By Alexandria Marx
Zulily’s response to a return request made a lasting impression on one customer, that says she will now be a “customer for life.” She called customer service and asked to return an unopened coat she had purchased from the flash sale e-commerce site. A representative refunded her money right away and instead of returning the coat he suggested that she give the coat to someone in need or donate it to a charity, stating that “would make us very happy.” Moved to tears by her experience with Zulily customer service, Kelly Blue Kinkle shared her experience with the brand on Facebook. This earned media has since gone viral, garnering over 50,000 shares on Facebook, being covered by multiple news sites and having a phone interview on The Today Show. Zulily’s customer service department is trying to create positive brand experiences with current customers and encourage brand loyalty. In the past Zulily’s return and refund policies received negative reviews and deterred some potential customers so this post a great opportunity for the brand to respond to those concerns and assure new customers things have changed. The VP of service operations, Maureen Shea, did just that when she issued a statement in response to the story in a statement to US weekly. The comments section is filled with similar stories from customers sharing their positive experiences with Zulily. This is truly an example of communicating brand identity via acts not ads.
I sincerely hope this post goes viral, because I just hung up from one of the best customer service experiences of my life. I ordered a winter coat from Zulily a few weeks ago. When I received my order, I could see through the packaging that the coat material wasn’t going to work well with the two breeds of dogs we have. Coarse dog hair and certain materials don’t mix. I called customer service and asked how to return the unopened coat for a refund. I spoke with a sweet young man named Patrick, and he let me know he would refund my money immediately. I asked again how to send it back, and he said, “Please don’t send it back. If you know someone who needs a winter coat or if you would like to donate it to a charity, that would make us very happy.” I honestly thought he was kidding. It took me a moment to realize he was completely serious, and then came the tears. I just don’t know other companies that do this, do you? I thought Zulily was pretty incredible before, but after today, I’m a customer for LIFE. The world needs more LOVE like that. Honest business. Honest ethics. How refreshing!