How would Zappos fix cars?

We spend a lot of time thinking about how to make our shop a better place for our customers and our community.  We feel like we're pretty good at the basics.  Just a few examples:

  • We have an expert staff who know how to get cars fixed.
  • We have a lot of nice touches for customers who wait on their vehicles: 5-cent Cokes, complimentary coupons for a drink and snack at Third Street Stuff, and we encourage customers to take our waiting area magazines with them.
  • For customers who can't wait around, we have a complimentary shuttle to take them back home or to work.  For longer repairs, we provide complimentary loaner vehicles.

These (and many other) touches have helped us a lot.

But "It can always be better" is my personal motto.  This isn't some pessimistic, glass-half-empty statement; it is a fundamental belief that we can always improve the way we do things.

3So we've been thinking about companies that really excel in customer service, and one name keeps popping up: Zappos

Zappos is a world-class online shoe and clothing retailer who has gained a fanatical customer following because they do a lot of things right:

  • They offer free shipping (both ways).  While not promised, the shipping is often next-day.
  • They have a 365-day return policy.  If your shoes don't fit or don't look the way you expected, return them at no cost.
  • They have round-the-clock customer service.
  • They have a positive culture which puts a premium on providing astoundingly great customer service and having fun.
  • They have an enthusiastic staff which has permission to make things 'right' for customers with frequent pleasant surprises like this one.

Zappos recently agreed to be acquired by, and there has been a lot of concern about their ability to maintain their unmatched customer service. 

But for us, Zappos presents an interesting question:

How would Zappos fix cars?

What would an astoundingly great car repair experience be like?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

We can't wait to see what you come up with.

UPDATE: What you told us.


2 thoughts on “How would Zappos fix cars?

  • August 13, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Working for Zappos has made me keenly aware of customer service. I look for it in every business transaction. If I have great customer service some where, I tell everyone I know.
    A friend of mine was recently in a car accident. While no one was injured, her car was banged up pretty bad. Her insurance company sent her to a repair shop and they told her it would take 20 days for the job to be completed. Everyday that this repair shop is open, they send her a text updating her on the status of the job and counts down how many more days until her car is repaired. How awesome is that?!?!
    If Zappos fixed cars, I would certainly want that implemented.

  • August 13, 2009 at 10:40 am

    The thing the frustrates me about car repair is the unexpected nature and size of the expense. It would be nice to provide as part of the service an educational piece that says here are the expected life cycles for key systems for your car and what you might expect to pay. And here are indicators of failure so we can start to diagnose these issues BEFORE they happen. At some point, owners need to start BUDGETING for system replacement and failure and that takes planning and information.


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