It blows my mind when businesses and people forget that the reason they receive a paycheck, the reason they have a job and they reason they are in business is because of … the customer! Lately I’ve had a lot of bad customer experiences, but being me, I don’t dwell in the negative. I’ll move on and flip this into a positive. In order to do that, I went back to my very first blog post (November, 2010) which continues to be relevant. Through my continued research, Tony Hsieh has set the bar for customer service and continues to do so while inspiring tons of people and corporations (they have even made a separate business out of this!).
For those who don’t know: Tony Hsieh is one of the most widely respected and successful business innovators in the new economy. As the CEO of Zappos.com, he has achieved phenomenal company growth through revolutionary approaches to marketing, human resources and customer service.
Tony has reinforced my evolutionary branding business model: It starts with passion, culture and vision (your brand), then purpose (your plan), add in your credibility (plug in), pull it all together (Power up!®) to naturally and synergistically meet others (connect) and then come the profits (your results)!
Get ready to Power up!® with four success tips from Zappos and [comments from me, The Branding Lady®]:
- Vision. Figure out your passion. Chase the vision, not the money. The money will follow. [Passion and purpose first, then profits.]
- Repeat customers. Seventy-five percent of Zappos sales come from repeat customers. [Customer service is their marketing!]
- Transparency of operations. Maybe the data they share with vendors and other stakeholders ends up in the hands of competitors, but it also adds extra eyes helping to manage the business and feeling like partners.
[The benefits of sharing outweigh the perceived risks.]
- Communicate core values. Employees have created a list of 10 core values and these are used to hire and fire. They include: deliver “wow” through service, embrace and drive change, create fun and a little weirdness, pursue growth and learning, do more with less, be humble. [Although theirs are really great, you need to create your own. Make sure they align with your culture and that everyone can commit to themâ€”every day, naturally.]
I’m currently in the process of forming a new business (soft-launching 7/4/14!!) with other partners, so the question of core values (our purpose and our foundation to excellent customer service and partner synergy) has recently come into play. The Zappos core values are a wonderful list to be inspired by. Not to copycat, but to be inspired by.
Cheers to delivering happiness and celebrating your customers!
SURPRISE BONUS: Check out my photos from a personal Zappos Tour (January 9, 2013)!