I recently read an amazing book.
It’s the story of online shoe company, Zappos – I know it doesn’t sound inspiring but believe me it is.
The CEO of the company is Tony Hsieh, who sold his first company, LinkExchange, to Microsoft for $265 million when he was just 25.
He then became instrumental in the set up of Zappos and when onto run it, which sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009.
What’s special about Zappos is that it’s succes is largely down to it’s unswerving devotion to, “Delivering Happiness” in the form of superb customer service.
It’s belief is that if you make the customer happy, everything will fall into line, including profits and so far it’s working.
As an example, in the book, Tony describes an occasion when he attended a shoe convention, in Las Vegas and ended up going on a bar crawl with friend, who worked for a rival company.
They ended up at their hotel, in the early hours of the morning, ordering room service only to be told that the hotel had stopped serving.
As a joke Tony suggested his friend call their companies 24 hour customer service line.
Don’t forget, this is a online shoe company we’re talking about.
Within minutes, without questioning the caller’s motivation, the customer service representative for Zappos was informing Tony’s friend of all the pizza restaurants, still open, within a 3 mile radius of their hotel.
Another example of their customer service practice would be alien to other companies.
If Zappos have a sold out of a shoe, a customer requires, they will direct them to a competitors website, who stock that particular shoe.
This customer satisfaction doesn’t come at a cost to the employees happiness either.
Zappos have an interesting but obvious recruitment policy. They don’t hire people just because their qualifications fit.
The potential employee has to fit their companies culture. They have to be the kind of person who would bring the right qualities to the company ie fun, quirkiness, positivity etc
If you have ambitions in the business world or just like reading inspiring stories then you’ll love this book.
I listened to it on audiobook whilst cycling into work and it took my mind off many strenuous hill climbs.