Lessons I have learned from Tony Hsieh

I have actually been mulling over what the next topic of this blog should be and well I felt strongly that I would like to share some lessons which I have learned from Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Granted I have not met the man but I would like to someday soon!

What I have been doing is catching up on his book entitled Delivering Happiness A Path to profits, passion and purpose. It has been a truly inspirational book and I thought that I would like to share some of the insights I gained from this book. Granted, I am not a book reviewer and my intention is not to judge the effectiveness of this book but just to pass down some interesting points which I picked up. If you are reading this post I strongly recommend you pick up this book. If you are interested to know more about this book you can find it here. So, on to the lessons…  

Never outsource your core competence
Since my blog is all about retail, I find this to be incredibly great advice but in order for you to not outsource your core competence you need to know what it is first. To get to the heart of what your core competence is or what it should be; ask yourself this, what would be the most important element within your business process which would stop you from delivering your product or service to your customer. In the case of Zappos, their core competency was warehousing. They understood that warehousing would be the key success factor for them to deliver a great product and service to their customers.  

Delivering WOW in your service or business
Experience as I mentioned in one of our previous posts is everything in retail and at Zappos their core belief is to deliver the best possible service to their customer by WOW-ing their customers every chance they get and in every interaction which they have with them whether it is automatically upgrading them to overnight shipping or even assisting their clients to look for the correct shoe size at a competitors website when they do not carry that size or style on their Zappos website. It is important to note that the same is also true when a customer walks into your retail store as there already is an opportunity to WOW your customer from the onset whether it is to give them a free sample on a new product or even doing something entirely different to give your customer a great shopping experience.  

Getting the culture right
Culture is something that no business can create overnight but is something that builds up over time. Similarly, Zappos concept of wow-ing their customers was not something they just came up with but something which embodies to soul of the company and its founder Tony Hsieh & team who decided early on that Zappos should be not be about just selling shoes but delivering the best customer service possible. They even do this at the expense of their own sales sometimes. A classic example of this, is when they would forward a client to another website when they do not carry a certain style or product, this would mean a loss of sales for them but ultimately it is not about the sales but about making the client happy. To most companies this would be absurd but for Zappos this is just part of their culture and belief of delivering happiness. These 3 lessons which I am sharing are certainly not exhaustive nor is it complete but I honestly think the important points I took away from the book and which I would certainly want to share with my clients. If you have other thoughts please feel free to share them in the comments section.  


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