Our third guest in the "Getting Employees in the Game" track was Jim Carrillo, Customer Loyalty Team Manager from Zappos. He oversees “ToolBox”, leadership development, Live Chat, Work-from-home and Graveyard teams. He has been with Zappos for 6 years, and has seen the company grow into the customer service icon it is today.
The company was founded in 1999, and Tony was originally an investor. Tony was passionate about creating a company that he actually wanted to work in, whence the culture we know and admire. As they say, “we’re a service company that just happens to sell shoes, handbags, etc.”
Zappos Core Values were created by the employees, and are used for any decision, from hiring, to communication, to service. The secret is to actually stick to your core values, no matter what they are.
· Deliver WOW through service
· Embrace and drive change
· Create fun and a little weirdness
· Be adventurous creative and open-minded
· Pursue growth and learning
· Build open and honest relationship with communication
· Build a positive team and family spirit
· Do more with less
· Be passionate a determined
· Be humble
Finding the right team members is critical to get right
- Recruiting team first interviews for culture
o What your theme song is, how lucky you feel
o Tour of the space – what’s the look on their face?
- Managers interview for technical fit, HR interviews for culture fit – has to pass both
- Hire slowly, fire quickly
On-boarding Experience is unique
- 4 week new hire training class
- In Week 2, they get The Offer – everyone in the class gets offered $3K to quit. Is this person committed to working with the organization? Less than 1% take it.
- Those who do actually get $4K as a sign of good will
- 1 week of Kentucky Hero Academy (for the Vegas teams, they need to understand what it’s like on the other side)
- 3 weeks of Incubation – transitional period between training and full-time teams – extra coaching, extra help – get The Offer again.
Training is crucial
- Everyone is a customer service rep – EVERYONE goes through the initial CSR training (finance, HR, merchandising, etc.)
- Every manager at Zappos started as a CSR – the management understands the challenges, helps to inspire them to do well – they know there’s a path up
There are various elements of coaching support that the team members receive, chief among which is progression in their careers:
- Skill sets in Specialty teams (e.g. fraud, training, etc), Mentoring, Ambassador program (working with folks in Incubation)
- Culture: Culture clubs (e.g. Beautification club for decorating the office), Team building & relationship building (e.g. monthly team building events with a $100 budget)
- Growth and Learning: Pipeline classes, Tech seminars (manufacturers they deal with gives overview of brand and products), Senior rep program (via certification & training period), internships
How to support the team members:
- Workspace personalization – creating comfortable work environment
- Create an environment of empowerment
- Provide continuous feedback – lead-to-team member is about 1:10
How to WOW the customers:
- Website is what the customers see first – 1800-number is on every page!
o Free shipping both ways
- It’s all about the experience
o Fast, accurate fulfillment – typical time to shipment is 1 hr
o PEC – personal emotional connection
o Above and beyond – assist with finding item elsewhere if they don’t have it
- Inside message needs to match the outside message
o Phone reps are not tracked on call times
§ Longest call was 8 hours and 28 minutes
o Their only job is to deliver wow. Period.
o Inventory all product – no drop shipping
o Team members empowered to create cards, send flowers – go beyond the moment
What does Zappos get out of it?
- Inspire employee happiness & engagement
- A sense of ownership and pride
- A workforce who make business decisions based on customer happiness
- Results: >75% of purchases are from repeat customers
The questions they ask in their surveys are:
- The ultimate question
- The ultimate question about the specific Customer loyalty team member