After my efforts to lay my hands on “The Zappos Experience” in Dubai yielded no results, I asked a friend of mine coming from US to get me a copy. I finally received it three days back. I was so thrilled to just hold it in my hands. I wanted to get insights into the Zappos way of working and to know more about the way management created such a service cult. My anxiety was almost like the way you feel when a mystery is to unfold in a thriller.
Finally I got to reading it and I must admit that I found it hard to keep it down. Two nights I woke up in the middle of the night to finish it as I wanted to quickly know the ways of Zappos. The company talks about creating emotional connections with customers. While reading the book, I felt emotional at so many instances. At every example in the book, I felt it was supreme service, nothing could go beyond it and yet the next one touched me more than the first one. There was no end to the number of times I felt wowed. I almost felt deprived that I cannot order from Zappos since they do not deliver international.
I can go endlessly about what all I loved about the Zappos experience (actually been driving my husband crazy sharing stories from the book). But let me pause here as we all know how great Zappos is. I would like to share some beliefs that this book strengthened -
Leap of Faith – When you put trust in people, you get extraordinary results. There might be some who would take undue advantage, but the merits of trusting far outweigh the downsides.
Devotion – When you put your heart into something, devote yourself completely, you create greatness. There are ample examples of this from Zappos – Tony Hsieh devoted himself to create a service organizations. All his decisions were based on the principal of creating wow for the customers. The Zappos team devotes themselves day in and day out to deliver happiness around, be it by looking for a particular shoe for a customer, dressing like a Gnome, blowing bubbles or talking to a customer for more than 7 hrs.
Competition – Genuinely keep your customers at the center of every decision you make, no one will be able to touch you.
Attitude first -I wonder each time I see organizations advertising for an opening mentioning all skill sets, and not a word about the traits they are looking for. They even go to the point of relevant market and industry experience. This tells me that they do not want to invest in training and want the person to start churning from day one. Keeping skills above attitude is certainly a short term strategy. Contrary to this, seeing organizations like Zappos who seek culture fit before anything else, is a hope.
Emphasis on ROI – Businesses are made to deliver profit, but looking at ROI for each expense might not be a good strategy. Executives should take some decisions on instinct, which will bring them closer to their customers and will ultimately bring in more bucks.
Service Velocity – The speed with which you service the customer….loved the term.
Awesome reading the book, will go to the web now to check the online goodies with the book. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for ways to bring in customer centricity in their organization.