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01 Complaints as opportunities > Delivering excellent service - Pg. 5

Complaints as opportunities 5 at the click of a mouse. The effect of the rise in access to social media is that the customers of today and the future are more likely to trust their peers than the organizations from which they buy products and services. Aggregator sites such as TripAdvisor, Amazon and eBay, which constantly provide customer feedback, are examples of how customers can shape future purchasing choices. Jeff Bezoz of Amazon.com is quoted as saying: `If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.' delivering excellent service One organization that has taken account of trends in customer service to deliver beyond expectations is Zappos. Zappos is an online shoe retailer in the United States that has won outstanding acclaim from its customers for the level of service it provides. It is also ranked in the top three most admired companies for its customer experience by customer-service profes- sionals (along with Apple and Amazon). Founded in 1999, within 10 years it had a turnover of $1bn and was ranked by Fortune magazine as 23rd on its list of the best companies to work for. From its foundation Zappos aimed to deliver `wow' through service. Customer service is a core element of its culture, and it hires employees who are passionate about service. Zappos offers customers over 90,000 styles of shoes online in every size and in more than 500 brands. It only lists product on its site that it holds in stock. It has a 365-day return policy so customers can try on shoes in their own home and return them within a year at no charge if they are not suitable. It offers free shipping and returns and 24/7 availability. Zappos invested in its own distribution centre which stays open round the clock so that someone can order at 11 pm at night and still receive their shoes the next day. Agents in Zappos' call centre are encouraged to be themselves and to build great relationships with customers. They have no scripts or restrictions to how long they are on a call to a customer. They also answer e-mails from customers and monitor Twitter and other social networking sites so that they can respond quickly to customers' queries and concerns. There is a resource-desk team who answer more complex questions about the shoes that customers request, such as heel height, fit and colour. Employees are