I saw a great news report on Zappos by Nightline. Zappos is pretty much the world leader in online shoe sales, and gaining ground in other areas as well. They do this by giving outstanding customer service, and by making the customer feel 100% at ease with purchasing online.
Normally, buying shoes is all about trying on many pairs and styles until you find the right fit. Ordering them online can be dangerous and a hassle. Zappos makes it hassle-free by giving free shipping, and free shipping again if you need to return them, and you get one full year to return for a full refund. That’s awesome!
Zappos also takes incredible care of their employees. Everyone goes through an extensive training program and everyone gets cross-trained so that they understand the big picture. Plus, they get incredible benefits, like free food at the company cafeteria and free food from vending machines at their offices. Now that is cool, but I also think it is unfair (I will explain the unfair part in a minute).
Clearly, the Zappos business model is all about winning by treating both their customers and their employees in a fantastic way. The more they sell, the lower the prices and the better the service can be. Happy customers translate into profits and Zappos then puts that back into employee benefits and training, resulting in even better customer service and more happy customers.
Now for the unfair part. I think it is really unfair that only the employees get the benefit of the free food. I mean, there are a lot of hungry people in the world, and some of them are even their customers. Since Zappos is number one in online shoe sales, they are clearly big enough to be able to afford letting anyone who is hungry join their employees in the company cafeteria (they could even put vending machines on the outside of their offices to make it easier).
I know some of you are thinking I have lost my mind! You are thinking, “Now wait a minute, Ziglar, those employees worked for those benefits, and there is no way that Zappos can feed everyone, it will put them out of business! And if they go out of business, then everyone loses; the company owners, the employees, and the customers.”
Ok, so you caught me in a little trick. Don’t worry. Zappos is pretty smart and will not let that happen. I even have some information that Zappos has established border security and an official checkpoint for visitors. It seems you can’t just wander in to Zappos HQ and chow down unless you are invited. They understand that their best chance of feeding the hungry is by staying in business.