I first heard about Tony Hsieh while at last year’s South by Southwest conference. It was really quite spectacular to hear about a company’s culture and how centered it was around servicing customers. Actually, it wasn’t about the customers. It was about the people. These didn’t have to be people who were customers, but just anyone who they happened to interact with on a daily basis.
You would imagine that it would be hard for a company to wholly subscribe to such a culture. There has got to be some dissenters and people who think it’s just full of crap, right? Well think again…because it’s not Zappos. And what kind of example would the company be sending if their corporate culture (and I’m very hesitant to use the word “corporate” around Zappos) wasn’t reflected passionately by their leader – the CEO?
Well never fear because I’ve figure out that Tony Hsieh, while he does appear to be quite mild mannered, he Â does have the businessÂ acumenÂ to create a top-notch company and show how company culture doesn’t have to be stoic and conservative in order to succeed. In fact, all that it has to be is caring…to its customers, employees and everyone else in the community.
I’m quite impressed by Hsieh’s committment to the brand. I recall one recent instance where I was looking for some social media people in Las Vegas and just happened to remember he was in Vegas so he would know the answer. I direct messaged him on Twitter to see if he could help, not knowing whether he would care to respond. If he did, then it would be within a few hours or so and just with at least one answer – if one at all, right? WRONG. To my amazement and utter surprise, Hsieh came back with three answers to my question in less than ten minutes! Wow…and I wasn’t even asking him a question about shoes or clothingÂ apparel. It was about social media and totally unrelated. Yet Hsieh took the time to respond.
That impressed me. And it proves how Zappos & Tony Hsieh will go the extra mile for their customers.
I’ll have some of that Kool-Aid now.