The CBS Sunday Morning feature on Zappos, the online shoe and merchandise company, showed how simple it is, really, to elevate the experience of employees and customers. Lead by CEO Tony Hsieh, Zappos has been in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies for the past two years, and Hsieh doesn’t think it’s any big mystery how to have both passion and profits in business (he has written a book to help spread his message, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose”).
Watching the piece, I couldn’t help but think, why can’t call centers everywhere be like Zappos? It isn’t any harder to have someone sit at a desk and be personable, pleasant, and helpful — in fact, most employees thrive in a company culture where they can enjoy their job and be helpful to others. It doesn’t cost any more to provide great service, either — these employees, according to the CBS piece, are paid a comparable salary within the industry. In fact, it probably saves money because costly staff turnover is reduced when you have a satisfied workforce.
Of course, the customer also wins in this culture. All the hassles are removed — the company is easy to contact (they clearly publish the 800-number, available 24/7/365), you are guaranteed to get a helpful and friendly sales representative, they offer free shipping and free returns, and it’s all based right here in the U.S.A.
This looks like it’s about Zappos, but it’s also not about Zappos. We love the CBS story because it is the media showing us what’s possible, what works, and how great life can be, even around simple things like ordering a pair of shoes. Change the media (with more stories like this) and maybe, just maybe, you can change the world.