Material Handling Network

MHN Advertising & Marketing Solutions

If You Think Zappos is Best In Service, You Don’t Know Revzilla

If you’re not into motorcycles, you might not have heard of Revzilla., which launched in November 2007, has always placed a high priority on hiring knowledgeable customer service associates.

The motorcycle gear retailer employs its help agents directly rather than outsourcing customer service. It also affectionately calls its associates “Gear Geeks,” as they are often motorcycle enthusiasts themselves, says Patrick Roscoe, director of customer experience at and its sister company, Cycle Gear, which sells motorcycle parts and accessories online at and operates more than 140 stores. Combined, both retailers employ between 50 and 75 customer service agents in Philadelphia and Las Vegas.

While RevZilla uses a variety of tools and platforms to manage their customer communications and track purchase behavior, their engagement strategy is what puts them in a category that rivals the well-known Zappos.

For example, a customer shared on Reddit: “I sent an email to Revzilla asking why their customer service is so much better than other companies, after having an exceptionally well-handled case. They sent me this handwritten response with about a dozen RevZilla stickers.”

Other real-world comments have included:

“Seriously, I bought a helmet and they called me when it shipped. Then they called a week later to make sure I got it and asked me how it fit. Good stuff.”

“It’s because it’s run by people who understand motorcycles, the internet, technology, and aren’t f***ing old school dinosaurs.”

“RevZilla is amazing. I go out of my way to talk them up and buy from them. Other companies take note: you’re doing it wrong.”

“Ran into a guy this past weekend on his KLR in the rain. He was looking to get somewhere close so I pulled out my phone to check the directions. They were the same exact directions that he had. So I didn’t really help at all, just kinda affirmed what he already knew. Guy turned out to work for Revzilla. Before I knew it I had a free t-shirt in the mail and a couple of extra teamzilla bucks credited to my account. These guys don’t mess around.”

“I tried to price match something from MSS and ended up missing out on their deal, don’t care I’d rather order from Revzilla and pay a few bucks more just because I know no matter what they won’t give up until I’m happy with my purchase.”

What do all of these comments have in common? In short, not just satisfied customers, but elated customers. This above-and-beyond approach has built a following of loyal purchasers. Even though RevZilla is fundamentally a distributor of products and may not have the lowest price, their service has made up for the value gap. They have made service not just a value statement, but an inherent behavior of each and every employee in the organization. They are empowered to take action and rewarded for it. Customers see and feel genuine passion – not a scripted protocol.

This stellar service doesn’t come simply. It requires a combination of hiring the right people with the right mindset, in conjunction with giving them the latitude, ability, and motivation to create an amazing experience. This behavior isn’t limited to interactions on the phone but translates onto their website, where in-house produced videos provide practical and useful information on products, outside of basic specs. Information is presented as clearly as it would be if you were speaking to a person in a store.

This customer immersion is what separates those that have ‘good customer service’ from ‘great customer service’. No one remembers “pretty ok”. Being good enough isn’t good enough to stand out from the competition. If you want to make customer service a differentiator, take a page from the RevZilla playbook. It pays off – RevZilla has grown 10-20% annually since its launch to reach about $175 million in web sales. Not bad for an online motorcycle gear distributor, wouldn’t you say?

Andrea Olson

Andrea Olsen

About the Author

Andrea Olson is a speaker, author, behavioral economics, and customer-centricity expert. As the CEO of Pragmadik, she helps organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500, and has served as an outside consultant for EY and McKinsey. Andrea is the author of The Customer Mission: Why it’s time to cut the $*&% and get back to the business of understanding customers and No Disruptions: The future for mid-market manufacturing.

She is a 4-time ADDY® award winner and host of the popular Customer Mission podcast. Her thoughts have been continually featured in news sources such as Chief Executive MagazineEntrepreneur MagazineThe Financial BrandIndustry Week, and more. Andrea is a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences and corporate events throughout the world. She is a visiting lecturer and Director of the Startup Business Incubator at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, a TEDx presenter, and TEDx speaker coach. She is also a mentor at the University of Iowa Venture School.

More information is also available on and

Subscribe to Material Handling Network

Monthly Magazine

Monthly Newsletter

Weekly Forklift International Hot Sheet

Directory & Recent Insert

Sponsored Content

The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has acquired Trelleborg Wheel Systems from the Trelleborg Group for 2,074 million euro Yokohama TWS will operate as a new company with no change to …

This Just In
Fork Lift