What can we learn from Zappos.com?

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Do more with less

So, I’ve just returned from a three day Culture Camp at Zappos in downtown Las Vegas.

What is Zappos? Zappos.com is the largest online retailer of shoes and apparel. It has also just recently been purchased by Amazon.com

What is a Culture Camp? Basically it is a three day overview of all things Zappos; core values; company vision; marketing; customer focused call centre; holacracy; recruitment and retention – Learning about and experiencing the Culture of Zappos.

Our business, in some ways is not very different to Zappos…
We are youngish… Zappos has been operating for 15 years, ours 23 years.
We are in the business of servicing our customers with service and products.
Most of our business comes from word of mouth and repeat customers.

So, what are we going to do differently in our business….?

Well, not a whole lot, but also a lot!!!

1.  Finalise our core values and communicate and engrain them into our organisation. Feedback has already been collected from staff on what they consider to be our core values

2. The management and leadership team will tweak and review this feedback based on some already established core values

3. Feedback from the team on our core values.

4. Set the core values

5. Use our core values to guide all our decisions in our business.

Next steps are;

Work on generating more organic word of mouth and repeat customer enquiries. How can we do that? Well, we will work on the customer experience. When a customer deals with us, do we just “knock their socks off” so much that they just HAVE to tell their friends and family about us?

Embrace our team; both attraction and retention. We’ve set up a Facebook page about our company culture, this is seperate to our product Facebook page, and it shows testimonials, videos and activities happening in the offices and franchisees. If we can be transparent in our culture and what it’s like to work for us, we believe it will attract (and repel) the right staff and Franchisees for us.

Have a “Company Day”. This is an opportunity to roll out our Core  Values, and do some team building. At this stage we will probably shut down the call centre for a few hours and fly flu in the national staff for a team day (or half day).

Oh and Tony Heish, CEO recommends a gazillion books to read. So, I’ll list them up here soon, and start working on that!

Here’s a video I shot about my Zappos.com Culture Camp experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvB_0xLv2d4&sns=em

All in all, it’s a great experience. Interestingly we were one of the few privately owned companies attending (attendees of around 25) and our MD was one of few in the room. It really shows that our business is unique in its approach – which is pretty exciting if you ask me!

Now all I have to do is restrain my will to shop on Zappos.com!

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