“After a late night of barhopping, I bet a Skechers rep that if he called the Zappos hotline, the employee who answered would be able to locate the nearest late-night pizza delivery in our area. The call centre employee returned two minutes later with a list of the five closest late-night pizza restaurants.”
Since its launch in 1999 Zappos has not only grown into one of the world’s largest online shoe stores, but it was acquired by Amazon in 2009 for an all-stock deal worth about $1,2 billion.
Hsieh had no way of knowing who would answer the call — he just had faith in the culture his company embraces.
Culture begins at the top of an organisation, but is lived throughout the business. If you want employees to go above and beyond, give them the inspiration and latitude to do just that.
- Does your style of leadership encourage employees to go that extra mile for every customer who walks through the door (or picks up the phone)?
- Does your company embrace a culture of servant leadership, where its leaders serve its employees so that they can better serve your customers?