Last Thursday night, 6pm.com (sister site of Zappos.com) had a glitch that made everything on the site cost no more than $49.99! (company apology here.) The glitch lasted from midnight until 6am and the company lost $1.6million in those early morn hours and I can imagine the big lost wasn’t helped by aggressive online deal forum sites like slickdeals.net to fuel the fire.
The cool part is, Zappos is taking responsibility and honoring all these purchases. In my vast online shopping experience, I find that most glitches are NOT honored and companies usually end up canceling glitchy purchases. This is just another one of many reasons why Zappos is awesome.
I’ve actually been pretty fascinated by Zappos lately. It’s been run by a brilliant down-to-earth guy, Tony Hsieh, 35, who sold his first internet company to Microsoft for $265million at 24 and then grew Zappos.com from $0 to $1.2billion (when they sold to Amazon last fall) all the while keeping the company on Fortune magazines annual Best Companies to Work For list. The company is so successful because it is based on making the customers happy (customer service across the company) and making the employees happy (company culture takes priority #1)! His book, Delivering Happiness, comes out Junes 7th and includes secrets to success like:
- Pay new employees $2000 to quit.
- Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company, not just a department.
- Focus on company culture as the #1 priority.
- Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business.
- Help employees grow both personally and professionally.
- Seek to change the world.
- Oh, and make money too.
Aside from the fun office environment (funny weekly dress-up parades!) Zappos follows a perfect list of 10 core values (click on each for a description):
- 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 Relationships With Communication
- Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
- Do More With Less
- Be Passionate and Determined
- Be Humble
I would love to adopt these same core values at my company because I believe it would turn a great company into the greatest company to work for! And btw, my favorite on the list is #10 (ok, it ties with #3).