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Tamil Software
அழகி மென்பொருள்
Tamil-English bilingual webmagazine dedicated to education of the masses through E-books, articles, worldwide informations, Slideshows, Presentations on various subjects, photographs and images, moral and objective oriented stories and Lectures including audio and video

Company which bribes employees to quit ?


Customers or Paymasters?

Founded in 1999, is the biggest online Shoe store, with over $1 billion in sales. They have grown from zero to $1 billion in just 9.5 years! They have got over 7.5 million customers and interestingly, on any given day, 75% of sales come from repeat customers, and those repeat customers spend much more than the first time buyers! The majority of sales happens through word of mouth.

Zappos offers customers a huge selection - more than four million pairs of shoes (and other items such as handbags, apparel etc.). What makes them unique is, they offers free delivery and free returns and if you don't like the shoes, you box them up and send them back to Zappos for no charge.

They promises free, four-day delivery. Sounds good? But most of the time they deliver it next-day, a surprise that leaves a lasting impression on customers: "You said four days, but I got them the next morning!"

Hundreds of touching customer experience stories about Zappos are available on the net and the most popular of it is from a blogger, Ms. Zaz Lammar. She ordered 7 pairs of shoes from Zappos for her mother who was sick. Once the goods arrived, out of 7 only 2 pairs fit. The rest were waiting to be returned. But unfortunately her mom got hospitalized and she being away, the shoes were never sent back. Theres a time limit on the return of shoes which is 15 days. When you do a return to Zappos, they pay the shipping, but you have to get the shoes to Courier company by yourself.

Sadly, Ms. Zaz lost her mother and once she got back home, she got an e-mail from Zappos asking about the shoes, since they hadn't received them. She replied that her mom had died but will send the shoes as soon as she could. They e-mailed her back that they had arranged with UPS to pick up the shoes.

Here is what happened after that in her own words - "Yesterday, when I came home from town, a florist delivery man was just leaving. It was a beautiful arrangement in a basket with white lilies and roses and carnations. Big and lush and fragrant. I opened the card, and it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. I'm a sucker for kindness, and if that isn't one of the nicest things I've ever had happen to me, I don't know what is. So IF YOU BUY SHOES ONLINE, GET THEM FROM ZAPPOS."

But here's what makes Zappos even more interesting. As we know, the toughest job is answering phones and talking to customers to solve their complaints. When Zappos hires new employees, it provides a four-week training period that immerses them in the company's strategy, culture, and obsession with customers. During this period, People get paid their full salary.

Once the training is over, Zappos do something unique which they call as "The Offer." The company, after taking the pain to recruit and train, says to its newest employees: "If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you've worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus." Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit! Surprised? Well they have a reason. They believe, if you're willing to take the company up on "The Offer", you obviously don't have the sense of commitment they are looking for.

Zappos today employs more than 1500 people. They know how important it is for every employee to feel like they have a stake in the culture. As a result, they have defined a set of core values that act as a formalized definition of company culture. Their core values weren't formed by a few people from senior management that sat around in a room at a company off site. Instead, they invited every employee at Zappos to participate in the process, and here are the core values that help to keep them focused on the right things:

1) Deliver "WOW" Through Service
2) Embrace and Drive Change
3) Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4) Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5) Pursue Growth and Learning
6) Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7) Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8) Do More With Less
9) Be Passionate and Determined
10) Be Humble

The success story of Zappos clearly tells us that, creating a great customer experience is about getting back to basics - simple human kindness. It also tells us, if we want our employees to treat our customers like stars, then we need to give our employees a little red-carpet treatment of their own.

Its time for us to realize that, our business wouldn't exist without the customers, and all it takes to win them over is thoughtfulness. We need to get that through our head and if we can win them over, they will will be our best advocates. Like Ms. Zaz, they'll tell everyone about their good experience, and our business will grow.

I think, if ever there was a time to engage and reach out to our customers, its now. When we do that, it will come through loud and clear that we do care about them. When they are ready to order, it will be from our company and not from our competitors. And once they order, we get paid - Yes Customer pays our salary!

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