I was looking for a pair of Ugg slippers online the other day as apparently Ugg has discontinued the style I have so I am unable to find them in stores.
Zappos.com comes up as one of the websites that carries the slipper. So I order them and they get to me in two days. That alone is a feat as most online retailers it takes two days just to process the order.
I open the box and what do I find, a slipper made for a Lilliputian. It’s a size 6. I check the box. It says size 9. I pull out the other slipper, it’s a size 9.
Clearly this is an Ugg mistake since the slippers still had the cardboard insert in them and were wrapped in plastic.
So I call zappos.com to fix the issue. I don’t have to wait to talk to someone, and when I tell them my problem, the woman on the phone makes a comment about the well-known fact that each of us has one foot bigger than the other, trying to make light of the situation.
I laughed. And within two minutes, a new pair of slippers was on the way to me, a pdf shipping label was emailed to me (I didn’t have to pay to return the slippers) and a note was made at zappos.com to check the Ugg box to make sure I didn’t get the other size 6 and size 9 for the missing pair I already had.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
It doesn’t have to be so difficult. Just give people what they want.
Mistakes happen. We’re all human. And zappos.com’s way to deal with me was to make fun of the situation. I love that. It says we don’t all have to be programmed to act a certain way, to talk with pat answers that are so choreographed that they take the human out of the human being.
People are people. And they need to express themselves however they want or need to. Don’t stifle your store team’s individuality. Allow them to be who they are and you’ll have a more personable team.
And don’t forget: The customer is always right. So take a page out of zappos.com’s book and make it right no matter what it takes. Do that and you’ll have a customer for life.