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A Direct Line of Lessons from Zappos Customer Service:

March 14th, 2009 by Shannon Newton

Really enjoyed the opening remarks by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. A company that really does the customer service thing right said a few words on their approach. There were all sorts of good tidbits about company culture (and the importance of it), hiring right and empowering.

One of the little highlights of Tony’s speech for this quirky company was that they hired artists to simultaneously draw a giant notes page while Tony talked. They didn’t have forewarning of what he was going to talk about, they just wrote (in a much more artistic fashion than most of us of course) as Tony talked. Sunni brown was the artist on the left side of the stage.

–>The entire Zappos Artboard (super-cool!)

The entire Zappos Artboard (super-cool!)

The most useful thing that I plan to bring back to Market7 is a sense of customer support. They put their 1-800 number on every page and ask customers to call them about anything. Best of all, none of their customer support team members are given a script nor measured on length of call.

The Zappos philosophy: ‘We want to be the best customer service organization in the world. Support calls are like our marketing outreach. They take what they take to satisfy the customer. The only measure that matters is how satisified the customer feels when you hang up.’ (paraphrased)

Hear Tony describe it in his own words (sorry for the poor camera quality cell phone):

The other thing I thought Tony said that was great was the Seven steps to building a brand:

  1. Decide (what the brand is)
  2. Figure out values & culture (everyone in company contributes) *see zappos values here
  3. Commit to transparency (everywhere)
  4. Vision for future (clearly lay it out)
  5. Build relationships with customers
  6. Build your team (based on your cultural values)
  7. Think long term (reinforce the mindset constantly)

The difference between Zappos and many other brands? These people actually believe what they say.

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