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January 5, 2011 / jasonpinto

Building Relationships While Our Customers Wait

I have never been good at picking out new shoes. I just don’t think that I have a good eye for it! Thus, when those dreaded times come around and I absolutely need to acquire new shoes, I fully prepare myself for a hive breakout when I get within 50 feet of a brick-and-mortar shoe store. It has also scared me away from online ordering options such as Zappos.

However, that’s changed recently. Reading “Delivering Happiness” has inspired and excited me. Also, it led me to spend more than a few minutes on Zappos.com, browsing for items that would spruce up my footwear collection (I will not confirm or deny that my wife almost cried tears of happiness at this occurrence). While I haven’t yet pushed the button on ordering some new kicks, I did sign up to receive the free Zappos culture book.

Well, lo and behold, Zappos did something that absolutely amazed me.

Certainly, I received a confirmation email after I ordered the book.

But about 3 hours later, I received one more email from them. Below is a picture of the message:

Screenshot of the "While you wait for your order" email from Zappos

I absolutely loved receiving this sort of message. Sure, it alerted me that it will be a few days before I would receive my order. But it gave me two things:

  • The cozy feeling that they care about me
  • A way to pass the time, but yet still be engaging with their brand

When people purchase a product or service from your business, do you make them wait? Depending on what we are delivering, the answer may certainly be yes.

If so, this Zappos example may absolutely provide inspiration for turning those waiting periods into opportunities to build stronger relationships with your customers.

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