Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the buzz about online shoe store Zappos. (watch this amazing video on Nightline) It seems they’ve turned the world upside down when it comes to customer service – free shipping both ways, a 365 day return policy and even suggesting a competitor’s website when they’re out of stock. The most heartfelt story comes from Zaz Lamarr, who meant to return a pair of shoes but her mom passed away so she didn’t have time:
When I came home this last time, I had an email from Zappos asking about the shoes, since they hadn’t received them. I was just back and not ready to deal with that, so I replied that my mom had died but that I’d send the shoes as soon as I could. They emailed back that they had arranged with UPS to pick up the shoes, so I wouldn’t have to take the time to do it myself. I was so touched. That’s going against corporate policy.
Yesterday, when I came home from town, a florist delivery man was just leaving. It was a beautiful arrangement in a basket with white lilies and roses and carnations. Big and lush and fragrant. I opened the card, and it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. I’m a sucker for kindness, and if that isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is.
Brian Boero from 1000 Watt Consulting recently took a tour of Zappos headquarters in Henderson, NV. The point that stuck with him came from tour guide, or “mayor,” Jerry Tidmore:
“There is no secret to our success, there are no secrets at Zappos.”
If a billion dollar online shoe company doesn’t have any secrets then why should we? Everyone has seen the lists of “10 things to ask your Realtor…” but now it’s time to dig deeper. Stop the smoke and mirror routine and become more transparent by answering these more difficult questions:
• How much do you actually net for selling my house?
• Do you get paid more when another agent from your office represents the other side of the transaction?
• Why do you pick one home inspector over another?
• Do you receive any benefits if I use your company’s lender, title company, etc.
Have a secret you think should be answered? Post it in the comments below and let’s see how many people can be completely honest.