Online shoe (and clothing) store Zappos has such great customer service that Charlie Byrne has raved about them twice in ETR. Even so, I’d never tried them out. Until last week, that is.

I was won over by some of the same things that impressed Charlie. First of all, the shoes I was interested in didn’t come in my size. But a few days later, I got an e-mail alerting me that my size was available. Secondly, I was pleased with their 365-day return policy. If I didn’t like my shoes or they didn’t fit, I could send them back. (And I could take my time, too.) Third, Zappos offers free shipping both ways.

And then Zappos did me one better.

When you choose shipping options for your purchase, you have a choice. You can pick "standard shipping," which is the free option. And your purchase will arrive in four to five business days. Or you can pick one-, two-, or three-day shipping, which costs from $7 to $25. I checked the free shipping option, clicked "order," and expected to get my shoes a week later.

Imagine my surprise (and delight) when the FedEx carrier knocked on my door the next morning. (No, I hadn’t accidentally clicked the one-day shipping option.)

You can be sure I’ll be a repeat customer.

Take a cue from Zappos and make "over-delivery" a common practice in your business. Bob Bly recommends that you do this by setting deadlines you know you can beat. "If the customer expects [your product] in 14 days and you deliver in 15 days, you are late – and he will be irritated. But if the customer wanted it in 14 days, then agreed to a 21-day turnaround, and you deliver it in 15 days, you are six days early – and the customer will be delighted."

[Ed. Note: One of your business goals should always be to make your customer service better. Learn how you can achieve that goal – and accomplish all your other dreams – with ETR’s Total Success Achievement program. Click here for details.]