Back when Zappos was just starting to become a household name, I ordered a pair of shoes to give them a try. Not long after my purchase, I received an email that said my shipment was upgraded to “overnight shipping” for free. It wasn’t a joke– my new shoes were at my doorstep within 24 hours. To my surprise, when I ordered from this company again, my shipping upgraded yet again. Zappos had me sold.
I decided to see how Zappos’ leaders managed such success. Turns out, their mission is to not only make customers satisfied, but genuinely happy. All this is in large part thanks to their CEO, Tony Hsieh’s passionate stance on business and entrepreneurship. His book, Delivering Happiness, covers his background as an entrepreneur, but also what he attributes to his team’s success.
Hsieh established the 10 Zappos Core Values that his employees abide by — I’ll leave his book to explain them in great detail, but I want to discuss the main takeaways from 5 of the 10 Core Values that all leaders should encourage their employees to embrace.
1. Deliver Exceptional Service
While at one point Zappos’s business model was a novel idea, they now have countless competitors — and they welcome them. They maintain their advantage by ensuring their customer service goes above and beyond. Whether it’s knockout support resources, no-questions-asked returns, or shocking shipping speed, Zappos is known for quality service all the way around. It boils down to respecting the customer and understanding that these consumers are the lifeblood of your company. Without giving a stellar experience to the customer, they will have no qualms looking for another company.
2. Drive Change In Your Company
Originally, Zappos just sold shoes– but to survive they had to pivot their brand identity and become a retailer of men and women’s clothing and accessories. Adapting to the demands of today’s market is a natural part of business and embracing change is essential. I’m always encouraging leaders to adapt and study their industry, even if it means admitting something they’ve implemented is no longer working.
3. Create A Strong Office Culture
Tony Hsieh is a unique character — even as a multi-millionaire, he sports a mohawk and lives in a trailer park. As you might imagine, he strongly believes in adding individuality to an office culture and more importantly, promote a feeling of team unity. By improving company-wide camaraderie, you are empowering your employees to take ownership of their role and the company as a whole. This will enforce their pride in the company and improve their work quality.