How Zappos Stays Ahead

Zappos, a subsidiary owned by Amazon, clearly has a unique corporate culture that has helped it to grow in popularity. Today, this online retailer offers shoes, apparel, accessories, and other consumer lifestyle products.

Here are some corporate culture examples that show Zappos’ uniqueness, as reported by Micah Solomon for Forbes:

“Tony Hsieh is sporting a Mohawk, the first I’ve encountered atop a gainfully employed billionaire. I ask the Zappos CEO, who sold out to Amazon for $1.2 billion but continues to run his operation largely without interference, how the Mohawk got there. ‘I try to do one uncomfortable thing every day.'”

“The best way to understand Zappos and its customer service is to study the chalkboard at its on-site contact center. The ‘Daily Breakdown Report’ is simpler than call analytics at traditional contact centers. It lists three categories of customer interaction, each with a Zappos “z”: Phonez; Live Chatz; Emailz. For each, someone has written the number of customer inquiries received for the day (yesterday) and average time to respond.  The volume of customer inputs is heavily skewed to phone: 7,394 calls, answered in 25 seconds on average, 1,656 chats (‘chatz’) answered in 31 seconds each, and 988 E-mails (’emailz’) answered on average in 4 hours and 15 minutes. This final statistic is troubling to Ryo Hanalei Zsun who was guide on my tour. ‘We fell down on the E-mail response. Our goal is to respond in an hour.””

“The chalkboard has a second sector of hand-drawn stats you’ll never see compiled at any other contact center — telling how many flowers, cookies, postcards, and unnamed ‘wow gifts’ have been sent to customers in the previous month and previous year.”

Click the image of Tony Hsieh (with his Mohawk) to read more from Solomon.


This entry was posted in Online Retailing, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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