Ideal: Zappos exists to deliver happiness through "wow" service.

An undisputed champion of customer service, Zappos commands extraordinary customer loyalty. "What works in personal relationships -- trust, concern, honesty, warmth, transparency, openness, patience, humility, mutal growth -- works in business relationships," Stengel says. "No one exemplifies this more than Zappos."

The company has a customer loyalty staff without quotas or scripts. Instead it asks employees to interpret brand values for themselves, case-by-case. And there are more of those employees every day. Zappos has recently been hiring at a rate of about 30 people per month and is adding 3,000 seasonal workers for the holidays.

By Anne VanderMey @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 08 2011: 5:39 AM ET
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