While watching Nightline, I actually found myself getting depressed about a story on how good Zappos (mainly online shoes) is as a company. Would it be easy to operate like that, or hard?
Imagine being so customer-focused that you'd intentionally send your customers to a competitor if you didn't have a product; offer new employees cash to leave (to test their commitment); ensure that every single phone call is handled with techniques from the best customer service training; and be able to give employees 100% knowing that it can pay off in the long run? Well that's what Zappos apparently does.
Here's a few things I wrote down while watching the report:
1. Brand is customer service;
2. If don't have a product, find on other site and direct customer to competitor;
3. Expose employees to every part of the business (e.g., how warehouse works);
4. 4-week telephone training class for all employees, even if don't use phone much;
5. Provide 100% coverage for health and dental - and free food;
6. Don't outsource to other countries;
7. Offer trainees $2000 to leave - because only want to keep those with passion.
Reminded me that it was the same company Seth Godin wrote about where employees are kind just to be kind; such as this story where a woman was grieving and to make her life easier Zappos arranged for UPS to come pick up the shoes (they don't charge for shipping either direction). Also sent her a bouquet of flowers. And she burst into tears being a "sucker for kindness" and told everyone to order shoes from them.
Can we be as good as Zappos? Or even sort of as good?