear and clothing online retailer, Zappos, use to help build internal communication and understanding.
In his book, Delivering Happiness – A path to profits, passion and purpose CEO and co-founder, Tony Hsieh shares his views on the role customer service played in turning Zappos into a billion dollar enterprise.
I was pleasantly surprised to read his views on telephone contact with customers.
He says, “As unsexy and low-tech as it may sound, our belief is that the telephone is one of the best branding devices out there.
“We receive thousands and thousands of phone calls and emails every single day, and we really view each contact as an opportunity to build the Zappos brand into being about the very best customer service and customer experience… we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time.
“A lot of people may think it’s strange that an internet company is so focussed on the telephone, when only about 5% of our sales happen on the phone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory.”
He goes on to say, “Too many companies think of their call centres as an expense to minimize. We believe that it’s a huge untapped opportunity for most companies, not only because it can result in word-of-mouth marketing, but because of its potential to increase the lifetime value of the customer.”