Last Saturday at Big Omaha, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos talked about his company’s culture and core values. Not once did he mention shoes during his talk, because while Zappos sells lots of shoes, what they care most about is being the world’s best customer service company.
To that end, they created ZapposInsights.com where they share key learnings with any and all comers.
I love the radical transparency in this company. Zappos employees write a book every year where they detail what it’s like to work there. The book is not edited for content by Zappos management, and Zappos will send you this book for free.
I also love how Zappos opens up their office to visitors for tours and to managers from other companies who want to learn more about the Zappos way in a two-day total immersion exercise.
At Big Omaha, Hsieh told a story about being out on the town with a client who was desperate to order a pepperoni pizza from room service after a night of drinking. When they all got back to the hotel, sadly, it was too late. Room service had closed for the night. So Hsieh suggested that the woman call Zappos as a test of the company’s commitment to customer service. The call center employee asked the woman if she knew that Zappos was in the shoe selling business. She said yes, but that she’d heard how great their customer service was and that she really needed his help. The Zappos rep got the woman her pizza, and the rest, as they say, is history.
By the way, on July 22, 2009 Amazon.com announced the acquisition of Zappos.com in a deal valued at approximately $887mm. Hsieh is said to have made at least $214 million on the deal, and he still runs the company. So, without question, great customer service pays the bills.
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