Zappos was founded in 1999 as a startup selling shoes online. Since then the company has grown exponentially, topping off at more than $1 billion in revenue. The success of the brand is partly due to its unique company culture. Zappos is well known for the way it treats employees and thus how employees respond to customers. A forward-thinking company culture that was maintained even after Amazon acquired it.
Sticking with the Human Element
Zappos understands the worth of a person over a computer. Its employees handle thousands of customer service issues per day that when a customer calls in to report an issue no employee will ever use a script. Why? Because Zappos’ customer service representatives don’t have a script. Service reps greet customers the way anyone else answering a phone might which allows customers to interact with service representatives in a human way – not according to a formula.
Employees will never rush you off the phone because of a call-limit. However long an issue takes to resolve, that’s how long an employee will give you. Allowing service representatives to be themselves – rather than just script readers on time limits which allows a better interaction.
Providing an Enjoyable Environment
CEO Tony Hsieh believes that everything starts with company culture. His theory is that if the employees are happy, then customers will be happy and it’s a theory that actually works! Zappos employees get incredible benefits compared to other employees in similar fields. Not only that, but offices also come with some great perks to keep spirits high during workdays.
The company goes beyond free health care to keep employees happy. Each department is uniquely designed with quirky features like rainforest wallpaper and other fun features. The company offers employees free lunches, access to rooms for naps, and complimentary use of a vending machine. It truly is a place where office parades are much more common than hostile environments. It is a place that combines entertainment with knowledge and work. Managers are not only asked to manage, but to goof off with their employees. This enjoyable environment contributes to the successful company culture that Zappos is so keen on.
Breaking Down Limits
Zappos is a company that does not stick to traditional, formulaic, boring molds of office etiquette and decorum. Whereas at most companies, the CEO would be hidden far-off in some corner office, at Zappos Tony Hsieh can be found at his desk, in the middle of a bunch of cubicles, with an inflatable monkey which sets a great example for others to follow.
Employees are encouraged to reach beyond limits, and there are anecdotes of service reps finding pizza restaurants for a hungry caller, or sending flowers to a recent widow. Without traditional limits, the company allows its employees to succeed beyond normal goals. Employees are encouraged to reach beyond what they are told, and provide a great unique experience for customers. Therefore opening up a great shopping experience for customers.
Unlike many other places, it is a great place to work and to shop. The company does not sacrifice hard work for good work because it provides an enjoyable experience. The employees want to come to work, they want to serve customers and they want to give back to the company. That is the key for Zappos: “Good company culture brings about a good company experience.”