Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tony Hsieh CEO Zappos inspiring companies to deliver happiness more than products

Notes from the presentation at Pubcon

Zappos Keynote at PubCon – Tony Hsieh CEO Zappos
• Zappos wants to own the three C’s: clothing, customer service, culture.
• Zappos labels their products “happiness in a box”. Delivering that experience through both digital channels and a tangible product.
• Zappos has grown gross merchandise sales from $1.6M in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2008 by focusing relentlessly on customer service – a potent digital marketing tool
• #1 driver of Zappos’ growth is from repeat customers and word of mouth. Put a focus into the customer experience, create something that is worth talking about. Let customers do the marketing for you through digital (and physical) channels.

• Customer service: What customers see first on the Zappos website:
o 24/7 1-800 number on every page
o Free shipping
o Free return shipping
o 365-day return policy
• What customers experience:
o Fast, accurate fulfillment
o Most customers are “surprise”-upgraded to overnight shipping (creates a WOW experience)
o Friendly, helpful, “above and beyond” customer service – even directing customers to competitors if they are looking for something Zappos doesn’t have
• What Zappos does internally:
o No call times, no sales-based performance goals for reps
o Run warehouse 24/7
o Inventory all products (no drop-shipping)
o 5 weeks of culture, core values, customer service and warehouse training for everyone in Las Vegas office
o Customer service is not just that department, it’s everyone
o Culture book – all employees contribute a few paragraphs. Except for typos, it is unedited. Everyone reads it.

Zappos Core Values

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 honest and open relationships with communications
7. Build a positive team and family spirit
8. Do more with less
9. Be passionate and determined
10. Be humble

Zappos examples of transparency about how they do business.
11. ( Every employee is encouraged to Twitter)
12. “Ask Anything” newsletter
13. Extranet for vendors
14. Tours and reporter visits to the Zappos office ( unsupervised)
16. Live events at

Alignment: it does not matter what your core values are .. as long as you commit to them
Vision : What ever you are thinking – Think Bigger . Chase the Vision , not the money
Entrepreneur : What would you be passionate about doing for 10 years even if you never made a dime?

Evolution of the Zappos Brand
• 1999 Selection ( Inventory of shoes)
• 2003 Customer Service
• 2005 Culture and Core Values as our platform
• 2007 Personal emotional connection with customers
• 2009 Delivering Happiness

Book recommendation
Peak – Chip Conley
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

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