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22 August 2011

Making “Wow” a Verb, Thanks Zappos

Earlier this year we took a group of our franchise owners on a tour of the Zappos offices in Las Vegas. It was an interesting afternoon. The Zappos offices look more like a frat house then a place of business by most people’s standards.  Employees are encouraged to decorate their work spaces however they want and they appear to have great imaginations because surf boards hang from the ceilings, stuffed animals adorn desktops and lots of other dorm room attire have become standard Zappos work space decorating. This would be odd, except that it is exactly what the leaders at Zappos told their employees to do.

I don’t think the Zappos physical environment would work in most real estate offices but then again who really sees a real estate office today? What I did take away from Zappos was the commitment they have to the customer experience. In this I think the real estate industry has much to learn from the online retailer.

Zappos top 10 ways to instill customer service into your company from the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. 

1.    Make customer service a priority for the whole company. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.

2.    Make “wow” a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.

3.    Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service because they actually do.

4.    Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.

5.    Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell and don’t use scripts.

6.    Don’t hide your 1-800 number.

7.    View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand.

8.    Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of  “wow” experiences to everyone in the company.

9.    Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service.

10.  Give great service to everyone: customers, employees and vendors.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how real estate agents, company owners and franchisors instill customer service in their businesses. How do we make “wow” a verb? I’ve got lots of thoughts that I’ll save for future blogs. In the meantime, I hope you “wow” your customers today.

READ  "P.A.I.G.E.", Revisited

2 thoughts on “Making “Wow” a Verb, Thanks Zappos

  1. What a great list. I don’t think the writer in me can get behind “wow” as a verb, but there is little wonder why they succeeded when you see a customer-centric focus like that.

    Michael

    1. It's a great book to read. It is remarkable how they basically went against every normal concept of organizational behavior and succeeded in large part for being so different. I hear your writer objections but sometimes it's fun to forget proper grammar!

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