When it Comes to Customer Service – Zappos Just Gets It!


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I’m a huge fan of Zappos – their philosophy, their culture and their obsession with customer service. Zappos has customer service down to a science. They place a great emphasis on their company culture and core values and are truly obsessed with customer service.

How can we tell that they’re “doing it right”? Since its founding in 1999, Zappos has grown to be the largest online shoe store. In the beginning, they had almost non-existent sales, but grossed over 800 million in merchandise sales in 2007 and over $1 billion in 2009. Additionally, Zappos won top honors in customer service in the NRF Foundation/American Express Customers’ Choice survey and, once again, found itself on the Fortune Magazine’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For, ranking in at number 6, up from number 15 a year ago.

I keep up with what’s happening at Zappos, and I’ve even read Tony Hseih’s book Delivering Happiness (which if you haven’t read it, I suggest you do). Well, I recently stumbled upon, yet another, article on their secret to success – this time it was an interview with Scott Klein, Manager of the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team conducted by Erin Harris, Associate Editor at Integrated Solutions for Retailers. In the article, Scott touches upon what it takes to excel in customer service. He stresses their focus on their 10 core values which are:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

He also stresses how important the voice of the customer is – and that, in order to succeed, you must listen to your customers.

Some of the things he didn’t mention – or expand upon – that I’d like to point out, are their hiring philosophy, training process and quirky nature.

At Zappos, prospective hires may walk into their headquarters and find employees wearing costumes during their interview. Employees lucky enough to be hired, regardless of position, are required to undergo a rigorous four-week cultural and customer service training program , which includes at least 2 weeks of taking customer phone calls in the call center (at full salary). After a week of training, the new hires are offered $3,000 to quit – no strings attached. Why do they do this? To make sure that each employee is serious – and not just in it for a paycheck.

If you want to read more, you can find the full article and interview with Scott here: How To Excel In Customer Service: Zappos Tells All and hopefully this will inspire some companies, managers and employees to deliver a little more “WOW” going forward.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Erika Blanchard
Erika Blanchard is the manager of digital marketing and social media for VIPdesk, a leading provider of Virtual Contact Center, Concierge and Loyalty Program Solutions. She is an experienced marketing and management professional with a passion for customer service and social media who has authored several eBooks and guides on Social Media and Web Apps.


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