Zappos.com on Customer Service & WOM
Posted November 17, 2008on:
Experience Matters posted a summary of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s 2008 WOM Marketing Summit speech on how is company excels in customer service and how word-of-mouth works for them. Reading through the list of core company values, I just kept thinking ‘yes, yes, yes’. It makes sense.
- Deliver “WOW” through service.
- Embrace and drive change.
- Create fun and a little weirdness.
- Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded.
- Pursue growth and learning.
- Build open and honest relationships with communication.
- Build a positive team and family spirit.
- Do more with less.
- Be passionate and determined.
- Be humble.
Most eye-catching part of his advice to me was the part about the new employee training. Zappos sends new employees to a customer loyalty bootcamp. At the end of these 5 weeks, employees are offered $2,000 to quit. A small percentage actually take the dough and leave, but this doesn’t worry Zappos. The desire is for Zappos to hire only the people who really care about their customers, so if this number were higher, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
These are four pieces of advice Hsieh shared with the audience:
- Chase the vision, not the money… “Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.”
- Repeat customers are the lifeblood… “Great product, great service or low prices – choose and focus on 2 of the 3).”
- Transparency… “Be real, and you have nothing to fear.”
- Culture… “Create committable core values.”
All great values a successful company should have, especially the idea of transparency. If, at the heart of a company’s product/service is something real, something of value, and something that matters to the audience, forging a positive pathway for company success should happen organically. Being honest and up front in the face of any overall company faultyness (poor product usage, pr snafus, etc) can’t hurt, either.