Archive for May, 2012
Before someone might hire me, they have to trust me.
- Trust that I can fix their problem.
- Trust that I can make their life easier.
- Trust that they’ll like working with me.
Before they can trust me for any of these things, I have to demonstrate that I can be trusted. There are a bunch of other ingredients and nuances, but that’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
What are some of the ways I can demonstrate that I’m trustworthy? A resume is just table stakes. Plus, even a sparkling resume, five-star testimonials and the like don’t really establish the kind of trust that I believe clients want.
I’m talking about the type of trust that includes an emotional connection.
The key word here is demonstrate. The more tangible, the more personal, the better. Because when I demonstrate that I care by sacrificing time or something else, I help establish a personal emotional connection — which is what is most likely to get me hired.
That’s why I was totally blown-away when I recently bought shoes from Zappos.
Things started out simply enough. After going to the company’s Web site to buy a cool pair of black Keen loafers, I ended up on the phone with Christian, a customer service rep in Hendersonville, Nev., to close the deal.
Now, I like to gab. So, I asked her, “Where are you?” and “What kind of shoes are you wearing?” and what have you. Nosy meets voluble.
Well, I not only bought the shoes, I had a good time. Best time I’ve ever had on the phone that didn’t involve…well, never mind.
(NOTE: My shoes arrived THE NEXT DAY. Zappos has its warehouse about half an hour away from me in Shepherdsville, Ky.)
As a first-time custie, I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. A few days after I got my shoes, a small envelop arrived from Zappos with a Nevada postmark. IT WAS A HANDWRITTEN THANK-YOU NOTE FROM CHRISTIAN.
I felt like a schoolboy. For about 15 seconds. Which was when I Googled “Zappos handwritten notes.”
That turned up an excellent post by Stan Phelps, “Zappos and the Importance of Making a Personal Emotional Connection: PEC in the form of Thank You Cards.” Phelps explains that what Christian did — on the phone and afterward — is typical of the customer service branding practiced by all 1500 Zappos employees.
From now on, I plan on buying all of my shoes from Zappos. And, I’m so asking for Christian.