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SXSWi 2009: Opening Remarks: Tony Hsieh

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 8:44 pm

SXSWi 2009: Opening Remarks: Tony Hsieh by LauraMoncur from FlickrSXSWi 2009: Opening Remarks: Tony Hsieh

The slides were amazing for this speech. You can see them all here:

He was running a pizza joint. There was a guy called Alfred who ate a large pizza every day. A few hours later, he would buy another large pizza. He was taking them upstairs and selling them by the slice.

1994-1995 Worked at pizza business

1995- Microsoft Link Exchange He didn’t pay attention to corporate culture.

He joined Zappos full time. They sell clothing, cosmetics and even housewares. They want it to be about the best customer service.

They look to Virgin for inspiration. Zappos is about being the best customer service.

It means a lot to him to be recognized as a great place to work.

They spend their marketing dollars on customer service. The bulk of their business is from repeat customers.

The telephone is the best branding item that you can use. As low tech as it is.

Free shipping both ways. Order both and send back the one that doesn’t fit.

It’s not just about the policies. We decided that we were only going to show items on their website that they physically have in the warehouse.

We want to be about customer service, NOT shoes. Gave up 25% of their revenue to be true to customer service.

Repeat loyal customers get surprise upgrade to overnight shipping. Creates a WOW experience. Isn’t that expensive? Yes! It’s part of our marketing dollars. Everything that improves the customer experience is a marketing expense.We aren’t trying to maximize EVERY transaction, we’re trying to build relationships with their customers that last a lifetime.

Customer Service: No call times, no scripts. Spend as much time as you think is necessary to WOW the customer.

The NUMBER ONE priority is company culture. Great customer service will happen on its own when you get the company culture right.

They will also fire someone just because they don’t fit in the company culture.

Training is also REALLY important to them. Exact same training as the call reps go through. Go on the phone for two weeks. Then you do warehouse for a week, even if you’re hired to be a lawyer.

They pay people $2000 to quit while they are in training. Only 1% of the people have taking the offer. The biggest benefit is from the people who DID NOT take the offer. They are MORE committed to the company when they don’t take the offer.

Culture Book. They put it out once a year. Ask all the employees to write a couple of paragraphs about what it means to work at Zappos. Twitter has helped the company culture. They rolled it out to the entire company. They have a Twitter class as part of the training.

Twitter.Zappos.com You can see all the tweets from the employees.

Culture really drives your brand. The brand may lag the culture, but sooner or later, it will catch up. Companies are becoming more transparent whether they like it or not. Culture and brand are the same thing.

A woman order a wallet and sent it back with the free return shipping. She left $150 in the wallet. She received a letter from the warehouse worker returning the $150 in the wallet. Thanks for shopping at Zappos. Our warehouse workers don’t make a lot of money. They could have kept the money and no one would have known. This situation took care of itself because their entire brand is about customer service.

They want to own the 3 C’s Clothing, Customer Service, Culture

Zappos is happiness in a box.

Our core values are commitable. We hire and fire based on these.

Be humble is the one that trip people up the most.

Create fun and a little weirdness. How weird are you? People decorate their cubicles. It’s up to them.

How lucky are you? Luck is more about being able to see situations as more than they are.

It doesn’t matter what your core values are as long as you are committed to them.

Figure out your core values as soon as possible. Even if you’re just one or two people.

We believe so strongly in our culture, we’re not scared of what our employees will say.

Be committed to transparency.

Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger. Chase the vision, not the money. The money will follow.

There’s a big difference between motivation and inspiration.

Be interested rather than trying to be interesting.

The payoff is two or three years down the line when you concentrate on company culture.

No matter what you’re experiencing now, it’s really all just part of the path where you’re supposed to be.

Peak by Chip Conely Read it

Research Happiness

Pizza story: Sketchers party At night we went out drinking at a bar. Then we went to the second bar. We went to the third bar… We ended up at someone’s hotel room. They wanted a pepperoni pizza. I used to make pizza when I was in college. They called Zappos and put it on speaker phone. I’m in Santa Monica and I want a pepperoni pizza. The rep said we sell shoes, not pizza, yet… The rep put her on hold and gave her a list of five closest places in Santa Monica that are still serving pizza. If you get the culture right, then your brand happen naturally.

SXSWi 2009: Opening Remarks: Tony Hsieh by LauraMoncur from Flickr


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