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What’s Your Customer Service Legend?

By: Shep Hyken



If you read it on the Internet, it must be true, right? Well . . .maybe. Recently, there was an incredible story about customer service making its way around the Internet, and yes, it is 100 percent true. You may have read about it—the customer service call that lasted nearly 10 hours. Numerous online publications reported the story about a Zappos.com customer service representative who talked for 10 hours with a customer who called to order a pair of shoes.

If you’ve read my articles before, you should already know that Zappos.com is a customer service superstar. It is a company that others look to as a role model. This 10-hour customer support call is a continuation of the great reputation the business has built, and it offers a lesson for any company.
The call began simply enough, nothing out of the ordinary—a customer called to order a pair of shoes. The Zappos.com representative, who was trained to build rapport with customers in the process of getting information to fill orders, learned that the customer was moving to Las Vegas. They began to talk . . . and talk . . . and talk. The call center rep shared all kinds of information about living in Las Vegas that would be helpful to the customer—the job market, the best neighborhoods in which to live, and other important considerations for someone new to the city. And it all stemmed from a simple call to order a pair of shoes.
You may be thinking, it’s not good that the call center employee spent so much time on the phone talking about unrelated things. But Zappos.com always strives to “WOW the customer through service.” That is its No. 1 core value, and I believe this story truly embodies that kind of “WOW” service.
Should every call that comes into the call center be handled in the same way? Of course not. However, that call got people talking about Zappos.com and earned a spot among customer service legends. Companies should capitalize on stories like this—not only to generate positive press, but to create their own legends among their employees as well as the rest of the business world.
Can you recall other legendary customer service stories? I often relate the tale of a Nordstrom’s employee who gave a customer a refund on a set of tires (and Nordstrom doesn’t even sell tires). The Zappos.com 10-hour call deserves a place in the ranks of customer service legends as well.
Have a good customer service tale to tell? There are a variety of ways to share your stories. One of my clients makes videos of employees describing how they deliver amazing service. This is important, because you never know when one of these could become the next lesson in legendary service. One employee’s story could motivate and inspire others inside and outside the company—employees and customers alike.
Do you have a legendary customer service story? If you do, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it to inspire your employees and motivate customers to want to do business with you.
Published: July 15, 2013

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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more articles on customer service and business go to http://www.hyken.com.

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