Inc.com has an article/ slideshow online about the lessons that can be learned from Zappos. Zappos is an online shoe retailer, founded in 1999, that is growing by leaps and bounds. One of the reasons for their expanded sales is their focus on customer service:
For customers, he has focused on the art of surprise. Zappos advertises free ground shipping, but most orders are mailed overnight. The idea is to give customers an unexpected sense of joy–and, of course, to get them to buy another pair of shoes.
In a tightening economy surprising and delighting your customers is a great way to gain market share while your competitors are cutting back on their service or engaging in business-as-usual practices.
One of the best ways to provide consistent customer service is by properly automating and organizing your business. A business that is organized around a “franchise model” will be able to provide the same exceptional service to their clients every time!