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I’ve been reading the book ‘Delivering Happiness’ by Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com. There are a significant number of similarities between RedBalloon and Zappos. As CEOs we both wanted to create a place where we too wanted to work. We both believe in experiences over stuff, we both believe that the key to success of business this century is transparency, vision, values and alignment.

And we both believe the company’s culture and the company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin – As we say at RedBalloon Happy People = Happy Customers = Happy Profits

In Tony’s book he outlined his 10 beliefs in customer service. It can almost act as a check list to customer experience success.

Zappos.com 10  ways to Instil Customer Service into your Company

  1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.
  2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.
  3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.
  4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.
  5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to up sell, and don’t use scripts.
  6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.
  7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.
  8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.
  9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service.
  10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.

Every new person at Zappos (no matter there role in the business) has at least two weeks on the phone to customers as part of the induction program. There is no better way to know a business than have time with customers.

Thanks for the reminder to be vigilant, zealous and addicted to the customer experience. We’ll see how we stack up using this score card.

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