Zappos walks the talk
Well I have just had my first experience with them and I am even more stoked.
On Thursday last week I listened to a talk given at LeWeb which was being live streamed by Ustream. Tony Hsiesh the CEO of Zappos.com was talking about thier secret weapon, company culture. Its worth clicking on the link or here and listening to him, I promise. Toward the end of the talk he offered to send a copy of the Zappos Culture Book to anyone who wanted it.
So I sent him a mail. A short while later I got a mail to give me a link to the slides and to say that they would soon send me a copy of the book. The email was from one of Tony Hsiesh’s team, Stephanie, who introduced herself like this:
Thank you for contacting Tony! He reads every email he receives and asked me to respond on his behalf so you could receive a timely response. Tony receives over 2,000 emails each day, and I am part of a small team that assists in answering them. He would have responded directly, but he doesn’t have the hands necessary to type up 2,000 responses at the same time. We’re currently working on replacing Tony’s arms with spider legs, so look for more responses from Tony in the future!
Today is Tuesday, and this is South Africa, well this morning a real printed book of about 350 pages arrived and in it are a whole bunch of little comments from Zappos staff and people associated with Zappos about what Zappos means to them.
Just getting it to me at that speed is impressive enough. So I sent a mail back to the “spider -man” team answering Tony’s mails and tweeted to @zappos to thank him. Interstingly enough @Zappos was on of the first 20 people whom I followed on twitter.
So within a short while I get a reply from @Zappos_service “@walterpike Cool! Look for Christine B. and my silly entry about PBJ’s :)” and sure enough on page 43 is Christine B’s take on the Zappos culture – so I respond and she comes back with “@walterpike I’ve made some pretty amazing friends working here… and some pretty amazing sandwiches.”
Then I get a mail in response to mine; “Thanks for taking interest in our company. I hope you enjoy the culture book. Each employee had the opportunity to write what culture means to them. If you get a chance to check out my entry, it’s on page #70 under “Jess B.”
And sure enough I find it (see the pic above) so I respond to her and soon Jess comes back to me with “I’m so flattered! We really do try our very best to provide exception service. Thanks for the mention on Twitter. If you have any questions for the case study please let me know, I’ll do my best to answer them. Happy holidays =)”
If I was a fan before I am even more now.
- There was no reason to get me the book from the USA in 2 working days. That is just amazing, especially since it didn’t cost me a cent.
- Zappos doesn’t even operate here, so why would they care about me.
- The mails I got were personal and real, from people empowered to interact with me.
- Both Jess and Christine are genuinely proud that they are part of Zappos, why would they want to share their thoughts in that way and to engage with me if they weren’t.
- I have to compare with another experience I have had in the the same 2 days with Cell C (the mobile phone company) to whom I have sent an invoice for wasting an entire afternoon of my time trying to get them to stop billing me for a contract already canceled and also an online book store who have already taken since December 3 to not yet dispatch a parcel to me.
I hope that the folks at Zappos don’t mind me sharing this with you, but I am really impressed and I am reading the culture book with real appreciation, and I can tell you Mr Bezos you would have got Zappos at a bargain at twice the price.
UPDATE: Jon from Zappos, in a comment on this post, invites anyone who also wants a copy of the book to email him.
In: Marketing · Tagged with: Amazon.com, culture, Customer Intimacy, Le Web, Tony Hsiesh, Zappos.com