Customer Experience: Zappos and my Reebok Christmas nightmare

I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of Reebok Easytone shoes for Cassie (the ones in the picture below in a size 8.5). She loved the commercials and since we take a lot of long walks together, I thought this would be a great Christmas gift. But no one has the shoes for purchase (read more about this in a previous blog post).

I even visited Zappos, one of my all-time favorite companies. Even they were out, but I had an interesting experience with Zappos that is worth sharing.

When I logged onto their site and searched for the shoes, the site showed that they had two more pairs of the shoes I was looking for in stock – just two pair! So I hurried and tried to purchase them. The site kept kicking me out of the shopping cart feature. After four tries, I decided to call Zappos directly.

I spoke with a bubbly and very helpful woman. Here’s what I loved about the interaction:

  1. The dialing experience: I called with my cell phone which Zappos had on file from a previous purchase. After a short pause and a ‘please hang on for our next available customer service representative’ message, the woman answered my call, had my account open and was already looking at my current shopping cart.
  2. The diagnosis: Once I described what had happened, she quickly figured out that their site had not updated the product listing once the shoes had sold out. There weren’t two left. Oh well, at least I knew what was going on. She quickly emptied my shopping cart for me.
  3. The solution: She apologized for the mix up and offered me two solutions. First, she had already looked up three competitor websites and found one that had the shoes (it turned out that they were out of stock as well). Second, she offered to put me on a list so Zappos could inform me when the shoes were back in stock.
  4. The follow through: About an hour after the call, I received an email from Zappos. To my surprise, my account had been upgraded to Zappo’s VIP status free of charge. Now, I work in marketing and fully understand that Zappos has one of the most well-thought out CRM programs out there, but regardless, I still felt good about the whole thing.

Zappos gets it! They did everything possible to turn a bad situation into a good one. Now, if I could get one of their Zappo’s coffee mugs at a reasonable price, I’d be delighted. Does Reebok get it? Well, I sent them a quick email about my situation. I am sure they are dealing with many similar emails. I will keep you posted. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

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3 thoughts on “Customer Experience: Zappos and my Reebok Christmas nightmare

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