Innovation is all the rage these days. Every management book preaches it, and every MBA class teaches it. It's even a category on this blog. But can't we all use a little bit less innovation and more old-fashioned customer service?
All is not lost. Zappos.com is a great example of a company that built an internet retail business by delivering a more reliable service. A shoe company founded at the tail end of the dotcom boom, it's founder, Nick Swinmurm, was unable to attract venture capital. "I didn't have any store experience --- I didn't have any business experience." Through trial and error, Swinmurm and his team discovered that a sure fire way to attract customers and to build loyalty was by providing good service.
Tony Hsieh, Zappos's CEO: "It's not really a secret. People have known for a long time that companies that provide good service do really well. Yet no one does it."