I hate to talk about how amazing Zappos is, because everyone does it and, as David Meerman Scott wrote the other day in "The Trouble with Zappos," doing so frequently elicits eye-rolls from those of us who hear about them over and over and over. David's right. I've seen this myself in front of live audiences.
A lot of people, especially professional service providers, either think Zappos is an anomaly, or that their culture and attitudes don't apply to their firms.
Okay, fine. But please keep reading because this is important.
Last night, I was on the Zappos Facebook page and a few posts down, a customer of Zappos posted a photo of a bouquet and wrote this:
(Rosandra kindly granted me permission to share this)
So. I ask you. Does your firm do stuff like this for your customers?
I don't mean the occasional congratulatory bouquet or funeral arrangement to the decision-maker at a client's office, but generously and sincerely caring about the people who buy from you and work with you to make the engagement a success? The bookkeeper? The GC's admin assistant? The receptionist?
Yeah, maybe it does cost too much money. Let's think about that. Zappos sells SHOES. Their average sale is probably less than $100. An average customer might buy a pair a quarter or spend, say, $400/year. So, how much is your average sale, again?
Yeah, it does take extra time. That's the point. Caring takes a little time. No time. No care. How committed are you to the success of your firm?
NEWSFLASH: YOU DO COMPETE WITH ZAPPOS
Just because Zappos is not a professional firm competitor, they are setting the bar very high among the same, exact people YOU sell to.
Just like Disney, Apple, The Ritz, FedEx, Nordstrom and all the examples we are "tired" of hearing about.
You/we HAVE to pay attention to this and learn from loyalty-creating behaviors they exhibit. We have to become committed to caring if we want to keep our customers. Both law and accounting professionals report that "client retention" is a top issue or concern for them now and in the short term.
Keep rolling your eyes at companies like Zappos and client retention isn't going to improve.