“Wow” Works for Zappos, But It Won’t Work For You – Here’s Why

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A corporate trainer in one of my client organizations is gung-ho on the Zappos culture and she is convinced that what her contact center needs is agents trained to make small talk with customers and empowerment so agents can consistently deliver wow experiences – “Just like Zappos does,” she says.

Now, I love what Zappos has done. I have delivered many a keynote and webinar on the Zappos culture. Zappos is the best at the customer experience, bar none. So understand me when I say this: I respect Zappos. But the Zappos culture will not work for anybody but Zappos.

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Zappos brings happiness to an airport on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Wow.

Wow! This actually gave me chills. Zappos turns baggage claim into a game, bringing energy, fun and happiness to the airport on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Brilliant marketing. Blessing for passengers. Fun for Zappos employees.

Rachael Ray Tries to Stump a Zappos Rep

Word on the street is there is no stumping a Zappos Customer Service Representative. Rachael Ray decided to test that out. Rachael Ray is the infamous long-winded caller nobody likes to get. Watch how the Zappos  Representative handles this “challenging” customer.

Would you have handled Rachael with such poise, openness and professionalism? If not, I need to work with you (and maybe your entire team) for some exciting customer service training. You can check out my customer service training solutions right here.

Related posts:

Polite Ways to Get Long-winded Callers to Cut to the Chase

My Keynote at the 2012 Contact Center Association Conference

Videos from My Zappos Presentation to ICCA

Zappos Clever Marketing at Airports

Do you want parrots or people in your contact center?

Last October, after I delivered a wonderfully-received keynote in Orlando, I grabbed my camera bag, slipped out of the conference center and visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’d never been to Animal Kingdom without my family and I was looking forward to just being able to walk around and take photos without the stress of searching for attractions or snacks. The very first photo I took upon arriving at the park was of two parrots.

The parrots were vibrantly colored to the point of taking my breath away. Parrots are not only stunningly beautiful, but they are among the most intelligent of birds. Their ability to mimic human speech surprises and delights children and adults alike. My keynote that morning focused on giving contact center agents the training, support, freedom and empowerment to make “emotional connections” with customers. As I shot photos of the parrots in Animal Kingdom, I thought about how often contact center agents are groomed to be parrots, instead of being intelligent human beings.

Contact Center Agents are often carefully trained with scripts that sedulously echo the company’s pre-planned words. They end up sounding robotic, cold, and not always intelligent. Making emotional connections with customers is nearly impossible when agents use scripts.

As beautiful as parrots are, we don’t want our employees to be parrots. Give your employees the freedom, support, and incentive to veer away from scripts. Encourage them to use their own intelligence, creativity, and energy to connect with customers. Encourage them to comment on things they hear. Hearing a barking dog in the background could spark a few seconds of small talk for the dog-loving agent.

Maybe they could talk about plans the customer has for the 4th of July. Making emotional connections puts customers at ease and it makes the service experience unique and memorable.

Don’t make your employees sedulously echo the words of a script. They aren’t parrots. They are people with energy, creativity, and intelligence. Set them free and I’ll bet your customer experience will burst forth like the vibrant color of tropical parrots.

Imagine sitting in a local coffee shop that’s nestled in a bookstore, and talking over a latte with Myra about ways to help your employees deliver the best possible customer experience, and ways to help reduce stress on your employees as they deal with difficult customers.

Every week, often literally from a coffee shop, Myra gives you ideas that in one way or another are actionable towards improving your customer experience.

Sign up and join Myra over coffee every week.

 

My Keynote at the 2012 Contact Center Association Conference

For Zappos it’s all about delivering WOW. This presentation delivers powerful insights into the unique ways Zappos approaches screening and hiring, quality monitoring, social customer service, and making emotional connections with customers – all with the single goal of consistently delivering a WOW customer experience.

In this keynote I share the 5 keys Contact Center Managers and frontline employees can adopt and apply to create an engaging and unforgettable customer experience. (Live and Deliver WOW, Customer Experience as the #1 Priority, Make Emotional Connections with Customers, the Speed of Light, Treat Employees Very Well). Plus, discover how Zappos is able to WOW customers with no call scripts and no talk time targets and learn why Zappos pays employees $2,000 to quit. Enjoy!

Want to have Myra speak at your meeting? Learn how at MyraGolden.com

Zappos Clever Marketing at Airports

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I have traveled throughout North America speaking at conferences and conventions about the Zappos Customer Experience. From the perspective of both a consumer and a consultant, I am a fan of Zappos. I’ve spent 3 years studying their culture and I now share my insights with my clients. But do you know how I first heard of Zappos? At the airport. Yes, the airport.

At my local airport, all of the plastic bins in security are adorned with advertising from Zappos. Pretty clever for a shoe company to advertise in those security bins since we all have to take our shoes off in security. I’ve seen Zappos advertising in airports throughout the US and I always smile when I see their name in the bins. Not only is Zappos in front of potential customers, but they add a little humor too. Read the advertising in the above picture.

Think about how you might cleverly position your brand in front of your audience. Think out of the box.  For example, how might you engage your audience with humor, an invitation to visit your site via a QR Code, or with a question?

Slides and Videos from my Keynote at Contact Center Association

In a couple of hours I’ll be on a plane to Orlando. I’m headed off to speak at the Contact Center Association conference to present my Zappos keynote. For the reference of my attendees, I am posting a copy of my slide deck here. Additionally, I’m sharing with my participants 3 videos from inside the Zappos contact center.

Enjoy!

Click here for your copy of the handouts

Holiday Helpers

This video shows the fierce commitment to giving customers the very best experience and the spirit of cooperation of employees that makes the amazing customer experience possible.

 

What WOW Means to Zappos Employees

I’ll stress  to my audience that WOW couldn’t be just a buzz word or flavor of the month, it had to be a real and consistent commitment. This video shows what WOW means to Zappos employees.

Core Value of the Month Award

Zappos takes very good care of its employees. This award “ceremony” is the perfect example of that.

For help with creating the very best customer experience within your organization, check out my customer service keynote speaking and consulting offerings at http://www.MyraGolden.com.