How to Be an Iconic Service Brand – Four Things You Must Master

Are you an iconic service brand?

To help you answer that question, here are four essential elements to consider:

1) Relevance: To what degree do you give customers what they say they want?

2) Ease and Consistency: How well do you provide reliable products and frictionless service the first time, every time, and across all channels?

3) Speed: How do you respect your customer’s time?

4) Security: To what degree do you protect your customer’s health, privacy, and data?

Let’s look at how these factors are addressed by the service icon Zappos – a company I’ve worked with and written about.

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As you likely know,  Zappos is a premier online retailer with the tagline – “powered by service.” Team members who perform duties in the Zappos call center are referred to as the customer loyalty team (CLT) – signifying their role in building customer relationships.

To ensure relevant, consistent, and easy service experiences, CLT employees are evaluated on their ability to form a PEC (Personal Emotional Connection) with customers, accurately assess needs, and effortlessly address them. While CLT staff aren’t measured by the amount of time it takes to handle a call, speed matters when it comes to getting to the next customer and expediting product delivery. Finally, Zappos (which is a subsidiary of Amazon) adheres to rigorous online security protocols related to shopping safety.

In addition to monitoring calls for relevant, consistent, easy, and secure service, Zappos asks customers to rate the quality of their service interactions and make suggestions for service improvements.

After a customer receives service, the customer is encouraged to complete a three-item survey. The first item is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question:

How likely are you to recommend Zappos to a friend or family member?

Another question asks, what one thing could Zappos improve?

The remaining question is particularly unique. It essentially reads:

“If you owned a service-focused company, how likely would you be to hire our team member to work for you?”

Like the NPS question, the response options for this novel question run from 0-10.

Collectively, these three questions help Zappos continually improve service relevance, ease, consistency, speed, and security.

Using Zappos as an example, how do you stack up?

I’ll close by asking the question that started this post. Using relevance, ease, consistency, speed, and security as your yardstick:

Are you an iconic service brand?

To learn more about ways to elevate service excellence, please get in touch with me at

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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