Case Study

When you hear Zappos, company culture is likely to be the first thing that comes to mind. While they do sell shoes and other retail goods, it is not what they sell that defines them but how they sell it. Zappos has established a strong company culture based on 10 core values, and fitting into that culture is the most important thing managers look for when it comes to hiring. When you get the company culture piece right, great customer service and a strong brand come naturally.

Tony Hsieh, President and CEO says, “Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes”. There was once a customer that meant to return some shoes to Zappos, but her mom passed away and, so naturally returning the shoes were not on the forefront of her mind. After making Zappos aware of the situation, they arranged for UPS to come and pick up the shoes so the customer did not have to lift a finger. The next day the customer came home to a florist dropping off a huge, fragrant bouquet. She opened the card, and it was from Zappos. Because of the 10 living values this employee embodies, the first instinct was to deliver wow through service. By serving this customer above and beyond what is required, Zappos made this person’s day, as well as gained a life-long customer.


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Culture Building Tip

Zappos has built a reputation based on their strong company culture because their values are not just a list that every employee must memorize, but each employee is expected to embody these values within their personality. When company culture becomes a priority, excellent customer service tends to follow.

So, when you give your employees the means and ability to serve your customers relentlessly, they will be more likely to take ownership of the service they provide as an individual. When the customer is the beneficiary of an engaged employee’s efforts you start to gain customers for life.

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