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Wow the Employee – Wow the Customer!

How much would it cost for somebody to buy you out of your job?

Well, this is exactly what Zappos.com does.  Haven’t heard of Zappos? They are an Internet retailer that sells shoes.  They are known for their customer service.  They pay shipping costs – both ways if necessary.  Internally they have a saying.  “We are a SERVICE company that happens to sell shoes.  And apparel.  And handbags.  And Accessories.  And eventually anything and everything.”

I think the first line of their “mantra” sums it up; a service company that just happens to sell shoes.  They get it! And, not only for their customers, but also for the employees!

According to an article by Barbara Rose, writing for ChicagoTribure.com, Zappos offers $1,500 to anyone who wants to quit.  They actually offer to buy their new employees out of their jobs!  (Between 2-3% of the people accept the offer.)

You see, Zappos only wants people working there who want to be there. They have an incredibly successful company, and realize that it is not about selling “stuff,” but creating an experience that people love.  No matter how great their website is, or how great their products are, their people back up the entire customer experience.  

According to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, “…in addition to trying to WOW our customers, we also try to WOW our employees, and the vendors and business partners…”  And, they do!

Zappos has created a culture that has employees saying, “I love working here.”  How do they do it?  First, everyone knows the “mantra.”  Second, Zappos trains well.  Third, there are really cool perks that WOW the employees.  No, not the usual corporate perks.  They have pot-luck lunches, bowling parties, haunted houses at Halloween, holiday decorating, karaoke, picnics, go-carting and much more.  The culture is fun.  Most important, they have an environment where people can just be themselves.

All of this is a lesson on taking care of your internal customers so you can better serve your outside customers. Zappos is a role model in this area.

So, what do you do to create an environment in your organization, or in your department that has people saying, “I love working here?” Think about what Zappos does.  Just Google Zappos and you will not only get a link to their website, but many links to articles and accolades that just might teach you something about creating an environment that says WOW to customers AND employees!

Shep Hyken, CSP is a professional speaker and author who works with companies who want to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking presentations, including his customer service speaking programs, books, tapes and learning programs please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com Web: www.hyken.com

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