One of my favorite companies on the planet is Zappos, yeah, the shoe guys with headquarters in Las Vegas. Now I am not really a shoe guy, I have never bought a pair of shoes from Zappos, in fact I have never bought anything from them. Unless, that is, you count their books on customer service.
Outstanding customer service is the trademark of Zappos, it is what they are all about. So, while I may not be in the shoe business, I am most definitely in the outstanding customer service business. In fact, all of us should be in the customer service business, especially the outstanding customer service business.
I have read Tony Hsieh’s first book at least three times and have referred back to it countless times. So, last week when I saw the new book called ZAPPOS! The Power of Wow! How to electrify your life and your work by putting customer service first, written by members of the ZAPPOS team, I had to buy it, I had to read it, and I had to steal as much from it as I possibly could. If you have not read it yet, I urge you to get out there and buy it and read it immediately. Or even better you can do what I did: buy the hard copy, the e-book version and the Audible version, and work with all three. I use the words “work with” because this is literally the textbook on delivering great customer service.
Amazon bought ZAPPOS a few years ago, but their culture and reputation for customer service was so strong that the folks at Amazon wisely made the decision to leave the company alone. Amazon let them keep doing what has made them so successful with no interference whatsoever from the Bezos gang. And thank goodness they did, because ZAPPOS has remained the same great company that everyone looks up to when it comes to delivering fantastic customer service.
What I want to share with all of you today is ZAPPOS’ Oath of Employment. Even that is unique. Whoever heard of an Oath of Employment? Who does that? Does your company have an Oath of Employment? If not, don’t feel bad, I don’t know any company that does. But anyway. ZAPPOS does and I believe that it is worth sharing with as many people as possible. So here, literally taking a page (or two) from The Power of WOW! By the folks at ZAPPOS! is their Oath of Employment:
- Deliver WOW through service: Whatever it takes. Even if, especially If, it is “not your job” per se. The goal is to make the customer say “WOW!” How often does that happen to you, and your company?
- Embrace and drive change: Always, always be challenging the status quo. I find in our business we especially hate change, maybe it’s because so many of us are old!
- Create fun and a little weirdness: Let your people have the comfort to be themselves and serve their customers in unique and yes, maybe fun ways.
- Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded: Create a culture filled with brave people. People who are brave enough to take risks. Empower people to deliver great customer service. This means even giving them a budget to use at their discretion to right a wrong, and deliver WOW! service. Allow your team to make decisions on their own.
- Pursue growth and learning: “Stay curious my friends” and make sure everyone wants to learn and is always finding the resources to deliver WOW! customer service.
- Build open and honest relationships and communications: Talk to each other, too many times when we have a problem with someone, we will talk about it with everyone, except the person we have a problem with…why is that? People should learn to talk to each other and sort out their differences, rather than letting them simmer.
- Build a positive team and family spirit: Create meaningful relationships within the team. Create events to build team spirit. Create a culture where when someone wins, you all win. Remember a great company is built by a great team.
- Do more with less: Always be ready to figure it out. To work with what you do have, and not focus on what you don’t have. Very simply put…find a way. Creative people always find a way to get it done.
- Be passionate and determined: Be ready to fight for what is right. True passion is based on commitment to getting it done right and on time.
- Be humble: Someone once said, “it is amazing what we can get done if we don’t care who gets the credit.” A great company. with a great team has no room for egomaniacs, people who want to grab all the credit. It is much more beneficial for all to share the failures as well as the wins. Together a team of ten people can accomplish so much more than ten people working individually.
Okay, I know that most of us are selling electronics and not shoes, but that is irrelevant. Whether we are selling to individuals or to companies, those companies have people and business is always about people, we are always selling to people. It’s up to us no matter what our business is to find a way, our own unique way, to deliver WOW! service to our customers. It’s only common sense.