Do you want to be the best?

A friend recently shared this video with me that captures the extremes Zappos will go to provide the best customer service.

Many of us would like to see our company or team emulate this level of customer service. We put out inspirational goals about becoming known for providing the best customer service. Maybe at your company, it’s called being customer-obsessed, user-focused, experience-focused, or some other term.

Regardless of the term used, we aspire to become in some way like Zappos, but we forget to consider the lengths Zappos went to deliver this.

If you read founder Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, you’ll get a picture of how they intentionally built the company around providing great customer service. It becomes clear in his book that it’s more than a slogan or campaign, but core to every decision they made.

Here are just a few examples:

  • They moved the entire company to a lower-cost city (Las Vegas) so they could hire great full-time customer service talent rather than using burning through underpaid staff, temps, or off-shore staff. The move cost them $500k, and they lost 20% of their team in the process!
  • They empower their customer service teams by giving each of them a budget to spend money on anything for the customer to go above and beyond (like the video shows). 
  • They made all of their policies super customer friendly (365-day return policy)
  • They changed their business model from a drop shipping model to handling fulfillment (acquired a shoe store, created warehouses, etc.). This considerable investment enabled Zappos to own the entire experience from end to end. 
  • They almost went bankrupt in the process, and Tony Hsieh had to put everything he owned into the company to keep it from going under. 

I’m sure if you talked with the team at Zappos, they’d list off even more. 

Is your company ready for that level of investment? Because Zappos has shown what it will take to be the best. Maybe you’re looking to be the best in a different area, but the level of focus and investment that Zappos modeled is going to be needed.

Are you ready to be the best?

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