An internet company with customer service?

This story has popped up on at least a half dozen sites I read more or less regularly over the last few days, and it’s pretty interesting. Zappos, who are as far as I know the ONLY place to buy shoes online (I mean, the only place it’s worth your time to buy shoes), hire new employees, train them for four weeks, then offer them $1000 to quit. This means that they only get employees who actually want to be there. I’ve said over and over how Dell was so much cooler when they still cared about customer service, but it’s a little more surprising to see this coming from an industry where there’s a lot more room to play with the prices. I would expect Zappos to be able to better compete on price because there’s so much markup on shoes (One of the few things I learned about the money side of the business while working at Boater’s World in high school – the store makes tons more profit on shoes and clothes than on electronics). Dell, meanwhile, has a much smaller profit margin on their computers, so it seems logical that they’d have to compete with HP and the others on something else. I’ve never bought from Zappos, in part because I have weird feet and it’s often hard for me to find comfortable shoes. But if their customer service is as great as people make it out to be, maybe I should try.

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