Zappos.com shoe seller has fanatical employees that live for customer service. They have a company manifesto to put the customer first, something rarely seen in the e-commerce world. I remember Nordstrom having fanatical service and went to extraordinary lengths to keep customers satisfied.
One legendary Nordstrom story is when a long time customer wanted to return a set of automobile tires. Nordstrom is a clothing company that doesn’t sell tires, but to keep this man happy the sales staff cheerfully accepted the car tires and issued an in store credit. When you have lifetime customers, this is a small price to pay for loyalty.
Video from the Harvard site explaining the Zappos employee policy
It’s a hard job, answering phones and talking to customers for hours at a time… when Zappos hires new employees, it provides a four-week training period that immerses them in the company’s strategy, culture, and obsession with customers… paid their full salary during this period.
After a week in this immersive experience, though, it’s time for what Zappos calls The Offer: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.”
Why? Because if you’re willing to take the company up on the offer, you obviously don’t have the sense of commitment & passion they are looking for.
I am sure this money is good an investment in Zappos future. Companies with the best working environment and best employees will win.