If you follow customer service industry you may be aware that Zappos, renowned for their service, had some recent issues. Upgrading its Warehouse Management System (WMS) caused Zappos to delay customer order shipment. This stumble is important only because it will further strengthen their company.
Any other company and you might be forgiven for declaring the end of the world. For Zappos, however, their customer-centric DNA will win the day. Their brand is built on service and their engaged employees take personal pride in that reputation. They will take the necessary steps to right the wrongs, to improve as a result, and to re-earn our loyalty. And don’t forget the benefits the integrated WMS brings. Zappos gained access to the Amazon inventory and now both companies can take advantage of Zappos’ legendary customer service.
Why might a customer forgive Zappos? Zappos’ reputation was earned through repeated focus and execution. We trust them, believe they will learn from the mistakes, and have confidence they will find ways to improve. They won’t rest until this blemish is erased from memory.
The pivot point is that when your company is known for service, customers give your company the benefit of the doubt and continue to do business with your firm. The reverse is true as well. Companies that are known to have little vested interest in service create the conditions that make exodus a distinct likelihood. Next time you think about cutting costs by cutting service, think about whether or not you could suffer a set-back successfully.
What problems would cause customers to deny you a second chance?