Zappos, Twitter, and Engagement
Posted by Mark Bennett on May 19, 2008
A Twitter tweet alerted people to an interesting HBR article about innovative online shoe company Zappos. Zappos has enjoyed tremendous sales growth (from $70 million five years ago to $1 billion today) by offering the following value to its customers:
Huge selection (4 million pairs of shoes)
Fast delivery (promises 4 days, often delivers overnight)
Excellent customer service is another key factor to Zappos’ success and this is achieved by having a highly engaged call center workforce. This engagement is enhanced by Trust in allowing employees a great deal of freedom in how they deal with customers, backed by 4 (paid) weeks of immersive training that focuses on strategy, culture and obsession with customers. In addition, a large number (>300) of the company’s 1,600 employees are on Twitter. For folks unfamiliar with what can be accomplished with Twitter, this represents a huge presence in a community of customers and employees (and yes, competitors as well), talking and listening to each other about what’s working and what’s not, what’s hot and what’s not, and basically anything else that provides the “pulse” of the market. The CEO, Tony, is right in there as well, further enhancing the Trust factor as well as providing him another insight into their market.
Furthermore, it turns out that after a week or so on the job, Zappos offers new employees in their call center the pay that they are owed + $1000 to quit. Why? Zappos wants to really know if the employee is truly engaged and this provides a relatively inexpensive way to find out sooner rather than later. In addition, the $1000 option can be (and has been) adjusted as needed (it has grown from $100 to $500 to $1000). This offers a clear, tangible demonstration of the level (and value) of employee engagement (which is typically thought of as very intangible) and how it can be arrived at through measurements like this vs. relying solely on surveys, etc.
This entry was posted on May 19, 2008 at 9:33 pm and is filed under engagement, social network, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.