Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness is having its launch party tonight in Vegas.
Here is what I wrote:
Consider the philosophy of Zappos, the on-line shoe store. They have developed the ultimate win-win in business. CEO Tony Hsieh has said the company’s higher purpose is not profit but rather delivering happiness. As a result, much time and money go into enhancing happiness of the employees and their customers.
Regarding employees, for example, the culture is centered on what Hsieh describes as 10 committable core values (“those that we can actually apply”). These include:
- Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
- Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
- Pursue Growth and Learning
With respect to this last one, “classic” books like Good to Great by Jim Collins are available for free to Zappos employees so they can quench their intellectual curiosity and become better people, not to mention workers. Food at the cafeteria and snacks in vending machines are also free to all employees, and cubicles (which even the CEO himself has) are decorated to allow self-expression of fun.
To make the customer experience as great as possible, when contacting customer service you actually reach a live person, with each representative in the US and trained to be upbeat, kind and helpful. In an effort to make buying shoes on line easy, merchandise can be returned for FREE up to a year after purchase.
The result? A win-win-win. Win for employees, win for customers and win for the company, with gross sales over $1 Billion in 2008. Seventy five percent of purchases are made by (happy) repeat customers. And, if you have been to Zappos.com you might notice they sell more than shoes. Why? According to CEO Hsieh because their customers asked for them to sell other items. Seems they want to buy more from this upbeat company.
Just ordered my copy of Tony’s new book “Delivering Happiness.” Can’t wait to read what I’m sure will be a humorous and inspiring story on how to bring happiness into the workplace.